Monday, September 22, 2008


A representative of a Turkish-based company, Atlas, which has officially signed up to a 49-year lease to operate a golf course on land designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The plans are centred on an area of land at Mercimek, which borders the Zonguldakllar estate and close to the Sultan Kent and Konya Kültür housing estates on the Akbük road.

The area covers 173 acres of land on which there will be allocated a clubhouse, an 18-hole golf course and a holiday village with a capacity of 420 beds.

Mr Kinaci, a map engineer based in Milas, confirmed the project would cost $40 million (approximately £20 million) – with the golf course costing close to $10 million.

He said: “I can confirm to Voices Newspaper that Atlas has signed a 49-year lease to operate a golf course and hotel project on the land at Mercimek.

“The project has been put to public consultation and there are no objections.”

He added: “As far as we are concerned, once all the legalities are complete, Atlas will build the first golf course in Didim. It will be a major boost to tourism to the whole area.”

Atlas is a company predominantly in the steel and shipbuilding industries in Turkey. This project is believed to be their first foray into the golf tourism business.

Mr Kinaci said: “We are moving ever closer to reality. We are being extremely cautious as we want to get everything right and ensure that the news we give is accurate, clear and concrete to the public.

“We would not want to raise people’s hopes unnecessarily, but things are beginning to happen.”

He declined to give any time schedule on developing the course or when Atlas hoped to open the golf course and hotel facilities.

Seda Türk, Didim council’s planning department manager, and Meltem Öz, Didim Council’s city planner, confirmed Atlas’ interest was more than just a ‘passing one’. And they confirmed that it would provide a big boost to the tourism of the area.

On a separate note, Mayor Mümın Kamaci said representatives of an unnamed Swedish company had visited Didim council offices this week to look at the potential of building a new golf course in the area.

He said that the company had been given a number of options and they had departed back to Sweden to ‘mull over’ the proposals.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Located on Turkey's southwestern Mediterranean coast in the Mugla Province, Dalaman is the ideal destination for tourists visiting the seaside resorts to the west and east of Dalaman such as Fethiye, Marmaris, Koycegiz, Oludeniz, Dalyan and Hisaronu. With culture, nightlife and wonderful beaches, holidays in Dalaman have something for everyone.

Flights will be from Leeds Bradford and Manchester and will start in Summer '09 so register your interest now and we will let you know before the seats go on sale so that you can plan ahead and get the best deals for your trip to Dalaman next year!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Prospective investors in Turkey were delighted with the recent news that the government’s temporary ban on the issue of title deeds (Tapu) to foreigners has been lifted. Now that the Turkish government has had time to re-draft the relevant law, title deeds are being processed as usual. This is welcome news for foreign investors, especially now that mortgages are more readily available in Turkey - the essential elements for overseas property investors are firmly in place.

The government’s move will reassure prospective investors looking for a good short, medium or long-term investment. The changes to the law are not expected to make any significant difference to individual foreign property investors because they primarily affect foreign companies rather than the growing numbers of foreign investors who usually buy property in officially zoned areas around cities, town and holiday resorts.

Turkey remains a popular investment location, especially now that a number of lenders are offering mortgages to non-residents. Ken Thorkildsen, Director of Obelisk Private Finance, says that Turkey’s mortgage market is evolving, particularly since the passing of the country’s new mortgage law in 2007 which allows lenders more freedom in their lending practices. “Prior to the 2007 Mortgage Law, mortgages were only available to Turkish nationals, at high, double-figure, interest rates,” explains Ken, “now non-resident property owners can take advantage of multi-currency mortgages with low fixed rates. Mortgages are available to citizens of countries with whom Turkey has a reciprocal arrangement, such as the UK and Ireland. There are a handful of lenders offering mortgages to non-residents and that is set to grow as demand increases from foreign investors.”

Now that the Tapu ban has been lifted, Land Registry offices across Turkey have restarted processing applications for the transfer of title deeds to foreign nationals. This is cause for celebration amongst investors, particularly those interested in buy-to-let. Recent survey results published by the Daily Telegraph and undertaken by independent travel group, Cooperative Travel, show that Turkey has pushed Spain from its top position as favourite holiday location for Brits, partly because of the over-valued euro, but also because the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in the UK.

Turkey is a popular tourist and investment location for a variety of reasons, not least because it is now better served by low cost airlines, making access easier and more cost effective. Most importantly, property in Turkey is still significantly cheaper than other similar locations. Now that mortgages for non-residents are gradually becoming more available and the government has passed its new Tapu law, investment in Turkey has been given the green light.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Turkey is to build a Disneyland resort near the town of Oren, 35 kilometres south east of Milas, after reaching a deal with all parties concerned in just 3 days. Disneyland Turkey, which will rival Eurodisney Paris, is to be situated just 90 minutes from Didim.

The complex is expected to be constructed in under 2 years, planning was completed after officials visited Eurodisney Paris and Germany’s Heidi Park. It will be built over an area of 1.3m square metres and will employ a “cast” of almost 17,000 staff.

According to the news, reported in Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, all the permission from 74 authorities has been granted and construction will commence after the proposal is signed by the Council of Ministers.

Project manager, Tekin Erdogan said “The electricity station in Oren had a negative effect on tourism in the area. It was struggling to bring any tourism investment to the town. We decided a different angle was needed to attract both investors and holidaymakers. This will be bigger than the Disneyland resort in Paris.”

He also stated that there will be 5 hotels of up to 7 stars with a total capacity of 8,000; a marina is also being built close to the resort.

Animation shows with cartoons heroes, the entertainment facilities, Turkish-Ottoman and Selcuk architectural examples are projected to attract an estimated 12,000 visitors daily. People will be able to visit the Turkish Disneyland via the marina. There will also be scheduled ferry services from selected locations to the fun park.

Babakn Olcaysu who is the licence owner of the Oren Investment Concept said “The government has given its full support to the project. We got all the permissions in just 3 days. The project is expected to cost $3.2 billion. Babakn added:” This will attract tourists from all over the world, and will be of great benefit to all cities around it.”

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Garanti Bank has begun to offer a new “non resident mortgage” to foreigners looking to purchase property in Turkey. With the new service the bank will enable foreigners to obtain lira or foreign exchange indexed loans with a maximum 240-month maturity. Foreigners will also be able to obtain loans of YTL 500,000 or the equivalent amount in foreign currency

Saturday, July 19, 2008


A circular concerning the implementation of a bill regulating property sales to foreigners was issued Thursday. The circular restarted the process of property sales to foreigners, which had been suspended April 16 after the Constitutional Court's annulment of the existing legislation created a legal loophole.

The regulation enables foreign companies, which had previously been granted rights equal to Turkish ones to purchase real estate on the basis of the Foreign Direct Investment Law-No. 4875, to own real estate by permission of the governor's office. The regulations, which will come into effect in three months, will determine the basic aspects of how to receive this permission. As a result, no land will be sold to the companies concerned until then.

Meanwhile, companies operating in foreign countries and foreign real persons will be able to own up to 10 percent of the land within a building scheme. In addition, the area that foreigners can own will be restricted to two and a half hectares and demands by foreigners that surpass these limits will be rejected, according to the new amendment.

Parliament passed the bill regulating property sales to foreigners on July 3 after it was revised taking into consideration the Constitutional Court's annulment of previous legislation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


One of Spain's major developers, Martinsa Fadesa, has filed for voluntary administration after failing to renegotiate a €150m (£119m) loan earlier this week. The company reportedly owes The debts of around €5bn (£3.98bn).
company said in a regulatory filing that it had lodged a petition for court administration, marking the start of Spain’s largest bankruptcy process since the introduction of new rules in 2004.

It follows the rescue in March of Immobiliaria Colonial by by creditor banks, which swapped debt for equity held by the controlling shareholders in Spain’s second-largest property company.

Martinsa Fadesa is the latest in a long line of Spanish property companies to run into difficulties, following the collapse of the Spanish housing market last year, after a decade or so of booming activity. Many small construction companies and property developers have either filed for protection or been absorbed by larger groups. The number of companies entering administration this year has more than doubled compared with 2007, according to lawyers.

“Filing for voluntary administration is the best way to avoid aggravating a crisis situation that could become irreversible and have serious repercussions on creditors and all shareholders' interests," said a spokesperson. "The company, along with its administrators, will from now on focus in revenue-generating, through the sale of assets and land management and restructuring the company so the project can be revived.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008


News in the foreign press pertaining to Turkey's real estate sector experienced a surge in the aftermath of the approval of a bill by Parliament on July 5 that regulates property sales to foreigners. The attention paid to Turkey's real estate sector, which is characterized by low prices, has been increasing, wrote British newspaper The Times, adding that prices in the sector are expected to skyrocket if Turkey manages to join the European Union.

“It is possible to purchase a property on Turkish shores at a relatively low price of 35,000 sterling (pounds). Does this sound attractive to you?” wrote the paper. “A clever couple can buy a property with a little amount of deposit and with two credit cards. Credit-card companies provide the opportunity of zero interest rates for 15 months period for those with high credit rankings,” The Times wrote.

The paper emphasized that prices in the country's real estate sector are far lower than that of the EU average. “British customers have started to settle in Turkey's popular cities such as Istanbul and coastal areas such as Antalya and Bodrum in the aftermath of the opening of Turkey's real estate market to foreign customers in 2003. The investors expect an increase in the prices of the country's real estate market if Turkey becomes a member of the European Union,” wrote the paper.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Parador Properties, which had a number of overseas operations, including Cyprus, has gone into voluntary administration.

The company was once considered to be one of Europe’s top estate agents. It used to fly prospective purchasers to their desired destinations and offered advice about specific areas and communities. Simon Lambert and managing director Jack Hamilton founded Parador in 1998.

Parador’s PR company, Quay West Communications, announced: “It is with regret that Parador Properties has announced that, due to the downturn in the overseas property market, it has gone into voluntary administration. This does not affect property purchases by any of its clients, as all contracts were made between the individual client and the builder; Parador Properties acted only as an introductory agent.”

Thursday, July 3, 2008


A DRAFT bill seeking to expand the scope of the law regulating property sales to foreigners was today (THURS) endorsed by Parliament.

The bill, which was discussed in Parliament last week, has been taken back to the Justice Commission at the last minute.

Amendments for opening up properties in prohibited military zones and strategic regions (lands) to foreigners through permission from governor's offices were sent to the Justice Commission for ratification.

This was passed, and sent back to Parliament which duly gave the title deeds lawchanges the nod. They now await being rubber-stamped by President Abdullah Gul.

During previous meetings in Parliament, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was forced to withdraw the regulation expanding the scope of property sales due to opposition pressure.

The regulation, which was taken back to the Committee at the last minute, enables private business enterprises in Turkey launched or contributed to by foreign investors to exercise the rights for immovable and limited property for conducting their operations enumerated in main contracts.

The same principal will be valid in case immovable properties are transferred to another company with foreign investment or in case an immovable owned company with national capital becomes foreign owned through share transfer.

Acquisitions of companies in strategic properties under Article No 28 of the Law on Prohibited Military Zones and Security Zones and in military zones, security zones and some strategic lands enumerated in the same law, will be subject to the permission of governor under whose jurisdiction the related property falls.

The demand for permission will be decided after an evaluation of the acquisition's conformity with the country's security and operation field, in the commission established with the participation of related representatives within the governor's office.

The draft bill handled by Parliament for property sales to foreigners, maintains foreign persons and institutions can possess immovable lands, 10 percent of the total land, within the frameworks of zoning implementation plan and piecemeal plan, while the regulation expands the scope of possessing properties.


A Turkish bank has introduced a new product in housing credits, "Mortgage with Low Installments," to the market, reported daily Milliyet yesterday.

In Finansbank's new mortgage program, installments start at YTL 500, according to authorities at the bank. The installments are determined on the basis of triple combinations, such as, YTL 500, YTL 750 and YTL 1,000, and increase on a two-tiered basis, such as YTL 500 for the first two years, YTL 750 for the second two years and YTL 1,000 for the remaining period.

Consumers are provided with the opportunity to choose the appropriate amount of credits and the payment plan that best fits their incomes. "Finansbank's new product encompasses an installment plan that has not been implemented until now and, therefore, this new product is the first of its kind in housing credits," said Erkin Aydın, Finansbank Mortgage and Personal Loans group manager.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


When it comes to buying a holiday home or investment property in the Mediterranean, most people tend to think of Spain or Italy. But Turkey, with its stunning scenery and wealth of antiquities, is fast emerging as a new property hot spot. Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is blessed with some of the best coastline in Europe, especially in the country's southwestern corner where the Mediterranean and Aegean seas meet.

With Turkey expected to join the European Union within the next decade, property experts say those who get in early stand to see a substantial return on their investment.

The combination of rapidly rising house prices and Turkish property market reforms has made the country an increasingly popular destination for international investors. Five years ago the government passed legislation making it possible for non-Turkish citizens to buy property. Since then, foreigners have spent more than $7.2 billion on an estimated 30,000 homes, according to the Turkish government. Over the last year alone property sales to foreigners soared by 59% to $2.9 billion.

Moreover, recent changes in legislation have also created the country's first ever mortgage market. As a result, it is now possible to get a mortgage at interest rates that are roughly 50% less than the traditional home loans buyers used in the past. "Now that the government has made it easier for foreigners to buy, demand is soaring," says Ahmet Rauf Saatci, chief executive of real estate agency in Istanbul.

Bright Spots
The sunny Mediterranean climate is only a small part of Turkey's attraction. For starters, property prices are on average 30% to 50% less than those found in more well-trodden hotspots such as the Spanish, French, and Italian coasts. Property experts compare the country to the Spanish property market in the 1970s. And London-based international real estate agency Knight Frank predicts property prices will increase by 12.5% in 2007.

Not only is it cheaper to buy, it is also much cheaper to live. Economists reckon that the cost of living is between 40% and 60% less than in continental Europe. And according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Turkey is the fourth least expensive place to live in a recent survey of 30 member countries.

The vast majority of international buyers are focusing mainly on coastal resort towns. Towns such as Bodrum, Marmaris, and Fethiye, all long-popular with vacationing Turks and Europeans alike, have experienced a development boom. Over the last five years, numerous modern apartment complexes and gated private communities have sprung up to cater to demand.

