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Exclusive White House Property Turkey

Contemporary design meets classic flair in this amazing White House design by Place Overseas, take a look at the stunning video on property Turkey for sale.

How to get a Turkish Residence Permit

Every year, thousands of people apply for Turkey Residence Permits, Here explains exactly a step by step guide to getting a Turkish Residence Permit.

How to set up a business in Turkey

A guide to setting up a business in Turkey, all you need to know about business in Turkey.

A complete guide to buying property in Turkey

A guide for buyers in purchasing property in Turkey. How to purchase property and the laws and requirements surrounding real estate in Turkey.

A guide to living in Istanbul

All you need to know about life in Istanbul for expats and those living in Turkey. Check out our complete guide to Istanbul.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Donkeys say 'I do'

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In the latest ‘how bizarre’ story out of Turkey: two donkeys got married in Fethiye earlier this month. Nomad Museum owner and donkey matchmaker Enver Yalcin said organising the event was as time consuming as planning a real wedding. A few hundred guests turned up to watch the nuptials.

While Yalcin claims the wedding was the first ever between two beasts of burden, a quick Google reveals that two donkeys in Bangalore were married in 2003 in a bid to bring about rain for the parched region.

Whether Turkey's donkeys are the first or the last, we at Property Turkey for Sale wish Linda and Duman all the happiness in the world.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Turkey's coastal hotels

The Independent has compiled a list of the big six coastal hotels in Turkey. They've covered Fethiye, Marmaris, Bodrum, Antalya, Kalkan and Belek. They all sound amazing - but a little pricey to me! Anyone have any little-known coastal hotel gems they'd like to share? Or would you rather keep them to yourself?!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Raise your glass to Turkish wines

Haven’t heard of Okuzgozu or Gogazkere? Prepare to be enlightened - Turkey’s wines are slowly gaining international recognition. Top wines aren’t usually something you’d associate with Turkey, but the Turks have been cultivating wine grapes in the Marmara, Aegean, Eastern and Southeastern areas for millennia. Now, a number of wine experts have their eye on Turkey’s wine-growing regions as they anticipate the eastern country becoming the Next Big Thing in wine production.

One winemaker even considers Turkey the birthplace of wine. Californian Daniel O’Donnell travelled to the Anatolia region to discover what he could about the area’s wines. He found endless possibilities.

"Turkey is either the newest Old World wine or the oldest New World wine," he told Reuters. "They've been making wine for 5000 years."

Wait - 5000 years?  A little digging yielded the startling discovery that biblical accounts of Noah after the flood have him planting a vineyard near the area where the ark landed. That's supposed to be Mt Ararat, where Buzbag is still made today - presumably with the same grapes Noah used.




O’Donnell was amazed at the winemaking techniques – unchanged for hundreds of years but for the last decade, when Turkey finally woke up to its potential. In the 1990s, the law governing alcoholic beverages relaxed, and small vintners began to make quality wines, using Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Carignan and Alicante grapes as well as local varieties.

Now, Turkey's wines are almost unrecognisable from those undrinkable wines of a decade ago.

"Wine production in Turkey has seen phenomenal development over the last 10 years with major improvements in winemaking techniques and subsequently quality," O’Donnell said. "They're making very balanced wines and some of these will stand up to anything.”

Of course, not every bottle you buy in Turkey is going to be an award-winner. But here are a few tips of what wine producers to keep an eye out for when in Turkey - or maybe at your local supermarket in the not-too-distant future: Buyulubag Vineyards, Doluca Winery, Idol, Kavaklidere, Kocabag, Pamukkale and Vinkara

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Da Vinci's bridge to come to life in Istanbul


Five hundred years ago artist Leonardo Da Vinci imagined a bridge over Istanbul's Golden Horn. He wrote a letter to the Sultan, begging for a chance to design such a structure. The letter went unanswered. Sixty years ago, it was found in archives at Topaki Palace. Now, Da Vinci's bridge is to become a reality.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Talk about property tax in Turkey

