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Istanbul’s new cruise port to be an ‘exemplary project’

The controversial planned Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area project, commonly known as Galataport, will be an “exemplary project” without multi-story eyesores, according to project partner Serdar Bilgili. 

 

“The Galataport area is of crucial importance for cruise tourism in Istanbul, being the sole entrance for cruise ships in the city … As all partners of the project, we have prepared a green project in which there is no room for huge building stacks. The area will be open to the public and families will enjoy the beauty of this great area in the heart of Istanbul,” Bilgili said.

 

Construction of the Galataport project is slated to start in 2015.

 

Doğuş Holding and its partner Bilgili Holding placed the highest offer for the privatization of the Galataport with a $702 million bid in May 2013, winning the rights to operate the port area in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood for 30 years.

 

The Istanbul Salıpazarı Port Area has up to 1,200 meters of coastline and covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters. 

 

“We will start to work in the site by the beginning of 2015 and to complete the project within two-and-a-half years. We will restore many old buildings and sites in the area. There will be restaurants, hotels, an urban park and other green areas in the Galataport area to make it a central attraction again,” Bilgili said. 

 

He also claimed that the number of cruise tourists could increase to 2 million per year, from the current level of around 650,000, after the project is completed.

November/06/2014

 

Turkey tourism income increases 11 pct to $12.9 bln in third quarter

Turkey’s tourism income jumped by 11 percent to $12.9 billion in the third quarter of 2014 from the same period of last year, the Turkish Statistics Agency (TÜİK) revealed on Oct. 30.

“Tourism continues to break records in Turkey despite the instability surrounding the country,” Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said in a written statement. 

Income from foreign visitors accounted for 81.8 percent of the total revenue, with the remaining 18.2 percent coming from Turkish citizens living abroad, according to TÜİK data. 

The average spending was $712 per foreign visitor and $963 per Turkish citizens living abroad. 

Turkey’s total tourism income was $32 billion in 2013, and the country was the world’s sixth top destination in terms of tourist numbers last year, according to the World Tourism Organization.

Over 30 million tourists visited Turkey between January and September 2014, compared to the 28.3 million over the same period last year, according to Tourism Ministry data. 

Sector representatives expect around 42 million tourists to come to Turkey by the end of the year and for tourism revenues to reach $35 billion, which would mark a 6 percent boost in the number of tourists compared to last year.

October/30/2014

Istanbul has certainly been a winner for us this year

“We expect investors in the Gulf markets to comprise a sizeable segment of apartment owners at Tri G,” said Münir Özkök, the chairman of Mar Yapi. The news comes amid increasing Middle East investment in the Turkish property market since the passing of a new law in 2012 which made it easier for foreigners to acquire real estate in the country. Turkish real estate projects were some of the main overseas exhibitors at last week’s Cityscape exhibition in Dubai. Besides increasing the maximum size of real estate a foreigner may buy from 2.5 hectares to 60 hectares, the law also abolished the so-called rule of reciprocity under which only citizens of countries allowing Turks to own property could buy real estate in Turkey. The rule’s removal opened the door to many Arab investors. According to figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute, sales to foreigners in Turkey rose 60 per cent year-on-year during the first six months of 2014, totalling 8,507 property purchases. “Istanbul has certainly been a winner for us this year,” said Julian Walker, the director at Spot Blue International Property. “Interest has been strong from Middle Eastern buyers in particular, with most buying one or more buy-to-lets in the mushrooming suburbs of the city, such as Beylikduzu and Bahcesehir.” The news comes just 18 months after Rotana announced its first foray into the Istanbul market, when it signed a deal with the Turkish developer Dap Yapi to manage twin hotels the Tango Arjaan by Rotana and Burgu Arjaan by Rotana in the Maltepe area of Istanbul, which together will comprise a total of 410 rooms. Rotana manages more than 100 properties in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and eastern Europe.

Property and rental rises

Property prices throughout the country increased by 1.41% in July 2014, with rents rising 1.17% during the same month. Despite weakened demand, the appetite for investment has improved markedly, with interest in resort-area apartments growing significantly. Always a favourite with foreign investors as well as tourists, the southern Mediterranean city of Antalya experienced a boost this year. Turkey’s most rapidly-growing city saw the biggest rises in residential rental values. Property prices in Antalya rose by 0.5% in July while rentals grew by 1.69%, indicating a growing buy to let opportunity.

 Istanbul achieved the highest property price increases with a 1.80% leap in July.

Sustainable growth

The property market has slowed down from its rapid trajectory of the last decade to settle into more sustainable growth. An Ernst & Young statement remarked that while growth has slowed down, the construction industry continued to expand, indicating a stable economy that has moved away from the threat of a property bubble formation.

Investor interest remains high, and the audit firm believes that foreign investors will bolster the domestic property market.

A report by property researchers Cushman & Wakefield claims that: “Domestic demand is likely to fade into the background this year due to tight credit and high inflation. However, conditions for consumer spending and investment are expected to improve in late 2014 and these two elements of the economy are expected to return to health in 2014.”

Economic confidence

The Turkish Statistical Institute has confirmed that Turkey’s economy grew by 3.3% in the first half of 2014, with GDP rises of 4.7% and 2.1% in the first and second quarters. Turkey’s Central Bank attracted $6.8 billion of foreign investment in the same period, a 28% improvement over the same period the previous year. Of this figure, foreign real estate purchases equalled $2 billion.

 

30/09/2014By Cameron Deggin