A senior representative has stated that Istanbul has observed a growing number of people leaving Istanbul (Turkey’s most populous city).

The municipality’s Deputy Secretary-General Buğra Gökce said that “more than 2 million people have left the city over the last five years, with 418,000 people parting ways with the megacity in 2022 alone”.

There is still many foreigners arriving though, the reverse migration trend is predominantly observed among Turkish citizens. He continued by saying that “”due to deteriorating economic conditions and the cost of living, our citizens are migrating from Istanbul, whereas foreigners continue to acquire property and settle in the city.

The most popular destinations are the Eastern Marmara region (which topped the list), followed by the Western Marmara and Western Black Sea regions.

Gökce also noted that one out of every 10 individuals seeking a more serene city life after retirement opts for a province in the Aegean region, contributing to the substantial reverse migration in that area.

Notably, one in every five residents leaving the city expressed concerns about a potential major earthquake amid continued warnings that experts have been issuing for over two decades, Gökce stated.

A large number of individuals are relocating not only to escape seismic risks but also to attain a better quality of life in residences built on earthquake-resistant foundations.

Referencing a study by the Istanbul Planning Agency (IPA), Gökce emphasized that the cost of living in Istanbul surged by 76.69 percent in October compared to the same month in the previous year.

He stated that the average monthly cost of living for a four-person family in Istanbul is calculated to be 45,956 Turkish Liras ($1,700).

“For a family surviving on minimum wage, living in the megacity has become nearly impossible. Over five years, housing prices for sale have increased by 748 percent, and rental costs have soared by 900 percent,” he explained.

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