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Property taxes in Turkey. Yes, it’s another ‘boring-but-vital’ post (see also our guide to visas in Turkey).
We received an email from Charlotte asking the following taxing question:
I’m thinking about buying a property in Kalkan and I’m hoping you can answer a couple of questions:
What property taxes are foreigners buying property in Turkey required to pay? Are these taxes collected by local councils or the Turkish government? Do foreigners and Turkish citizens pay different tax rates or payments? If I eventually want to sell my Kalkan property in the future, will I be taxed?
They’re good questions, and we’ll answer as best we can.


What property taxes are foreigners buying property in Turkey required to pay?
Both the buyer and the seller must pay a levy of 1.5 per cent based on the declared value of the asset, which cannot be less than the threshold determined by authorities. It must be paid before the transfer of property ownership. If you rent out your property you will pay an income tax on your rental income.
The other tax you’ll need to know about is the annual real estate tax for homeowners. The rates for cultivated land, non-residence buildings and residential buildings are 0.1, 0.3, 0.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively. Tax is calculated on the asset’s declared value, and once again, cannot be less than the threshold determined by authorities.
You pay tax in two instalments each year. The new property owner must declare the price paid to the seller to the local authorities by the end of the December in the year they buy the property.

Are these taxes collected by local councils or the Turkish government?
It depends on the type of tax. The sale/purchase tax is paid to the tax office. However, local authorities collect the annual real estate tax.
Do foreigners and Turkish citizens pay different tax rates or payments?
There is absolutely no difference here. Turkish citizens and foreign nationals pay the same rates and taxes.
If I eventually want to sell my Kalkan property in the future, will I be taxed?
If you sell your Kalkan property within five years of purchase, you will have to pay the capital gains tax, which ranges from 15 to 35 per cent of the real value of the house. You will need to declare the value of the property to the title deed office during the property transfer.
If you have any further questions about tax or property in Turkey, please get in touch with one of our team.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Talk about intermarriage in Turkey


Guys – this one’s for you. Going down on bended knee to someone from another culture can be fraught with difficulties. There are communication issues, familial friction, geographical problems ... it really is a minefield and it doesn't matter if you live in Bodrum or Bahrain. Fortunately for you, we’ve made the mistakes – so you don’t have to! Here are a few things you should know before you marry a Turkish woman. 


Shoes off inside
Many of us from Western countries are guilty of this. You wear your shoes all day long, possibly taking them off only when you don your pyjamas. In Turkey, your wife won’t look kindly on you trekking your shoes through the house.
Our correspondent in Antalya, Steve, has been married for two years and found out very quickly about the no-shoes rule. “We hadn’t been married a long time when I unthinkingly walked in wearing my shoes one day. Ayse went mad – she got the hoover out and started cleaning around me like mad, shouting about all the horrible things on the bottom of my shoes. I never did it again.”


It’s absolutely true!
Every culture has its quirky little beliefs. In Korea some people believe that sleeping with a fan in your room can cause death. In Italy, it’s common knowledge that drinking a very cold drink after a very hot one can cause a stroke. Western culture dictates that if we swim after a meal, we’ll drown, and if we get wet, we’ll catch a cold. In Turkey your new wife may regale you with facts like tomatoes will improve your blood, or that dairy is not to go near fish. While they sound crazy, it’s just a cultural difference so you may have to make a compromise. You can go without yogurt on your fish stew, and your lady can wait an hour before taking a postprandial dip.


The green-eyed monster
Many Turkish women are fiercely protective of their men. Don’t even give another lady a sideways glance. And if your lady asks you what you think of another woman’s figure, hair, eyes or general demeanour: lie, lie, lie. “I hadn’t noticed”, “I was too busy looking at you.” Come to think of it, you should do this in any cuture! As for buying flowers, stick to her birthday, Valentine’s day or obvious special occasions. Otherwise, it’s an admission of guilt, plain and simple. 



