Western rideshare apps have struggled in Turkey. Protests by taxi drivers and government opposition have left these ridesharing companies in a state of uncertainty over the last year. On my recent trip to Ankara and Istanbul, I experienced this firsthand. In Ankara, I tried to use a popular local rideshare app but gave up because it was only available in Turkish despite claims that they support English-speaking users. Apart from the local rideshare app, there was no other rideshare presence in Ankara, and I was entirely reliant on local taxis.
For many years, the expatriate rental market in Turkey has been dominated by leases signed and paid in USD or EUR. In September of this year, President Erdogan issued a decree stating that all leases in foreign currency must be converted to Turkish lira (TRY). This move was made to stem the sharp inflation that battered Turkey’s currency in 2018, resulting in a loss of over half its value at its worst point.
Today, many expatriates from Western Europe and North America have stopped coming to Istanbul and to Turkey overall.