A Clear Perspective to Focus on Your Priorities... 

    a Better Lifestyle is the Best Investment for 

              Health, Family, and Finances...

Welcome to Istanbul...!

Istanbul Retains it's Charm and Investment Merit...
Istanbul Retains it's Charm and Investment Merit...

June 2020 Istanbul and Turkey continue to attract foreign investors, with Citizenship Investors from Singapore to Los Angeles leading the way... as Miami cools down, Istanbul heats up.... the Climate, Food, Cultural Ambience, Vivacious Street Life, Natural Scenic Beauty... delightful...!

Don't leave home without it.... The Guide for Investing in Property in Turkey...!

For Coastal Turkish Locations click here...

Real Estate Market Outlook for Istanbul and Turkey June 13  2020
Real Estate Market Outlook for Istanbul and Turkey June 13 2020

Istanbul Property Market Outlook...

Recent Government Policy measures providing subsidised mortgage loans are stimulating the economy and the property market at the low-end in big cities... sign up to our Newsletter below to receive regular updates...

Please see our revised Investment Outlook for a Changing World... Now a new government policy provides sure stimulus to the real estate market, guaranteed to take low end prices higher...

Government banks introduce a new lending policy offering the lowest mortgage interest rates ever in Turkey, set 4% below the rate of inflation and below the average annual currency depreciation rate for the last three years. With 90% loan-to-value, requiring just 10% cash down payment equity, the banks are effectively paying buyers to purchase, and subsidising that purchase...

This policy will and is definitely taking property prices higher. at the low end of the market, the leading indicator is signalling price increases of 40% pus over the next 9-19 months.

Obtain a Turkish Passport without Travelling from Home…



No Travel ? Buy Property without Travelling to Turkey....

On-Line Payment Direct to Land Registry from Your Bank...

On-Line Transfer of Title at Land Registry into Your Name...

All Procedures for Citizenship Applications On-Line...

Find a Property and Negotiate Price with On-Line Digital Market Places...

Secure Transaction & Settlement Procedures...

All can be done from Home… No need for agents in any shape or form...

The Team at myTapu are pleased to advise, guide, assist, with all aspects of  support and assist with the selection of attorneys to represent the investor and oversee the process....

Email to info@mytapu.com with the subject ‘Investing without Travelling’ for Next Steps ….


Obtain a Turkish Passport and all rights of a Turkish Citizen...

  • No need to travel...
  • Apply in 48 hours and receive passports (head of family and all dependents under age 18) within 90 days.
  • No residency requirement...
  • No taxation on world wide income for non-residents. ..
  • Investment choice includes bank deposits, government bonds, stock exchange listed investment funds, real estate, and operational businesses.  The holding period is three years, and the asset allocation and investment selection may be switched within that time period.

Learn more about the Citizenship by Investment Programme of the Republic of Turkey.


The professional investment advisers at mytapu have been guiding foreign investors in Turkey for more than 30 years. Our expertise is second to none, covering all regulatory, banking, legal, cadastral, appraisal, insurance, and financing requirements. Having served more than 3,000 investors on transactions totaling more than $5 billion, we welcome the opportunity to serve you, too. 

Contact us today at info@mytapu.com. Include your WhatsApp number for a complimentary call back.


Comparison of Citizenship by Investment in Turkey, Eu, and Bulgaria...
Comparison of Citizenship by Investment in Turkey, Eu, and Bulgaria...

Learn more about Citizenship Investment in the EU via Bulgaria and lifestyle in Turkish speaking South West Bulgaria,  two hours drive from Istanbul  on a modern new flat motorway with no traffic, it is faster to get to Istanbul than living in satellite suburbs...