Pick up that hammer
Ever heard the expression ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today?’ That will serve you well with your Turkish lady. If she suggests you do some household chore, step to it. Of course, this applies to women everywhere. But your Turkish lass will be determined – if you won’t do it, she will. Steve remembers the day Ayse decided to put up some shelves.
“She’d asked me to do it twice, and I’d said I’d do it ‘tomorrow’ or ‘next week’. One Saturday afternoon I walked in to find she’d put up a shelf, put some things on it and the whole thing had collapsed, there was glass and bits of vase everywhere and she was angry.” Make life easier on yourself and pick up the tools yourself. If you’re not the handyman type, find someone who is.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The joy of Turkish food

A new book revels in the exotic flavours of Turkish cooking. It's author, Silvena Rowe, was brought up in Bulgaria, a country with a rich Turkish heritage.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Police rounding up English speakers

English speakers wanted – dead or alive. Well, alive would be preferable, really. Volunteers from Didim’s expat community are being hunted down by Police – to help police officers improve their English.

The British Consul has been helping a number of Didim’s police officers out with English lessons to allow them to better communicate with the English-speaking community.

English language teacher Kevin Craven has been coaching police officers in the lingo and is now appealing for help from the locals. The rise in English-speaking expats in Didim means that it’s now imperative for police officers to have a degree of English proficiency.

Volunteers would be expected to teach for a couple of hours each week, he said. “This would be a two-way street for officers to improve their conversational English and for expat residents to improve their Turkish."

'Allo allo allo, what have we here?

Kevin said the ultimate aim is for officers to be able to converse with confidence with people with property in Didim and tourists in case they need to file a complaint or report a crime.

“It has been going very well but the officers are keen to take their language skills out of the classroom setting and learn them in real time with British residents in the resort.”

If you live in Didim and would like to help out, contact Kevin on 0538 578 5383 or email him at kevin.crane@gmail.com

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Talk about holiday homes in Turkey

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A holiday home in Turkey can be a great investment – and I don’t just mean in terms of money; a holiday home means more time to spend with your family. It also represents an escape from the work, obligations and stresses of everyday life. 


While Turkey is a beautiful country with many interesting places, not everywhere is suitable for a holiday home. For example – what about beaches? How far away is the area from the airport? What about rental potential when you’re not there?



If you’re considering buying a holiday home in Turkey but don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best places to buy a holiday home in Turkey.

Uzumlu
Uzumlu is just 15 minutes from Fethiye Town, but it’s like stepping back in time. The town offers peaceful surroundings, stunning views and a quiet lifestyle  -  a world away from nearby Oludeniz or Bodrum. Bear in mind it is about 15 kilometres from the sea, so may not be suitable for those who love their beachside holidays. Owning property in Uzumlu gives you the perfect holiday getaway. Uzumlu is around 40 kilometres from Dalaman Airport.

Side
While it’s a good 70 kilometres from Antalya Airport, Side is a fantastic spot for a holiday home. Side really comes alive in the summer, but it’s a feel-good bustle rather than a tourist-trap hustle. The Antalya region’s growing reputation as a year-round tourist destination means consistent rental potential is high.

Bodrum Town
Bodrum’s main centre is chock-full of cultural activities, close to beaches and just 30 kilometres from Bodrum-Milas Airport. Those with holiday property in Bodrum will find plenty to do around here, whether you’re a toddler happy to splash around in the warm shallows; a bar-hopper hoping for some decent nightlife or an older couple wanting to explore the area’s top restaurants.

Gumbet
If you’re a party animal, Gumbet is your perfect holiday spot. A holiday home in Gumbet will allow you the best access to nightlife on the Bodrum peninsula, and, like Bodrum Town, is also handy to the airport. If you’re up for a quiet summer home though, you may want to steer clear of Gumbet. It can get noisy and very busy over the summer months. Aside from good nightlife, you’re also close to Bodrum’s many cultural activities and Gumbet Beach is an excellent spot for sunbathing and watersports.