Good Returns
Turkish real estate company Seaside Properties Turkey exclusively markets its portfolio of modern villas and apartments to Europeans. Since ownership laws for foreigners have been liberalized, interest in investment properties in the Bodrum Peninsula has accelerated, according to Seaside Properties Turkey

Those who have bought properties in Turkey are already seeing good returns.

Over the last year, prices in coastal areas have appreciated between 30% and 50%. New, modern, gated developments with pools and other amenities such as tennis courts are in high demand. Take the seaside resort town of Antalya. Fifteen months ago, Umit Sutoglu, a real estate agent with Turyap Lara in Antalya, recalls how one of his clients bought two three-bedroom homes in Antalya for $112,000 each. Within one year, he sold one of the homes for $272,000, pocketing well over 100% profit on the deal, Sutoglu says.

Returns in Turkey's big cities, such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, are more conservative but still attractive, averaging 10% to 15% a year. Turkey's biggest and most expensive city, Istanbul, offers yields of around 9%, says Century 21's Saatci. "But in Istanbul's new suburbs such as Beylikduzu, Cekmekoy, and Umraniye, returns can climb to 20% or more." He says foreign buyers are increasingly heading to these newly developed suburbs to buy land and build themselves.

Straightforward Sale
The buying process is straightforward. There are no restrictions for Americans or European Union citizens on buying property in Turkey. Most experts recommend consulting a local solicitor to handle the conveyancing and contracts. Typically buyers can expect to pay 25% of the purchase price as down payment. Additionally, purchasers need to factor in taxes—which run 0.3% for houses 150 square meters and less—plus real estate agent commissions of around 5% to 10%, and legal fees of approximately 10% of the purchase price, says real estate agent from Lara.

If you are buying the property to rent, expect to pay 20% tax on the rental income to the Turkish government. If you hold the property for more than four years, you will be exempt from capital gains. But if you decide to sell before then, you will pay 20% capital gains tax locally. Sounds like it's time to board a big bird to Turkey.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Just as Turkey looks as if it is shaping up to become the next major holiday-home and investment destination, its government has stopped title deeds being issued to foreigners.

Safe as houses: Bodrum Castle overlooks the lively old town. The peninsula is popular with British and Turkish buyers alike
The country did it for six months in 2005, too, in an attempt to prevent large tracts of rural land being bought up. The latest ban - announced in April and awaiting ratification in parliament - has a similar purpose, limiting foreign ownership to 10 per cent of the land in any town.

Agents selling in Turkey expect the restriction to be lifted soon. "I don't see it as a problem, as you could never expect to receive your title deeds within three months anyway," says Julian Walker from Turkish property specialist Spot Blue. "For anyone buying now, the suspension will have ended by the time they reach completion."

Even 10 per cent foreign ownership of land is a high figure that is unlikely to ever be met, Walker points out. "Even in Spain, 95 per cent of sales are to the domestic market. In Turkey, there are 77,000 foreign property owners out of a population of 77 million, which is 0.1 per cent, so 10 per cent is light years away," he says.

"You have to remember Turkey is a poor country, 20 years behind the West in its property market, laws and business practice. And even though finance is available, it is also still typically a cash market."

advertisementApart from this blip, Turkey's property market is proving resilient, with prices expected to rise by 10-15 per cent this year, says Knight Frank.

The currency exchange company Moneycorp reports that British interest in Turkish property has trebled in the past year. A NatWest survey of mortgage lenders predicts that Turkey - where 22,650 Brits own property - will be the third most popular

destination for UK buyers in the next three years, with most sticking to the area between Kusadasi on the Aegean coast and Alanya on the Med.

In its attempts to double tourist numbers to 10 million by 2010, the Turkish government is investing in infrastructure and attractions, including new golf courses in Dalaman and Belek.

It is also encouraging new air routes and airport expansion. EasyJet now flies to Dalaman and Istanbul, BA to Antalya. A new international airport at Edremit will open up areas around Ayvalik, north of Izmir - until now, despite good beaches, great windsurfing and attractive property, the preserve of Turkish buyers.

Beyond its appeal as a value-for-money location for holiday homes - outside pricier Istanbul or Bodrum, the average two-bedroom apartment costs £35,000-£90,000 - Turkey is also drawing investors to Istanbul, where new development is taking place on both sides of the Bosphorus.

Prices average about £700-£900 per square metre, with studios from £40,000 in developments such as Life Studio near Ataturk international airport (through The Right Move Abroad), or Astrum Towers, six miles from the airport, which agent Regnum predicts will see annual growth of 30 per cent.

So, this Christmas - or whenever the restrictions ease - why not vote for Turkey?


Lively resorts, leisure facilities and low-priced newbuild properties make the Bodrum peninsula one of Turkey's best-known areas for British visitors, while quieter spots such as Yalikavak and Gumusluk appeal to wealthy Turkish property buyers wanting £1m-plus villas.

"Bodrum is one of the most popular coastal regions," says Jane Griffiths, managing director of Regnum, "and Turkey's appeal is widening to take in growing numbers of Eastern European holidaymakers as well as British. Small apartments can achieve rents of £300 a week."

