Firstly, why get a residence permit in Turkey ? The answer is simple. A visa will allow you to stay in Turkey for up to 90 days. To stay beyond this period, you must apply for a residence permit within 30 days of your arrival date. Here is a guide on how to do it.
Residence permit in Turkey
The residence permit (ikamet) in Turkey is the default long-term residence permit. It concerns any expatriate who has not (yet) signed an employment contract in Turkey, and in particular students, trainees and retirees. However, you are not required to provide a specific reason for your stay to obtain it. The law governing the Turkish Residence Permit was enacted in 2013 (No. 6458). According to this law, tourists cannot stay more than 90 days in Turkey within a period of 180 days. Therefore, you must apply for a residence permit to extend your period of stay and legally reside in the country.
Your first residence permit can be issued to you for a period of up to 1 year, provided that your passport does not expire before this date.
To obtain it, you must file an application on the immigration services website. You will be assigned an appointment (randevu) at the immigration services office where you will have to present an application file including a health insurance certificate, 4 biometric photos, a bank account statement showing that you have the capacity to provide for your financial needs during your entire stay in Turkey (in 2020, 400 dollars per month are required), and a receipt attesting to the payment of the application fees (which you can pay at a tax office). If you are unable to produce a notarized rental contract as proof of residence, you can also show electricity bills, for example, which are in your name.
Good to know :
In 2020, the total government fee for residence permits is 568 TL (110 TL card fee 458 one-time entry fee). If you opt for a minimum coverage health insurance policy, the total cost of your residence permit should not exceed 1,200 Turkish liras.
Online Application for Residence Permit e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr.