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Barry Bluejeans
Feb 2, 2017

Oh shut up, and get your fork, and burn away that regal cape, and let's get to this, then. I'd no idea you had all these capes to spare. Must have a whole entire storage chamber full of them.


I came to Istanbul almost by default. Though I became determined to leave the US the instant my job allowed me to work remotely, the realities of the pandemic meant that there were very few places an American could escape to. Istanbul was the most attractive destination available despite the fact that I knew nobody in the city and had time to learn only the most basic Turkish.

Two weeks into my stay and I don't know that I ever want to leave.

That's not to say that Istanbul is perfect, far from it. As the title of this thread suggests, walking anywhere means navigating insanely steep streets that will grind your legs into submission. Scammers are persistent and prevalent, especially around the main tourist attractions. The traffic is ridiculous and the crowds are inescapable. Rent is so sky-high that I can only afford a one-room flat even with a salary that goes a long way when converted into Turkish Lira.

I love it here despite all of that. I love that I can walk twenty minutes in any direction and be on the doorstep of a great cultural site or a world-renowned museum. I love crossing the bridge over the Golden Horn and relaxing on one of the many boats that cruise up and down the Bosphorus. I love the food, I love the stray cats that rule the streets, I love losing myself in the crowds that pack the squares and the markets and the dense, twisting bazaars.

So, I thought I'd make a thread where I can share pictures and stories of my experiences here. I'd also be happy to answer any questions folks might have about the city, limited as my knowledge is given that I haven't been here very long. For brevity's sake I won't go into everything I've done so far, but I will leave some of the best shots I've snapped since coming here. Hope you enjoy them!



















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Weatherman
Jul 30, 2003

SCREECH


istanbul more like constantinople

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005



constantinople more like byzantium

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Very politically loaded to make this its own thread instead of putting it in the Europe thread!

Real question though, aren't you going to have to leave after 3 months, or is there some nominal "investor's visa" or something like some countries do, where you can stay indefinitely as long as you can prove you have your own $$?

Barry Bluejeans
Feb 2, 2017

Oh shut up, and get your fork, and burn away that regal cape, and let's get to this, then. I'd no idea you had all these capes to spare. Must have a whole entire storage chamber full of them.


God's honest is that I didn't even think about the Europe thread (since the city's almost as much Asian as it is European) until after posting. Then I look at said thread and see that practically all the posts on the last page are about Istanbul. Oh well!

And yes, you're correct in that I can only stay for ninety days on a normal visa (I don't know if Turkey offers a special rich guy visa but I super duper wouldn't qualify if they do). I'm planning on going home for Christmas (which will coincidentally be about two and a half months after I first arrived) so I can return with new documents. I'd rather not go back to America every three months, but that unfortunately might have to be the case until borders start opening back up. Hopefully then I can take weekend jaunts into Bulgaria or Greece instead, both of which would be great places to visit in their own right.

UnfurledSails
Sep 1, 2011



take lots of photos of cats

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Barry Bluejeans posted:

And yes, you're correct in that I can only stay for ninety days on a normal visa (I don't know if Turkey offers a special rich guy visa but I super duper wouldn't qualify if they do). I'm planning on going home for Christmas (which will coincidentally be about two and a half months after I first arrived) so I can return with new documents. I'd rather not go back to America every three months, but that unfortunately might have to be the case until borders start opening back up. Hopefully then I can take weekend jaunts into Bulgaria or Greece instead, both of which would be great places to visit in their own right.

Just uhhh... FYI, going to America or Bulgaria or whatever doesn't reset your 90 days, it simply pauses it. The rule for Turkey, and the EU and the USA, is 90 days out of 180. So you could go to Turkey for 3 months, then Bulgaria for 3 months, then Turkey for 3 months — but you can't go to Turkey for 3 months, the US for two weeks, then back to Turkey for 3 months: you'd have to wait a full 3 months before applying for your next e-visa.

https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/info/th...ntil-i-reapply/


Once upon a time "visa runs" were a thing, but Turkey switched to e-visas a few (5?) years ago. If you have two citizenships, I guess you could do a visa run and swap your national identity every 90 days which might work, although this also might be illegal, so double-check with a lawyer before doing that if you're eligible. If you plan on going back after Christmas, you need to actually get a residence permit / visa somehow, or you will get a nice big fine and an up-to-5-year ban from the country the next time you try to leave it. This depends on how long you overstayed, and the mood of the immigration officer.

I would absolutely 100000% not overstay a visa in Turkey or try and try to innocently do a visa run that hasn't been possible in years. It looks like overstays of up to 15 days are OK (minor fine) but after that it's straight to gently caress You Up County, which is a part of Turkey I would never want to see.


I was curious so I looked into it a bit more. Here's a much more detailed FAQ, not sure how up to date it is, but it's post-COVID and it is well-cited with actual laws.

https://residencepermitturkey.com/f...it-visa-turkey/

It looks like you only need a bank statement for $1000 per month that you want to spend in Turkey, so $12,000 in the bank would be enough for an annual permit, if I understood the "RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR TOURIST PURPOSES;" section correctly.

Saladman fucked around with this message at 13:19 on Oct 28, 2020

Barry Bluejeans
Feb 2, 2017

Oh shut up, and get your fork, and burn away that regal cape, and let's get to this, then. I'd no idea you had all these capes to spare. Must have a whole entire storage chamber full of them.