Citizenship Investment Turkey
Citizenship Investment Turkey
Property Conveyance & Completion in Istanbul Turkey
Property Conveyance & Completion
Reduce Risks and Save Thousands with Due Diligence of Property in Istanbul Turkey
Reduce Risks and Save Thousands

Residential Real Estate: Investment Strategy

Residential real estate investment strategy is best determined after careful consideration of an investor’s intended usage of the real estate. In this way, different investors’ usage plans will determine different investment strategies. Even in the worst market conditions, specific niche segments of any property market offer opportunities for investment. This is because real estate investment in the residential sector is driven by demand for occupation and usage. And a growing population, like Istanbul's, is continuously progressing through different phases of life-cycle, requiring changing the property to be occupied. For more detailed analysis, please email info@mytapu.com, with the header 'Residential Investment Strategy'.

Buy Property in Istanbul and Turkey with mytapu's Property Finder Search and Selection Service...without travelling or leaving home...
Istanbul's Prime Central Locations
Istanbul Turkey Property Finder Service
Property Finder Services
Istanbul Suburban Residential
Istanbul Prime Residential

Strategy: Rental Income Investment

Central Istanbul Rental Income Property

Rental Income Strategy is typically chosen by a real estate investor that does not have personal occupation plans to utilise the property being invested in. 

The best  strategy is the one that buys into the ‘best central locations at the lowest price bands’.  The best performance is in the central locations in the heart of Istanbul. The Team at mytapu.com continually monitor properties that become available.  In specific areas, the supply of properties to invest in is low, and for 18 months prices have not declined. 

A rewarding rental income strategy depends upon knowing targeted renter profiles, target property formats, and locations that appeal to the widest number of renter profiles.  Market wide rental income yields currently range between 3-5%, with rents declining in some areas. Investors with Investment Advisors at mytapu.com participate in better performing formats and locations, with rental yields of 5-7%, that increase with currency devaluation.

Central Istanbul rental real estate

September 2019 in Istanbul saw renewed interest and activity in exactly this investment strategy; the Transaction Managers at mytapu.com had a busy month assembling rental property portfolios for investors from Singapore to Los Angeles. Prices of 1+1 apartments in the best central locations range from $50 - 70,000.  The rental income strategy with the very highest rental income yield, is in the very best central location, in the historic heart of Istanbul. The gross yields currently range from 8-14%; recent changes to regulations, reduced the amount of property available for Air B&B rent. Smart professional investors understand that this is where the highest investment returns occur first in a cycle. 

Off-Market Investment Opportunities: Central Istanbul Bargains at Discounted Prices

'Off Market' properties are not listed with any agent, and not showing on any property portal... These are properties that are being offered discreetly by a seller, quite often to raise liquidity, and discounted prices are possible to achieve a quick sale. This means the buyer must be in position to complete the purchase within a day or two of negotiating the price.  The properties below are only available through our private client network. 


Rental Income Property: Top Tier: Taksim Beyoglu

Rental income property taksim istanbul

This neat compact penthouse property would classify as exclusive top end in every way but size. It is currently being utilised under a multi-year rental contract as a guest rental property for visiting dignitaries of a local European county consulate. The rental contract is in place. The property is a penthouse with Bosphorus views and a large terrace complete with jacuzzi. 

Luxury penthouse Cihangir Taksim

It is a PRiME PROPERTY in every respect, not least because it is in Cihangir,  the most fashionable neighborhood nearest to Taksim (5-7 minutes walk), currently the des-res location of Turkey's film sector actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc 

Istanbul property with Guaranteed rental income

Purchasing this property at a sensibly negotiated price will not only secure a AAA credit risk tennant (multi-year contract with aEuropean country Consulate/Embassy) on an above average market rental yield, it also has the greatest potential for outsized capital appreciation potential: indeed it is conceivable that the price could double in 2-3 years, based on where prices were at pre-Crisis. 

Central Istanbul luxury property

For all these reasons this property deserves serious consideration and fast action. As it is likely to be purchased for not less than USD 400-500,000. With the AAA secured rental income there is no reason NOT to use finance to fund the purchase, considering that the net rental yield achievable on the purchase price will generate a 'positive carry' for financing at obtainable at Euro rates of 3-5%. 