Ortakent
Slap bang in the middle of the Bodrum Peninsula, Ortakent is well placed to allow holidaymakers to explore the area. Beaches, ruins, sporting activities – all are within your grasp. Ortakent is a charming village and a great spot for family holidays. Like the rest of the Bodrum Peninsula, Ortakent is well positioned in terms of getting to the airport and there are good transport links, too.

Turgutreis
Turgutreis’ volcanic landscape makes for a dramatic backdrop for a family holiday home. Here, you’ll find beautiful beaches, a compact town centre, markets and a marina. It’s perfect for all the family. Once again, it’s close to the airport and to Bodrum Town’s facilities. Transport links are good and it’s easy to see the peninsula in just one day’s dolmus-hopping.


Fethiye Town
The former fishing town of Fethiye is perfect for anyone who wants beaches and authenticity but is reluctant to battle hordes of tourists. There are lots of cultural, historical and natural attractions in the area and Fethiye is just 30 kilometres from Dalaman Airport. It’s also close to the famous Oludeniz Beach. The rising popularity of Fethiye means the rental potential for Fethiye property is also very high.

Gocek
Thanks to its four marinas, upmarket Gocek has become a haven for yachties. It’s definitely suited to the higher-end buyer, as you’ll find prices are a little higher here. But if you want to spend the money on a Gocek holiday home, you’ll be rewarded. Gocek is a beautiful town close to the airport, with great facilities and an abundance of natural wonders. There are building restrictions forbidding multi-storey developments, so not only will the town maintain its character, property will rise in value as it becomes more difficult to buy. Rental potential here is also good, thanks to the aforementioned yachties.

Sovalye Island
We’ve saved the very best for last. Sovalye Island is just off the coast of Fethiye, and accessible by a short water taxi ride. However, it may as well be another world – there are no roads here, just one hotel and only a handful of houses. Peace reigns supreme. You can explore the island’s sunken ruins, forested paths and revel in its tranquillity. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Fethiye’s facilities, and in turn, Dalaman Airport. It may be a little quiet for young families, but if you’d like a beachfront property in Turkey in a superb location, Sovalye Island may be for you.
If you’d like any information on any of these areas, please contact us.

Singing lessons for Istanbul's tuneless muezzins

      "Hey you up there - keep it down!"

They're a symbol of Istanbul's Islamic culture - but locals have become fed up with the tunelessness of the the city's muezzins. The solution? Classes have been set up to teach the worst of the muezzins a thing or two about singing.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Gladiators prepare for battle

Gladiators, are you ready? To go to school, that is.
I’m not sure how it was done in Ancient Rome, but in Turkey, gladiators go to school to learn vital gladiatorial skills such as fighting and chariot racing.
The Aspendos Gladiator School in Serik, Antalya the home of Aspendos, is training up Turkish oil wrestlers to re-enact the rough and ready gladiator fights of Ancient Rome. 

This is not your everyday school. Instead of the usual core subjects the rest of us suffered, would-be gladiators are trained in the art of hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. The school has 16 horses that gladiators are expected to race in dangerous chariot races. Handmade costumes and weapons will be employed to give a realistic feel to the gladiator shows, which aim to provide an insight into the real combative shows of ancient Rome. An 800-spectator capacity hall will be built to match the ancient Roman equivalent.
The school is set to open by the end of the month and is presently auditioning a number of Turkish oil wrestlers who will be potential students.
“[Gladiators] are supposed to be well built, and therefore we believe the best candidates will be Turkish oil wrestlers,” said the school’s administrator. “We have already offered the roles to our local wrestlers, and we are waiting for the results.”
Up to 40 gladiators will take part in the eventual shows, which will comprise of a number of Roman games.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Turkey's first nudist hotel hits a snag

Turkey’s first nudist hotel has hit a bump in the road.
Just six days after it opened, the country’s first naturist resort, near Fethiye, has been forced to close, after an inspection found one of the building’s balconies did not match the architect’s drawings.
The 12 naked hotel guests were forced to put their clothes on and ship out from the Datca hotel. Presumably their all-over tans will suffer greatly from the ordeal.