Well, poo poo. I don't know how I missed that when I was making my plans, but I'm extremely glad I found out now instead of while trying to re-enter the country illegally! Thanks very much for the breakdown - I'm definitely not going to overstay my visa but I also don't think I'm going to apply for a residence permit, as it apparently takes three to four months to get one done in Istanbul. So, uh, after I go home for the holidays maybe I'll just go somewhere else for the other 80 days or so.

In the meantime...

Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii), Beşiktaş



Basilica Cistern, Fatih



Sultan II. Mahmut Tomb, Fatih



Cats



Those are two different black cats, I swear. I saw a few others while out today but I unfortunately came across them in crowded areas, i.e. where I would be immediately identified as a tourist if I stopped to take a picture. Maybe that happened anyway with the two I stopped to pet, but in that case it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Barry Bluejeans fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Oct 28, 2020

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Barry Bluejeans posted:

Well, poo poo. I don't know how I missed that when I was making my plans, but I'm extremely glad I found out now instead of while trying to re-enter the country illegally! Thanks very much for the breakdown - I'm definitely not going to overstay my visa but I also don't think I'm going to apply for a residence permit, as it apparently takes three to four months to get one done in Istanbul. So, uh, after I go home for the holidays maybe I'll just go somewhere else for the other 80 days or so.

I have a friend that escaped Hong Kong for Istanbul near the start of the pandemic and China's crackdown on Hong Kong. He married a local girl... so... think outside the box? (They'd already been together for like 5 years though.)

Hopefully plenty of options for you to go to by then. Europe seems like it's committed to yo-yoing through lockdowns until there's a vaccine, so likely borders will be open again for around a month at Christmas, then closed again for 6-8 weeks, then open again at Easter, then closed again until June, then open again in summer, but I think most other countries have given up and decided to go for herd immunity, so you'd likely be able to hang out in Cairo and in Skopje and in wherever. Sounds kind of tricky but not impossible.

Barry Bluejeans
Feb 2, 2017

Oh shut up, and get your fork, and burn away that regal cape, and let's get to this, then. I'd no idea you had all these capes to spare. Must have a whole entire storage chamber full of them.


Thank you for the guidance - I'm a beginner globetrotter so I'll take all the advice I can get, especially with COVID making things so complicated. After doing some initial research I'm leaning towards Malta - mild climate, widely-spoken English, lots of stuff to see and do, and it's fairly close to Turkey so it'll be easy to get back should I decide to return here. The only downside is that it'll cost much more to stay there, but I'm saving enough money living in Istanbul that I should be able to swing a three month excursion. I'll also have to return to Istanbul for at least two weeks before going there (which means spending just as much time in the US beforehand), as Americans have to spend that much time in an approved Corridor Country (of which Turkey is one) before they can be let in.

Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Mausoleum, Eyüpsultan



Cats

Barry Bluejeans fucked around with this message at 12:27 on Oct 30, 2020

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Barry Bluejeans posted:

Thank you for the guidance - I'm a beginner globetrotter so I'll take all the advice I can get, especially with COVID making things so complicated. After doing some initial research I'm leaning towards Malta - mild climate, widely-spoken English, lots of stuff to see and do, and it's fairly close to Turkey so it'll be easy to get back should I decide to return here. The only downside is that it'll cost much more to stay there, but I'm saving enough money living in Istanbul that I should be able to swing a three month excursion. I'll also have to return to Istanbul for at least two weeks before going there (which means spending just as much time in the US beforehand), as Americans have to spend that much time in an approved Corridor Country (of which Turkey is one) before they can be let in.


Enjoy! Sounds like a solid plan although that COVID stuff can always change last minute, especially I think island countries are likely to get suddenly more strict, since they have the actual hope/chance of eliminating COVID. One other thought would be northern Cyprus, although Malta might be more fun and easier to integrate since it's English-speaking.

I've kind of done what you've done, now three times—i.e. taking off 4-6 months between jobs to travel around. I even did that this year, although COVID cut out the last third of the travel. It's a ton of fun, but also by the end of it I'm really psyched to get back to work and lose my tan.

Saladman fucked around with this message at 19:11 on Oct 30, 2020

Velisarius
Nov 1, 2009


Saladman posted:

Enjoy! Sounds like a solid plan although that COVID stuff can always change last minute, especially I think island countries are likely to get suddenly more strict, since they have the actual hope/chance of eliminating COVID. One other thought would be northern Cyprus, although Malta might be more fun and easier to integrate since it's English-speaking.

I've kind of done what you've done, now three times—i.e. taking off 4-6 months between jobs to travel around. I even did that this year, although COVID cut out the last third of the travel. It's a ton of fun, but also by the end of it I'm really psyched to get back to work and lose my tan.

Why are you suggesting someone visit an illegally occupied territory as some sort of vacation retreat? Where are you from?

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


Velisarius posted:

Why are you suggesting someone visit an illegally occupied territory as some sort of vacation retreat? Where are you from?

You're posting in the wrong subforum. I think you're looking for https://forums.somethingawful.com/f...php?forumid=269

Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

It's not the red form anymore.
Incidental bones can file under the greens.


Cyprus is a major holiday destination regardless of the border dispute.

As for illegal occupation - welcome to history, it is illegal occupation all the way down

RestingB1tchFace
Jul 3, 2016


That place looks cool.

i fly airplanes
Sep 6, 2010


You should try exploring throughout Turkey -- domestic flights on Turkish Airlines are incredibly cheap, and it's a gigantic country.

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mmkay
Oct 21, 2010


Also take note that Schengen visa has similar restrictions of 90 days max in a 180 day period, except it applies to all countries at the same time. So you couldn't stay for 3 months in Malta and then wait in say Greece for another 3 months before going back. Make sure to keep that in mind when country hopping.

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