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The saturation and high prices of the European property market has directed buyers to the Turkish property market.

Research carried out in 30 OECD countries revealed that Turkey ranks fourth with cheapest prices. According to the comparative price levels, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway appeared to be the most expensive countries while Turkey is among the least expensive, followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland.

Basak Soner, a Board Director of TURYAP, stating that currently Turkey is a haven for foreigners, said: "Turkey’s traditional competitors Greece and Spain rank among the expensive countries. A product which costs 100 units in Turkey, is priced 155 units in Greece and 160 units in Spain.”

Cheapest properties are in Turkey

Using a comparison of sales data on properties with similar characteristics best explains why Turkey is a haven for foreigners. According to date gathered by TURYAP, a 3+1 detached house costs 570,000 Euros in Spain, The UK and Greece, 430,000 in Germany, 380,000 in The USA and 300,000 in France, while in Turkey it only costs 100,000. Experts agree that property in Turkey would increase in value, and state that the trend of investing in properties is "the most appropriate and profitable investment" for any foreign investor.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tourism in turkey

Turkey's five-star hotel sector is booming. Indeed, upscale Turkish hotels have become important spots for national and international business travelers and holidaymakers -- with İstanbul being almost shaken by a wave of new upscale hotel openings.

Frank Reichenbach, general manager of the Mövenpick Hotel İstanbul and the hotel chain's regional manager for Turkey, describes what it is that makes Turkish cities attractive for a number of upscale international hotel brands. In an interview with Today's Zaman he talks about the potential and difficulties of the Turkish five-star hotel sector and forecasts that "it is quality and service which will be the engine of the Turkish hotel business."

"We are a good upscale brand," Reichenbach added about the Mövenpick group. With two types of accommodation, business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, the company has clearly defined its position as a first-class establishment. In İstanbul, İzmir and Bodrum there are currently three five-star hotels in operation.

Most notably, opening five years ago, the İstanbul location shows a capacity utilization of over 50 percent regular guests, which Reichenbach calls "more than satisfying." Around 65 percent of these are foreigners -- with the core markets being European countries, especially the UK, Germany, Switzerland and France - and approximately 80 percent of guests are business clientele.

İstanbul top in business and convention segment

Our focus group comprises business travelers and convention guests, explains Reichenbach. "İstanbul, especially the rapidly developing and central business district of Levent, is really an excellent location for business travelers and convention guests," he underlines, adding that this segment is surely the strongest one among the Turkish five-star industry. Therefore, all of the 249 İstanbul rooms, including 71 executive rooms, 21 superior suites and a Skyline Deluxe suite on the panoramic 20th floor, are tailored towards the requirements of businesspeople. All manner of meetings and conferences and every imaginable type of banquet can be completely catered in the Mövenpick İstanbul.

Is İstanbul also well equipped for big events, Formula 1, for example, which took place for the fourth time in İstanbul this May? "Generally, yes," Reichenbach says. "Over the last couple of years the city has made significant progress in this regard. Even I would wish to have one or two more important events here."

However, he points out that the city still suffers from serious infrastructure problems. "It shouldn't be that our clients spend three hours on a flight from Europe to İstanbul and then get stuck in traffic for another two hours to get to the hotel," he underlines and urgently recommends better coordination and cooperation among the city's administrative districts. "There are currently more than 20 municipalities in İstanbul alone. Sure, they are doing good things, but to handle the traffic problems of a big city like İstanbul, everyone has to pull together," he emphasizes, expressing his hope that the status of being a European Capital of Culture in 2010 will be an effective incentive.

Nonetheless, in his opinion, İstanbul is currently one of the best cities for operators to have a hotel in, and he points out that over the last couple of years city tourism in İstanbul broke one record after the other in terms of visitor numbers. Indeed, according to a ranking done by the New York-based Travel and Leisure, one of the world's most popular travel magazines, İstanbul is the third-best city in Europe, after Florence and Rome. It was further ranked eighth in the favorite world cities category, leaving New York and Bangkok behind.

And the market is still open for newcomers, "With regard to the rising number of city tourists, we don't have too many hotels yet in İstanbul," Reichenbach said, hinting that in terms of revenue, the upscale segment holds the best potential.

The Mövenpick Hotel İstanbul general manager knows all about his holding's establishments in the Turkish Mediterranean part as well. Discussing difficulties related with shrinking revenue and a lack of utilization capacity in this region, he adds, "Well, regarding our own establishments in İzmir and Bodrum, we as the Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts are looking optimistically to the future." But he admits it is not easy to guarantee high capacity utilization in these regions.

For this reason, the company counts on business travelers in the Mediterranean region. The Mövenpick Hotel İzmir, which opened its doors in mid-February 2008, is clearly established as a five-star business hotel. The hotel has been extensively refurbished over the past two years, today offering 185 rooms, which include 38 executive rooms, 17 junior suites and a royal suite.