Rental Income Property: Lower-Middle Tier: Sisli

Rental Income Property Central Istanbul Sisli

Multi-story apartment buildings; construction completed in the last 5 years;  continuously popular with renters aged 20-35, including many professional single white collar women. The seller can rent the properties to be purchased and it is possible to make the purchase contingent on an acceptable executed rental contract terms (including rental rates). The building is popular because it is perhaps the lowest rental rate in this central area, being a 7-10 minute walk from Zincirlikuyu Metro station: central business district (Esentepe/Zinncirlikuyu/Gayrettepe/Meciidiyekoy) and the maiin Metro Bus junction stop (Asia/Europe; Besiktas & Taksim / Dort Levent & Maslak & Tarabya & Sariyer). You will know these from your map research. 

Central Istanbul Rental income property bargains

One side of the property perimeter is bordered by a green space and so no further development prospects: in other words, the location is the geographic limit of the area. The properties available are 1+1 and 2+1 and these are ideal for renting to this demographic segment. A purchase of two or more should qualify for valuations sufficient to meet the USD 250,000 threshold for Citizenship Investment, subject to effective negotiation of price, hence 'off-market'. These properties are ideally suited to a rental income portfolio in central Istanbul.

Enquire here...

Serious investors only... enquire here.

Contact the Transaction Managers by clicking the logo here...

Istanbul’s Most Desirable Suburban Destination
Istanbul’s Most Desirable Suburban Destination

Istanbul’s Most Desirable Suburban Destination 
Sea Views, Back & Front: North Facing: Black Sea, South Facing: Bosphorus
Forest Hill Crest: City Centre 20 minutes, Airport 40 minutes, Metro 10 minutes
Pool, Spa, Leisure Centre; Beaches 7 minutes
Top Quality Finishings & Black Marble Staircases
Elite Gated Community: Built by Society Family as Personal Residences
Perfect for Citizenship Investment
3 Bedrooms, Two Baths
Last Bid Price  $ 275,000
Original 2017 Listing Price $465,000 

Strategy: Life-Cycle Investment

Residential Real Estate Investment Istanbul

What type of investor profile is best suited to a Life-Cycle Investment Strategy? Typically it is an investor that has a future need to use the property for their own growing family, in 3-5 years. In this way they can make an investment in a property they can use themselves when their family grows, and in the interim, the investment has merit of growing rental income, resale liquidity, and potentially a ‘better-than-market’ capital appreciation potential. So yes, the investment merit of Life-Cycle Investment in Istanbul is attractive, but not everywhere: only in specific neighbourhood locations.

Istanbul Residential Property Life-cycle Investment

In a rapidly growing population like Istanbul, the change of usage, through a typical life-cycle, means a continuing change in the type of property needed by the typical family, as they progress through their life-cycle, from single working, to married couple, to small growing family, to larger more mature family. And so an investment strategy based on life-cycle change has merit in a large city with young and rapidly growing population, like Istanbul.  In the right selective locations, applying a Life-Cycle Investment Strategy will ensure an investor of re-sale liquidity, and perhaps rental demand, if not guaranteeing maximum capital appreciation.

And  a Life-Cycle Investment Strategy isn’t applicable only to growing families. It may be applied in other ways, also. For example, in retirement planning, for retirement income, and retirement home usage. Or for holiday home usage: it is sensible to have a holiday home on the Turkish coast, instead of spending thousands every year on summer holiday expenses.  And some of these investments are producing startling returns: gross yields of 14-18% in Euro, for self-designed luxury villas, generating short term holiday rental income.  More than 70,000 northern Europeans have bought properties in Turkey, applying this strategy, over the last 15 years. Find out more today: email to info@mytapu.com with header: 'Life-Cycle Investments'

Istanbul Life is the Choice for Turkish Citizenship Property Buyers…

Magnificent Istanbul for Property Investment

Strolling through the ‘ancient historic’ area of Sultan Ahmet is a blissful journey through time. The surrounding art and architecture portray a long and generous flourishing of Christianity and Islam. Imperial jewel of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, the pre-modern world’s largest metropolis, and hub of most coveted silk and spice routes, bridging two continents and a multitude of cultures, this magnificence is Istanbul.

