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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.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Turkish Women’s Volleyball team defeat the mighty Russia in historic encounter

Turkey’s women’s volleyball team have advanced to the semi-finals of the European Women’s Volleyball Championships after defeating World Champions Russia in the quarter-finals.

The shock win saw Turkey win in straight sets 27-25, 25-21, 25-18 to send out a message of intent on the Turkish behalf of winning the competition. Turkey will play the winner of the game against co-host Serbia and the Czech Republic.

Turkish coach, Marco Aurelio Motta, said: “We don’t usually predict the outcome of the match. However, the result against Russia came by surprise. We were preparing for winning but did not expect a 3-0.”

Motta went on: “Our game was principally stable; we controlled the game in all sets. Our defense and service were brilliant. On the other hand, Russia suffered particularly in defense.”

Turkish player Spiker Eda Erdem said of the win: “I am very happy. Playing against the World Champion is very tough but we beat the odds with a 3-0 victory. I hope we maintain our form in the final four.”

Turkey has a real chance to capitalise on this win and move forward in the competition. The European Women’s Volleyball Championship is a prestigious and great competition in volleyball. Should Turkey manage to win the championships it would represent a fantastic achievement for Turkish sport.

Golden Orange Film Festival to screen movies in Turkey

The 48th annual Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey will run from October 8th to October 14th this year but audiences will have an opportunity to see special screenings starting from Sunday at the Konyaalti Openair Theater in Antalya.

Organised by the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality and the Antalya Foundation for Culture and Arts, all the screenings will be free of charge and will give film attenders a chance to see top movies at the festival.

The screenings will start with Yavuz Okan’s movie titled ‘Demiryol’ (Railroad). The screenings recently won awards from the 1979 and 1980 Golden Oranges which were cancelled at the time due to the 1980 military coup and censorship.

All screenings will start at 8:30pm and will be shown at the Antalya Artists Association, the Muratpasa Municipality Culture Center, and the Antalya Cemevi, Migros, and Ozdilek shopping centres. The festival will be a great opportunity for anyone in the Antalya region to see some great Turkish cinema at one of the best Turkish movie festivals of the year.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

New Turkish constitution to be ready by first half of 2012

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish government want a new constitution to replace the current Turkish constitution by the first half of 2012.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Erdogan said: “We will concentrate on this issue of making a new constitution with the opening of Parliament on Saturday. We hope to be done with this issue in the first half of 2012.”

Erdogan also referenced the recent decision by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to end its abandonment of parliament and agree to join the parliamentary proceedings, Erdogan said: “You reporters are following me closely. You know I said earlier that the BDP was going to come to Parliament. I had said the same thing about the Republican People’s Party (CHP) as well. The CHP has already come. Our expectations for the BDP’s return also came true with their announcement yesterday.” Erdogan also stated that should the BDP form a parliamentary group, then they could be eligible to help form the new constitution of Turkey.

Erdogan has previously stated that the new Turkish constitution will be a world leading constitution and will be an example for other countries to follow. The old constitution was drafted under martial law after the 1980 military coup and it had been decided that a new constitution was needed in Turkey to give more rights and freedom to people in Turkey.

NBA star makes winning start in Turkey

NBA star Deron Williams made his debut for Besiktas Milangaz in a successful victory for the team in a ULEB Eurocup preliminary game on Tuesday against Dexia Mons-Hainaut from Belgium.

The American star who has joined Besiktas while the NBA lockout continues from the New Jersey Nets scored 15 points and made 9 assists in Beskitas’ 78-70 victory against Dexia Mons-Hainaut.

Sporting no Turkish players in their line-up, Besiktas guard Marcelus Kemp scored 24 points while Zoran Erceg added a further 15 points in the victory, David Hawkins and Erwin Dudley completed the non-Turkish line-up.

The NBA lockout has led to numerous players from the NBA basketball league joining teams in Turkey to play basketball while the lockout continues. Besiktas also signed Semih Erden from the Cleveland Cavaliers but the paperwork has not yet been finalised so he wasn’t able to play during this match.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Fenerbahce chairman files complaint against UEFA

Jailed Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yidirim has filed a complaint against UEFA President Michel Platini, asserting that Platini made statements that the Turkish club was guilty of match fixing before the case has even been complete.