The exclusive Mövenpick Resort Bodrum is also business oriented; opening in the beginning of July 2007, it offers three meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology for up to 100 people as well as a business center that "is ideal for out-of-town meetings," Reichenbach explains. Centrally located and situated on the hilltop area of Bitez, with 92 generous rooms, including nine suites all decorated in Mediterranean style, the hotel ensures a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere for holidaymakers but also draws a lot of local business clientele from the bigger cities as well. "In the Bodrum region one has to get creative," and for that reason, the company introduced a special business idea that allows clients to rent the entire resort in the summer.

The Turkish market openly accepts these methods of diversification, as the Turkish director underlines. "Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is a brand highly regarded by business travelers and holidaymakers. İstanbul, İzmir, Bodrum and soon Ankara -- all in all I think, this is a good balance," he says. However, in the Mediterranean region, revenues are generally much lower and occupancy is usually around 20 percent less on average.

Quality and service against shrinking revenue

When asked what could be handy tools in raising customer profiles, he urged a shift away from the current, predominant low-cost and all-inclusive business. "Quality and service will be the engine of the hotel business" he is certain, and suggests that the government and tourism authorities can also help to ensure better standards, "for example, by distributing their stars more carefully," he says.

Quality and service is also what makes Mövenpick's secret of success. "Punctuality, reliability, security and a certain passion for detail is what marks our values," Reichenbach added, noting that the company's Swiss heritage is a point of pride. "We put additional emphasis on good food and excellent gastronomic service. In İstanbul, for example, we offer at least six open bottles of wine every day, and surely everyone knows our world-famous Mövenpick premium ice cream," he adds enthusiastically. For that reason the company builds only on its long-term, owner-operator relationship and predominantly runs its hotels in the form of leasing or management contracts. "We would never do franchising, but always keep a certain influence to ensure the Mövenpick quality standards," he emphasizes. And as he underlines, these standards "marry very well" with uncompromising Turkish hospitality. "I really praise Turkish warmth. It is even better than what you experience in many European locations," he says.

Does the Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts expansion plan include adding new hotels to its lineup in Turkey? Reichenbach says "yes," while underlining that the current situation of the business is very promising. "A large and well-educated labor market, a huge domestic market, a relatively stable lira and continuous growth between 5 and 7 percent over the last several years are definitely positive location factors for investors in Turkey," he states.

For now, and as a first part of its portfolio expansion in Turkey, the Mövenpick group recently signed a management agreement with the Varan Group for a five-star business hotel in Ankara. Comprising 150 rooms and suites, it is scheduled to open in 2010. "I hope to be in the Belek/Antalya region soon. A hotel in this region should certainly be part of our portfolio. Also, a second establishment in İstanbul could be interesting. Well, there are many, very exciting locations across the country," he says, speculating about possible expansion ideas.

Mövenpick aims for upscale guests

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, an upscale hotel management company with 12,000 employees, represents over 90 hotels in 25 countries. Serving around 5.8 million guests per year, the international hotel group with roots in Switzerland is still forging ahead with its expansion and has a stated objective of increasing its hotel portfolio to 100 by the year 2010. With two hotel types, business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has established a clearly defined presence in the upscale four and five-star segment. The hotel group is owned by Mövenpick Holding (66.7 percent) and the Kingdom Group (33.3 percent).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Title deeds problems solved

THE revision of the Title Deed laws has passed a major hurdle, giving hope that Parliament will vote on it soon.

The revisions of two aspects of the title deeds laws affecting foreigners was cleared to go before Parliament after they were accepted by Parliament’s Justice Commission last Friday.

The main changes will see the amount of land that foreigners can buy will be worked out on a district basis – ie Didim – instead of previously on a province basis – such as Aydin.

They will be allowed to buy a percentage of the available building land in the district where as previously it was a percentage based on land in the province, which included mountains, rivers and agriculture land.

The suspension of Tapus came into force after a challenge in the Constitution Court two weeks to two elements of the title deeds laws. To enable the changes toi be passed by Parliament, the issuing of title deeds had to be frozen while this was dealt with.

Now that the laws have been accepted by the Justice Commission, there are hopes that the laws will be swiftly accepted by Parliament before it breaks up for a three-month recess.

This would then allow the Land Registry to make the necessary changes and for title deeds to be given to be issued again.

No time-frame has yet been indicated by Parliament when the laws will be considered.

Foreigners buying property in Turkey

The recent increase in the number of foreigners buying houses in Turkey reveals a profile of ‘home owner tourists’ in the country. Among all foreign tourists who visited Turkey for vacation in the first quarter of the year, 14 percent stayed in their own houses. 40 percnent stayed at hotels, hostels and guesthouses while 32.4 percent stayed with friends or relatives

A rapid increase in the number of immovable property purchased by foreigners in Turkey in recent years has given rise to many “home owner tourists” in the country. Figures suggest that many foreign tourists visiting Turkey on holiday choose to own a house in the country.