History and Culture... The freedom to worship the faith of choice is a strong attraction to Istanbul’s mosques, churches, and synagogues. Property buyers today share similar interests in the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of Istanbul. The lively social interaction bubbles up from much more than merely alcohol drinking activities and venues. The pleasures extend to wonderful fresh food, and fabulous cuisine of unique variety, a cultural fusion of two thousand years journey, from China through India, Persia, Babylon and Anatolia.

Istanbul Food

Quality of Life...

Shopping attracts visitors from three thousand kilometres in every direction, buying fashion wear, gold, jewellery, lush carpets, exquisite glass and ceramics, electronics and appliances. The talented variety of artists & musicians, across multi-media channels all multi-ethnically colourful, and culturally diverse, ample with live performances, ensure the entertainment selection is abundantly plentiful.

Istanbul shopping

Safe, Secure and Profitable...

Among the many appeals are the low crime rate, safe environment, reasonable cost of living, with cozy, comfortable, and spacious modern home designs. Family values are strong and preserved. 


Reassured by the excellent medical and educational facilities, patients and 

students arrive from all over the world. 

As a centre of trade for two thousand years, vibrant as ever, yields fertile opportunities for business. 
Istanbul Investment Properties for Citizenship



Mountains, Forests and Seas....  

Also appreciated is the comfortable warm climate, and beautiful nature, surrounded by rolling hills of forests, positioned on the Bosphorus channel, between the placid Sea of Marmara, and the brooding Black Sea. A walk down the Bosphorus promenade excites the spirit and cleanses the mind, captivated by a balmy breeze, the passing ferry & fishing boats, yachts & pleasure cruisers, squawking seagulls above and swirling blue-green currents below, along the shore lined with cafes, fish tavernas, and splendid ‘yali’ mansions. 


Waterfront Yali mansions Istanbul  

Netflix tv mini series 'Rise of Empires:Ottoma tops viewer ratings in the USA and World Wide, prompting renewed interest in Turkish real estate and Citizenship by Investment
Netflix TV mini series 'Rise of Empires: Ottoman' tops viewer ratings in the USA and World Wide

التلفزيون التركي يتصدر التصنيفات في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية والعالم 


Feb 15, 2020   The perception & popularity of real estate in specific locations is always enhanced by positive media coverage. Portraying glitz and glamour is valuable promotion that real estate developers pay top dollar for: ask Donald Trump. More than one luxury villa purchase by foreign investors has been spurred on by Turkish TV series.  The Istanbul property market is on the threshold of enjoying another surge in popularity among international investors, together with Turkey’s Citizenship Investment Program,  as the success of Netflix’s Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ achieves tops viewer ratings in the USA and the World.


The production is unifying the audiences of Turkish TV to include North America, Europe, India and Asia, to the existing viewer following in the Middle East, Spain, and South America.  During the first full week of streaming, the six episode drama-documentary ranked 4th among top trending TV shows in the United States overall, briefly 2nd among Netflix shows, and 6th in binge viewing.


This is a notable ‘first’ for Istanbul productions. Previous Turkish TV series were local Istanbul productions made for the local Turkish market with foreign language sub-titles added for international distribution. This project is an international production in all respects, targeting the international market, with bi-lingual dialogue, a multi-national cast, and multi-national production collaboration: all ‘made in Istanbul.’  

If this international success can be repeated, Istanbul may be destined as a top international hub for film production, on par with Los Angeles and London.  Istanbul as a property investment location could well be on its way to assuming the status of a top global investment location, on par with the likes of Miami, London, Hong Kong, etc. 