The resort is located in a quiet location, and naked guests can roam the grounds freely or take a shuttle to a private nudist beach.
Hotel owner Ahmed Kosar smells a rat. Many other local hotels in the area have been allowed to operate – despite not having the correct licences, he said. He has refused to speculate whether the governing AK Party are behind the closure. The party are often accused of quietly upholding a conservative agenda in some parts of the country.
The resort took two years to build, and he had not had objections from the locals.
However, Kosar hopes to move things along quickly, and was optimistic the hotel would open on Wednesday. But if the venture continued to run up against obstacles he said he would consider moving the venture to another country, perhaps Cyprus or Croatia.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Talk about living costs in Turkey

Thanks to its low living costs, expats are increasingly heading to Turkey to make a new life. But just how low are these living costs?

We’ve listed a number of common items and services that you’ll need when you move to Turkey. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Note: As of today, 1 lira = £.43, .51 euros or USD$.65

Food and drink

Booze

Bottle of local wine                  11 lira
Bottle of imported wine               35 lira
Local bottle of wine in a bar         35 lira
Small glass of beer in a bar          3 to 4 lira

Fruit and vegetables (lira per kilogram)

Tomatoes                              1
Lettuce (large)                       1
Cucumbers                             1.50
Strawberries                          2
Onions                                2.50
New potatoes                          2
Mushrooms                             4
Apples                                2
Oranges and grapefruit                1

Groceries (lira)

Loaf of bread                          .5
Six eggs                              1.39
Litre of milk                         1.69
Box of 80 teabags                     4.79

Utilities 

(Monthly costs for a two-bedroom duplex)

Council tax                           10
Gas                                   15
Electricty                             5
Water                                 20
Mobile phone                          80
Internet                              27
Home insurance                        37

Out and about

Local bus fare                         2
Two-course meal for two with wine     70
Cinema ticket                          6
Taxi (25km approx)                    75

Running a car

Road tax: Depending on the age of the car and the engine, you’ll pay anything from 800 – 4000 lira/year in road tax. Check here under "Sayili tarife" for more information.

Traffic insurance: This varies wildly depending on the age and make of the car.
Petrol
95 Octane 3.75 lira/litre
95 Octane Ultimate 3.82 lira/litre
Prices may vary depending on where you are.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Istanbul's best nargile bars


The heady smell of the nargile assaults the senses and soothes the mind. Although the Turkish water pipe (known outside Turkey by the Arabic word 'shisha') has been a symbol of the Ottoman Empire since the 17th century, the nargile originates from India. It was first made by simply emptying a coconut and using a straw to inhale the aromatic smoke.
Today, nargiles can be as complex or as simple as you like. Consisting of a cooling basin of water attached to a pipe, flavoured tobacco is heated by hot coals from above and then inhaled through the pipe. The tobacco used was once just plain old tobacco. Now, flavours range from the ever-popular apple to coffee, mint, chocolate and more. The exception to this is Izmir, where traditions have held strong and nargile is smoked using plain tobacco only.
In Turkey’s smaller centres it’s usually the men you’ll see smoking the nargile. But in Istanbul, everyone gets involved. Expect to pay around 7 to 15 lira for an Istanbul pipe. Nargile cafes abound in Istanbul, especially around the Tophane and Taskim areas. Here’s our pick of the best nargile cafes in Istanbul in which to enjoy this relaxing and social treat.