Figures by Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reveal that 14.1 percent of foreign tourists who visited Turkey on holiday stayed in their own houses. While 40 percent of foreign tourists stayed at hotels, hostels or guesthouses during the same period, 32.4 percent stayed with friends or relatives. Again in the same period, 9.8 percent of all foreign visitors stayed in rented houses.

On the other hand, among Turkish citizens who came to Turkey from abroad for holiday, 62.5 percent, an estimation based on the number of overnight stays, stayed in their own houses. According to the same figures, 27.5 percent of Turks living in abroad stayed with friends or relatives. The percentage of those who stayed in hotels, hostels or guesthouses was 5.6 percent.

In the same period, 32.4 percent of Turkish nationals and foreign visitors in total stayed in their own houses, while 30.6 stayed in a friend's or a relative's house. The percentage of those who stayed in hotels, hostels and guesthouses was 27.7 percent. Only 6.7 percent stayed in rental houses.

On the other hand, foreigners that visit Turkey for vacation stayed in the country only for 10 days while Turkish nationals stayed for 23 days. Average stay, taking into account the total number of visitors, was 12.7 days in the same period.

According to figures by General Directorate of Title Deeds, a total of 73, 103 foreign nationals bought a total of 63, 085 immovable property in Turkey so far. Foreigners mostly choose resort towns like Muğla and Antalya. The largest share of immovable property purchasing in Turkey belongs to Germans, British and Greeks.

Rate of university graduate tourists 36 percent

About 36 percent of foreign tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year are graduates of university or college. The rate among Turkish nationals (who live in abroad) visiting Turkey remained at the level of 22.2 percent. Out of foreign national tourists, 31.9 are graduates of high school, 13.7 are graduates of secondary education and 11 percent has masters and doctoral degrees.

As for Turkish national tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year, 30.1 percent were high school graduates, 11.3 were secondary school graduates, 27.5 percent were primary school graduates, and only 5.3 percent were masters and doctoral degree holders. Among them, 3.5 percent did not hold a school diploma.

Out of 2,795,813 foreign tourists who visited Turkey in the first quarter of the year, 63.7 percent were in the mid-income range. The percentage of foreign tourists from high income groups was 17.5 percent while 13.8 percent was comprised of those from lower income groups. As little as 3 percent were from very low income groups while 2.1 percent of them were from very high income groups. Among Turkish national visitors, 66 percent belonged to middle income groups. The percentage of high-income Turkish national tourists was 15.7 percent while that of low income Turkish national tourists was 14.8 percent. The percentage of those from very low income group was 1.9 percent while the rate of those from upper income groups was 1.5 percent.

Professionals ranks first

TÜİK figures also show that 20.5 percent of foreign tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year were professionals. On the other hand, 18.7 percent of them were business owners, lawmakers and top-level managers. The percentage of those who work in bureaus or customer service was 7.7 percent, those who work as sales persons was 7.4 percent, and those who work in assistant professional positions was 6.6 percent.

The percentage those who work in jobs that do not require any qualifications was 6.2 percent while 4.9 percent was made up of artists, 3 percent were facility and machine operators and assemblers, 1.5 percent were qualified agricultural workers, cattle breeders, hunters and forestry workers, and 0.9 percent were of members of the armed forces. Other occupation groups made up the remaining 22.4 percent.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Easy Cruise to Turkey

Accommodation-only specialist has teamed up with easyCruise to take 20 top-selling agents on the inaugural cruise of the line’s second ship easyCruise Life.

The ship will leave Piraeus (Athens) on April 19 for the voyage - a week-long cruise around the Greek islands.

Ports of call include Syros and Samos, Kalymnos, Kos and Paros, and a 24-hour-stay in Mykonos. easyCruise Life will visit Turkey for the first time with a full day and night in Bodrum. has an exclusive deal with easyCruise meaning that agents can earn 15% commission on every booking they make at

To celebrate the launch of easyCruise Life, is also offering a trade incentive of £10 per booking made before February 29. sales director Paul Riches said: “Not only will the winners have a chance to be the among the first to sail on the line’s new ship, they’ll also have the chance to meet easyCruise founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou who’ll be onboard for the first two days as the ship sails from Athens to Bodrum.”

Source -

Monday, April 14, 2008


NEW YORK-Bloomberg

Ali Agaoglu, Chairman of Agaoglu Group, a Turkish construction and tourism company, doesn't expect the Turkish house prices to fall following the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Ağaoğlu said in a press conference in Istanbul “I expect house prices in Turkey to double in dollar terms in the medium term because only this year the prices of iron, the main building material, rose more than 70 percent.”

“Turkey needs 1 million new houses every year, because about 700,000 couples get married each year and one third of the current 18 million homes need to be renewed over about 20 year's time. But only about 500,000 houses are built every year.” said Ağaoğlu, who also noted that the prices would continue to rise as the supply could not meet the demand.