And leading the cast are Turkey’s two shining idols, burning brightly for their growing international audiences… one look shows why … 

see more here

أصنام تركيا المشرقة تقود الطريق 
نظرة واحدة تخبرنا لماذا 

Istanbul's Prime Central Locations
Istanbul Prime Central Exclusive Residential
Istanbul Prime Central Exclusive Luxury Residential Locations
Istanbul Prime Exclusive Central Residential
Istanbul Prime Exclusive Luxury Residential
Istanbul Prime Exclusive Luxury Residential

Are Property Prices in Turkey about to Turn Upward...?

July 17, 2019    Two key events recently have provided hope for economic relief and an upward turn to property prices in Istanbul, and Turkey:

1) President Trump (US) signalled the cancellation of sanctions on Turkey;

2) President Erdogan (Turkey) dismissed the head of the Turkish Central Bank, suggesting the new head will move interest rates in Turkey lower.


Are these events sufficient to move property prices into an uptrend?

The cancellation of sanctions would be positive for the economy, but the direct impact on property prices is likely to be less direct. The unfolding sanctions story is likely to be less clear, and less significant for property prices.


 Lower interest rates would have a positive impact on property prices. With interest rates at 24%, mortgage lending has diminished, and any decline in interest rates will directly increase the amount of mortgage lending, and thus buying. As interest rates are currently at 24%, there is a long way to fall while this process unfolds, and property prices may begin to move higher in anticipation of further cuts. 


Are these two events the solutions to projecting Turkish property prices on a sustainable uptrend? Neither of these two events provide the impetus to trigger a sustainable upward trend in Turkish property prices. Instead, there are two other factors that are key to triggering the structural changes required. One of these factors is very slowly adjusting in the right direction. The other factor is already underway, with policy measures introduced earlier this year, but the market has not recognised this, and is not yet anticipating higher prices as a result.


Our internal forecast is that prices may not begin an upward move until sometime between autumn and next spring, 2020, at the earliest. Recent policy announcements call for a decline in Turkish interest rates to single figures by year end 2019. Such a rapid decline would indeed trigger greater interest among property investors in Turkey, leading to higher prices. However the underlying structural changes will continue to be essential for supporting a sustainable long-term uptrend in property prices. For more information about what these two key factors are, and tracking their changes, and the effect on Turkish property prices, please email Advice@mytapu.com .


Investors wishing to participate in the declining interest rate environment in Turkey, by the purchase of property, may also like to consider alternative investments while they are finalising their property purchase, which may take as long as 90 days. These alternative investments will increase in TL value as interest rates decline, and result in a gain in the value of capital, that is designated thereafter for investment in real estate. These alternative investments include the purchase of Turkish Government Bonds. For additional information, please email Advice@mytapu.com.


How to Buy Property Bargains in Turkey

The technique for buying a bargain priced property requires a little more perseverance, but with savings ranging from $5,00 to $50,000 who in their right mind would object? To succeed, the important point is to start right. Not by searching agent’s websites and following agents’ instructions on ‘next steps’. The correct first step is the mytapu way, a smarter, safer, and better way to buy property in Turkey. Read more here about the how to buy property in Turkey for bargain prices….


Citizenship Investment....  

Enjoying this lifestyle are increasing numbers of foreign buyers from Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf.  Investors come to buy from all over the Islamic world, and from European countries.  In October, 36 percent of total sales, just over 2,200 units, were to foreign investors; Iraqis topped the list with 1,439 units, followed by Iranians with 557, Kuwaitis with 378, Germans with 341, and Russians with 336.


New Citizenship Investment regulations have reduced the minimum property purchase required, to $250,000. Only three to six months are necessary to complete the process, obtain ID cards and Turkish passports, and then apply for EU visas. 

