I wanted to post a warning for anyone interested in teaching in Istanbul, Turkey. I have spent a couple years teaching English as a means of traveling the world and I must say, after teaching in Turkey, I may never return to that country again.
First of all, I was hired by SDM, a school in Istanbul. When I arrived in Istanbul the owner put me in contact with one of his teachers so I could stay with her while getting my apartment. She filled me in on all the shady details of working at that school (the owner hires females and then makes life extremely difficult for them if they don't sleep with him. Also, illegal activities such as building construction, cameras, and not paying employees take place.) After choosing not to work for SDM, the owner made numerous threats to both of us and kicked us out of her apartment (which he owned) with only 4 days notice. Later I found out from a friend that the nickname for this school is Sado and Masochism... wish I had known that before I was hired!
Because I love the history of Turkey and really wanted to stay, I next worked for ALTA (English 5). I also warn teachers not to work there- both SDM and ALTA participate in illegal activity. They will find every excuse NOT to pay you bonuses or your salary custody (1500 TL) and they won't give you the hours you negotiate in your interview. I was left scraping together everything I could for rent and food, because you don't know if you'll be working from week to week and you don't get enough money to save so you can have something to live off of while looking for another job.
If you are a single female like myself please avoid Turkey (or at the very least, avoid SDM and ALTA - English 5.) You will be manipulated and exploited by almost every person you meet. No joke. It sounds outlandish, I know, but it's the truth. I am extremely fortunate to have escaped that country (and that's exactly what it feels like, an escape.)
I have loved every country I've traveled to and lived in (China, Poland, Czech Republic...) EXCEPT for Turkey. Honestly, if you have an opportunity to go somewhere else, I highly recommend taking the other job. If you decide Turkey is where your heart is, then at least work for a university. Remember that a lot of schools in Turkey will make big promises but most of the time, your employers will be deceitful.