“Many of the new houses in Turkey are built for medium and high income groups. It's not possible to target potentially more demanding low-income groups as the land prices are very high. But house prices are still low in Turkey compared to European cities”, added Ağaoğlu.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Akbuk fish farms

The Agriculture Ministry's recent decision to relocate fish farms from the Akbük Gulf to Büyük Menderes River Basin within the borders of a national park has drawn reaction from environmentalists.

“The demand for increasing fish production capacity from 20 tons to 980 tons and for raising the numbers of fish farms from 15 to some 100 will cause a reduction in the size of the Menderes River Basin,” said Ecosystem Preservation and Nature Lovers Association (EKODOST) Chairman Bahattin Sürücü.

“Because of the strict control of fish farms in European Union countries, Greek fishermen in particular are trying to establish connections with Turk fish farm owners,” added Sürücü. “Fish farms have mostly invaded the western part of the Aegean shores except for this little part of Büyük Menderes River Basin. Our natural and cultural values are exposed to continual destruction; we should all be sensitive.”

Sürücü said that the Ministry's approval was “suspicious,” because fish farm locations in the vicinity of Taşburnu and Altınkum had been refused previously as they would likely cause pollution.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

24bn Spent on overseas property

Brits spent close to £24bn acquiring properties overseas in 2007, according to the Association of International Property Professionals' (AIPP).

The Associations annual market report reveals that there were around 242,000 completed overseas property purchases made by British buyers, up 21% on 2006.

Spain was the most popular destination; figures show that 25.4% of all Brits buying property abroad last year bought a home in Spain. France came second (17%), followed by USA (9.7%). Bulgaria was the fourth most popular overseas property destination, making it the leading emerging market last year.

"Some may be surprised to hear that Spain is still at number one as the primary destination for Britons buying property abroad as there has been some negative media coverage over the Spanish property market", Paul Owen, CEO of AIPP said. "However, our figures show it is still the favourite destination for the British buyer; even a six per cent decrease in purchases did not manage to knock it from top spot."

Displayed in chronological order, the remainder of the top 10 destinations for British buyers in 2007 was: Morocco (4.9%), Dubai (4.8%), Italy (3.7%), Portugal (3.6%), Cyprus (2.9%) and Turkey (2%).

Figures collated in this report are for completed property transactions only and not for deposits paid. Consequently, the AIPP claim that this is "the most reliable source of information in the industry", because every transaction can be verified.

Monday, March 17, 2008

about Akbuk

Akbuk has become a rising trend on Real Estate industry with its nature as well as its history. It used to be a small town where all fishermen caught delicious Aegean seabass, but now it is a rapidly growing tourism resort with its holiday complexes as well as summer houses, villas, harbour, hotels...

Akbuk became a township in 1991 and is developing quite nicely just as planned. Most of the infrastructural work has been done. Clean roads, beautiful and very calm beaches welcome you to Akbuk as it is an ideal resort for those who love quiet times alongside water sports. Many people who come here from big cities decide to stay here after their
retirement. It has been explored by tour operators in recent years but

The economy related tourism in recent years has made available the local
fishermen's boats for boat trips along the coasts of Akbuk for the
duration of the summer months. During your visit to Akbuk, the chapel
on the coast line close to the town center is very well preserved and
can be visited since it is open to the public.
There are big holiday resorts, 3 star hotels and also one 4 star hotel,
along with one resort for French tour operators rated at 5 stars; There
are also small pensions, motels available during the summer season.
Restaurants by the sea, serve delicious fish and local food that should
not be missed, which all can be had at reasonable prices . -

How to get there:
There are local transport minibusses with a sign post "Akbük Birlik" runs in every 20 minutes between Altinkum - Akbuk and in every 20 minutes between Söke - Akbük.
If you are travelling from Izmir to bodrum; second crossroad after Didim turn a nice climb before lake bafa on the right, you will see sign post indicating AKBUK also Didim.
After turning right keep driving you will aproach another crossroad the turn for Didim city center on the right. But for Akbuk, just ignore it and keep driving will take you to big hotel complexes ie. Caprice hotel, Holiday Resort. Then you will see Sapli Ada (an island) on the right. After Sapli Ada last stop will be Akbuk City center. Theres also a pass way to Iassos ancient town which most jeep safari excursions organized to, and Bodrum highway connection followed by.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Akbuk in Turkey

Akbuk is a very popular tourist destination in Turkey. It is located in the centre of Turkey’s popular coast and lies between Didim and Bodrum. A perfect holiday destination, it is set in beautiful natural settings in close proximity to the sea. Large expanse of protected forests and olive groves lends a natural green glow to this town while enjoying highest level of oxygen and lowest levels of humidity. You can also relax and rejuvenate sunning and swimming on numerous clean beaches and private bays!