Investor Services:
  • Area Assessment
  • Property Search 
  • Legal &  Due Diligence
  • Valuations 
  • Finance
  • Conveyancing 
Property Citizenship Investment Istanbul

The Investor's Tool Kit for Residential Property:

A Safer, Smarter, Better Way to Buy Property  in Turkey

Istanbul Homes to Buy

Travel Advantages...

And the freedom to travel through European countries with just one visa is a great benefit. No need for separate visa applications for each country. Paying just EUR 90 for a ‘Schengen’ visa provides access to European countries besides those in the Schengen zone. Cappuccino breakfast in Rome, steak lunch at Café de Paris, and lobster dinner at the Ritz Park Lane; simply call your reservation agent….


Enjoy the wide choice of flights and frequency to everywhere from Istanbul’s new airport- the largest in the world- with very reasonable ticket prices, courtesy of Turkey’s many airlines, and connecting flights of all international airlines.  Travelling by car or bus is only two to three hours to Greece or Bulgaria. Ferry and luxury liners cruise to their Aegean and Mediterranean destinations in Greece, Israel, Egypt, Italy and beyond. 


Investment Merits...

The many benefits of life on the Bosphorus extend well beyond lifestyle considerations. Current market conditions present significant investment merit for investors buying residential property.  Constant demand for rental homes ensures that money invested in real estate earns attractive rental returns. The rapid population growth rate guarantees future increases in prime property values. The property selections are wide and open, including off-plan investment, newly-built, re-sales, refurbishment projects, and repossessions. With well-developed financial markets, and expert professional investment services, Istanbul investor’s are blessed with the most comfortable, natural and rewarding of choices.


Life’s journey in Istanbul: a wise and appealing choice for family, health and happiness.

Citizenship Investment Property requirement reduced from $1,000,000 to just $250,000 Read more here...

جدید! تابعیت ترکیه گذرنامه در حال حاضر فقط با تومان 250,000 املاک و مستغلات سرمایه گذاری....

جديد! المواطنة تركيا جواز سفر الآن مع فقط 250,000 دولار أمريكي للاستثمار العقاري....

Istanbul Welcomes the Buyers…

Reversal of the downward trend in the Lira seems to have prompted potential buyers that were watching and waiting, to finally take action. This pent-up demand is resulting in purchases in Istanbul and coastal regions.

Istanbul’s foreign buyers may also be influenced by the better travel location. The opening of Istanbul’s new airport, the world’s largest by capacity area, offers a convenient logistical solution for business travellers. Rather than merely a stop-over hub, Istanbul potentially may become preferred living base station for those with business interests in South East Asia, the Gulf, North Africa, Northern Europe, and North America. Singapore is 18 hours flight time from New York- Istanbul is only 10 - a significant difference, particularly in jet-lag recovery time. European destinations and Moscow, are all within 2-3 hours flight, half the time of a journey from Dubai and the Gulf. North Africa, and the Gulf, are 3-4 hours from Istanbul, half the time of a flight from London. Considered from this perspective, Istanbul is better placed as an international business hub, than Dubai, Geneva, Frankfurt, or London.


And now the Citizenship by Investment threshold for property has been reduced to $ 250,000, making it clearly competitive with other nearby locations, the underlying demand is emerging. Extended families of consecutive generations, seeking the purchase of two and three properties, and re-location services, for schooling, business start-up, and medical facilities, have an ample selection of high quality services to choose from. Property finding services provided the best way...


In recent years Istanbul has become known widely for its remarkable local culture in many exotic dimensions, and that reputation will continue to attract interest as a place many aspire to live in, for many years to come. A new Turkish passport, and plentiful nearby flight destinations, are an alluring combination, for investors from many regions of the world.



Citizenship Investor Services Real Estate Turkey
BUY Property istanbul



Persians Love Istanbul...  

Iranians Buy Istanbul Property

Iranians Buy Istanbul...

and this is just the beginning with the Citizenship Investment requirement reduced from $1,000,000 to just $250,000 ...!!!