Nargilem Kafe
Head towards Tophane’s Nusretiye Mosque to find this tree-shaded cafe. Inside, the decorations are ornate – check out the engraved ceilings. You can smoke both plain and aromatic nargiles. There are also a number of teas to try, as well as strong Turkish coffee.
Erenler Nargile
This nargile cafe is located in Cemberlitas, at the Corlulu Alipasa Medresesi. It's probably Istanbul's most famous nargile cafe. As well as serving up plain and aromatic nargile, there’s also an array of teas. It’s open until 2am – and it can get busy here; the cafe can hold up to 200 people.
Erzurum Nargile
This is one of Istanbul’s oldest nargile cafes, and was once found under the old Galata Bridge. When the bridge was renovated, Erzurum Nargile moved to Tophane, where it’s been for 15 years. It’s open 24 hours a day.
Can Nargile
This Tophane cafe is a relatively new addition to Istanbul’s nargile cafe collection. Aromatic tobaccos and strong coffee are served, along with Turkish snacks. The cafe is open 24 hours a day.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Talk about lesbians in Turkey

Contrary to what many people believe, it’s actually more acceptable to be lesbian in Turkey than it is to be a gay man. In Turkey’s macho culture, saying a girl is like a boy is praiseworthy, whereas saying a boy is like a girl is an insult.

Once upon a time, lesbians were a minority on the Turkish gay scene. Anyone wanting to hit the town was forced to head to Istanbul’s gay bars. Now, society is changing. Lesbians – and women in general – have more freedom to do as they please. Thanks to the internet, where forums, dating sites and message boards have helped form strong lesbian communities, lesbians are becoming more visible. However, it’s still a little difficult to find lesbians in Istanbul – not to mention lesbian hangouts. It’s easier to find goth hangouts, or even gay bear gatherings. This is partly due to the fact that most single Turkish women live with their parents – and staying out past the witching hour is a big no-no. Most women you’ll see in Istanbul’s lesbian hangouts are foreigners. Chances are, the Turkish lesbians you will see won’t be out to their families and the very act of hitting Istanbul’s lesbian hangouts is an act of secrecy.




If you’d like to meet English-speaking Turkish lesbians, you can try joining an online community. This Yahoo group is the biggest English-speaking community.

Like any underground or minority scene, you just have to know where to go. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best places to go if you’re a lesbian in Istanbul (if you're a gay guy hoping for similar info, check here):


Bigudi

Open: Friday and Saturday, 10pm to 4am.


Address: 3 Floor, 20 Imam Adnan Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu


Bigudi is currently Turkey’s only exclusively lesbian club. All of the staff – down to the security guards and the accountant – are lesbians, and only women can enter the club. Prices are quite reasonable and you only have to pay to get in on a Saturday night. The music is a mix of Turkish and European pop.


During the day Bigudi Cafe, in the same building, is also a popular hangout, but less hectic than the club nights.


Karantina


Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 5am.


Address: 11 Imam Adnan Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu


This women-only club has been open for almost a year and Istanbul’s lesbian community flocks here for live music, karaoke and DJ sets.



Rocinante

Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 2am.


Address: 2nd Floor, 6 Ohut Sokak, Sakiz Agaci Caddesi, Beyoglu


While it’s not officially a lesbian bar, most of the clientele and the staff are lesbians – usually the more butch type. Prices are low and it gets very busy. You’ll find Ogut Sokak behind the Aga Camii (mosque on Istaklal Ave.


Gate

Open: Fridays and Saturdays 11pm to 5am.


Address: 20, Balo Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu.

This club is gay and lesbian friendly. There are often a considerable number of lesbians here thanks to the lesbian-managed Cilek Cafe on the third floor of the same building.



X-large

Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 5am.


Address: 12, Kallavi Sokak, Mesruiyet Caddesi, Beyogl


X-large is an Istanbul gay club that’s also lesbian-friendly. Saturday night is the time for lesbian spotting. X-large is a huge club that’s become very popular in recent years. You’ll need to pay to get in and it’s a little pricey to buy drinks. There are good live shows, however, and an atmosphere comparable to some of Europe’s best gay clubs