A new extensive report in Middle East Eye charts the unsurprising trend of Iranians of means pulling money out of Iran to invest and lay down roots abroad. The only surprise, however, is that they appear to be fleeing one smashed economy for another troubled one in the region: Turkey has experienced a surge in recent Iranian real estate purchases in the country, according to the report

One Iranian economic migrant interviewed by Middle East Eye summarizes the trend: “To survive and to have a better life, we chose to migrate to Turkey,” said Ali, an Iranian living in Ankara. “Iranian currency has lost its value, even against Turkey’s," he said, but the Turkish lira still remains more affordable for Iranians than the euro or the dollar.


That’s why Iranian’s first step would always be Turkey, even when they actually want to migrate to Europe or America,” Ali said. For other Iranians who had ever had an inkling of relocating abroad, those plans have now been dramatically hastened, as people's entire savings have turned to nothing seemingly overnight. 

“Over one night, I lost half of it after the US president issued an ultimatum and then killed the nuclear deal,” another Iranian told Middle East Eye while filing immigration paperwork at an Istanbul office. 

Last week the rial for the first time since President Trump pulled the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal began trading at over 150,000 rials to $1USD in the currency exchange shops of Tehran, which marks a dramatic plummet of 140 percent since the since the May White House decision to end its terms of the JCPOA agreement and reimpose new rounds of crippling sanctions. 

And in the past weeks international journalists have witnessed residents in Tehran and other cities frantically lining up outside money changing offices attempting to get dollars, which the shops are only allowed to issue if citizens can present an airline ticket for travel abroad. Things like diapers and many basic staples which rely on imported raw material to make have largely disappeared from store shelves.

Since last week money-change offices in the country began shuttering their shops once the rial began hitting upward of 150,000 rials to the dollar. 

Tehran has been loathe to say it publicly, but some immigration officials in the country have acknowledged Iranians of any available means are exiting the country in droves, though official statistics have yet to be released, according to Middle East Eye

And many are headed to Turkey, as a bump in Turkish real estate seems to indicate. 

 The Middle East Eye report begins by explaining Turkey's own economic woes in its deepening spat with Washington which began in earnest over the summer:

The value of the Turkish lira has plummeted by more than 40 percent since the start of the year amid concern over the country’s monetary policy and as a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington has intensified.

But this hasn’t put off Iranians. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, TUIK, the number of properties bought by Iranians in Turkey jumped in the first six months of the year to 944 compared to 792 in all of 2017.

Turkey has remained open to trade with Iran and has continued to purchase Iranian oil in defiance of Washington demands. Simultaneously amidst increasingly closer ties in the face of a common enemy other Turkish institutions have remained open to Iranians, including readily available loans from Turkish banks and a place to store their assets while Iran attempts to weather the storm. 

Since the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, Iranians "have purchased around 1,000 homes and apartments in Turkey" according to Reza Kami, chairman of the Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce.

He explained of the surge, "Besides easy regulations and no need to get visas, people's predictions about their assets losing their value have played a key role in their decisions.” Likely, this is only the beginning of a trend which is sure to add to the crush of Iran's economic collapse. 

How Turkey's Lira Crisis Was Written Across Istanbul's Skyline 


Those observing Istanbul’s construction boom will not have been surprised by last week’s currency collapse – it’s all based on debt..


From a distance, Esenyurt, a newly built up neighbourhood on the edges of Istanbul, looks a bit like Hong Kong or Dubai, with a bustling downtown of shiny skyscrapers. Upon closer examination, however, you notice that tower after tower stands incomplete, lacking windows or furnishings; others are only half-occupied, their windows dark after nightfall.

“In the residential areas, 100% of the construction has stopped,” says Mohamed Karman, a local estate agent, from his small office in the central square of Esenyurt. “Do you know why? The materials. Everything is in dollars, you pay in dollars.”


The crash of the Turkish lira last week after two years of steady decline spooked global markets – but anyone looking at Istanbul’s skyline would have been far from surprised. Everywhere you look in the city, evidence of a debt-fuelled construction boom abounds: new skyscrapers frame the horizon, huge shopping malls dot the streets and among several megaprojects is a new airport, set to be the world’s largest.


Funding for this construction frenzy has been at the heart of Turkey’s economy, accounting for up to 20% of the country’s GDP growth in recent years, and employing around two million people. In a parallel to the 2008 financial crash, the boom was funded by low-interest loans and ballooning debt. Property developers funded their buildings with cheap loans in foreign currencies – and will be struck particularly hard by the lira’s collapse, as those loans grow harder to repay every day. According to government statistics, at the end of 2016 nearly 90% of the credit in Turkish real estate companies came from loans in foreign currencies.

The currency crash was triggered by a spat with the US government over Turkey’s ongoing imprisonment of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is accused of involvement with a 2016 coup attempt. But the Turkish economy has been in slow-motion decline for a while, with the lira sliding steadily downhill since 2016.


“Turkey is a country trying to reach a high growth rate but not having enough foreign capital to reach that,” says Nihat Bulent Gultekin, former governor of Turkey’s Central Bank and a finance professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Unless they export from time to time, they run into a crisis. It happens every 10 years.”


The construction industry is a prime example of that dependence. Much of its capital comes from loans denominated in foreign currency. The Istanbul Sapphire – one of the tallest buildings in Europe when completed in 2011 – was financed through loans worth 164m lira in 2013, 154m of which was in US dollars. That loan would now cost around 539m lira.


Turkey is also heavily reliant on imports for construction materials: it is the world’s ninth largest importer of steel, paying $8bn in 2016, a figure that rose to $9bn in 2017 as the lira began to fall.


That makes the Turkish economy’s dependence on the construction sector for growth particularly dangerous. In the third quarter of 2017, construction made up 18.7% of the economy. This over-reliance on an industry that is so sensitive to global downturns has long been criticised by Turkish economists.


“A country is not really any different from personal finance,” Gultekin says. “If you borrow money to splurge, there comes a point when the creditors will come after you. When it’s all done with foreign capital, someone has to pay eventually.”


The construction boom reached its height in 2013 and 2014, as Turkish banks issued low-interest loans, malls blossomed and new buildings clustered: 69 skyscrapers taller than 100 meters have been built in Istanbul alone since 2008. On top of that are the megaprojects: suspension bridges, a subway beneath the Bosphorus and the new airport, expected to cost over €10bn. A €5.7bn loan for the airport taken out in 2015 was worth 18bn lira then, and 40bn lira now.


Much of that borrowing was done on the basis of profit margins that never materialised. 


“We don’t act on a long-term basis,” said Kajin Bulut, who has worked in senior positions in forecasting and sales for a number of Turkish construction firms. “The longest plan I saw in a Turkish company was two months … That was the main problem.”


Up to half the buyers of luxury properties built by companies such as Kiler Holding were expected to be wealthy investors from Gulf countries, Bulut said, especially after 2012 when legal barriers to foreign ownership were lifted. But the demand from the Gulf failed to rise to the level hoped for by Turkish real estate developers. Now the lack of demand, alongside rising costs for iron and steel, has caused many projects to stall.

The problem also affects many ordinary Turks who paid for new apartments upfront – apartments that are now on permanent hold because the companies say they can’t afford to build them.

“We’ve seen this problem for many years now that, people sell apartments to customers and they never end up being able to build those things,” said Orhan Boran, a lawyer in Istanbul representing hundreds of clients who claim to have been swindled by construction firms. Social media is littered with what Boran calls “construction victims” groups: middle-class homebuyers who organise online and hold protests across the country to bring attention to their plight.

The chain of parties involved in the construction sector is long, from construction firms to housebuilders to homebuyers – with everyone paid in lira.

“The construction sector is like the head of a train,” said Bulut. “If it goes, the whole country goes.”

Republished courtesy of The Guardian.

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