The formal complaint said: “Although there has not been a court ruling that Fenerbahce Sports Club is guilty of the charges, Platini influenced the Turkish Football Federation along with the officials who are executing the investigation.”

Yildirim is currently being held under arrest amid the allegations of match fixing in Turkey and the Turkish Football Federation has warned that should the club be found guilty, then Fenerbahce could be relegated to a lower league in Turkey.

Platini said in a recent interview: “Don’t get mad at me, get mad at those who fixed the matches. You really don’t know why Fenerbahce is being excluded from the Champions League? The investigation is ongoing. Everyone will learn every single detail once the investigation is complete.”

Greek Prime Minister to visit Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Yorgo Papandreou is to visit Turkey to meet with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss cooperation plans between the two countries. This albeit the tensions that have currently arisen between the two countries.

The meeting is scheduled for late October or early November, will see the two countries upgrade bilateral ties in all current fields. The two prime ministers had planned to meet previously in New York last week, but Papandreou had to cancel due to the current economic crisis that is engulfing Greece.

Recently Erdogan has spoken out in support to Papandreou, pledging solidarity to the Greek prime minister during the economic crisis that is crippling Greece. Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, said on Monday that Turkey does not have any intention to go to war with anyone at the present time.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Onur Unlu wins three awards at Golden Boll Festival

The 18th annual Golden Boll Film Festival in Adana saw director Onur Unlu emerge as the big winner of the night with ‘Celal Tan ve Ailesinin Asiri Acikli Hikayesi’ (The Extremely Tragic Story of Celal Tan And His Family) scooping three awards at the ceremony.

Unlu’s film won the Best Screenplay Award, Best Film Award, and Jury Special Performance Award, in what will be an extremely proud day for Unlu, Unlu also picked up 350,000 Turkish Lira as part of the prize for winning the festival’s best film.

Adana Deputy Mayor, Zihni Aldirmaz said: “Cinema artists are Turkey’s source of pride. Two million people of Adana all together made the Golden Boll Festival a success.”

In total, 14 awards were given out in various different categories for films in Turkey. Some of the most noted awards went to Cemal Agacikoglu for Best Director Award for his film ‘Eylul’ (September), Best Actress Award was shared by Hatice Aslan and Gorkem Yelten, while Durukan Ordu won the Best Actor Award.

Kobe Bryant in Turkey

NBA basketball legend Kobe Bryant has been in Turkey to undertake in numerous sporting relating activities in Istanbul during the NBA lockout in the United States.

When asked about his rumoured move to Besiktas basketball team during the current NBA lockout in the US, Bryant remarked that he is still considering the offer and wouldn’t rule out turning out for the Turkish team in the future.

The LA Lakers star arrived in Caddebostan in Istanbul to open two new basketball courts for Nike and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Speaking during the ceremony, Bryant said that he found Istanbul to be a lot more beautiful than he had envisaged and stated the love of basketball in Istanbul by young people makes him very happy and proud to be a basketball player.

Bryant also visited Turkish football giants Galatasaray at the Turk Telekom Arena where he was presented with a Galatasaray shirt and said that the stadium was one of the best football stadiums he had ever seen. Bryant is a huge fan of football and said he follows Barcelona and counts on Lionel Messi as the best footballer in the world currently.

Next up for Bryant in Turkey will be an appearance at a Nike tournament for amateur basketball players alongside young Turkish star Enes Kanter who was recently drafted by the Utah Jazz in the 2011 NBA draft and whom high expectations are anticipated.

Should Bryant end up playing in the Turkish basketball league with Besiktas he would represent a real coup for the Turkish league in general. The NBA lockout has seen many basketball players look to Turkey to continue playing basketball. The Turkish basketball league is growing rapidly and the NBA lockout will only see more stars move to Turkey for basketball.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fenerbahce to play for honour

Vice Chairman of Fenerbahce, Nihat Ozdemir has called on Fenerbahce to play for honour this season following the match fixing scandal that has rocked Turkish football of late.

Ozdemir said: “We had to part ways with some players but we signed some important players as good as them. With this renewed squad, Fenerbahce will continue to be the main title contender. But actually, we are not only playing for the title, but also playing for honour.”

Speaking during a general assembly to inform club members what the board has done since the allegations, Ozdemir also said: “The club was hit both financially and morally with the exclusion from the Champions League. Furthermore, the club was damaged by the fact that the investigation has hurt the club’s value on the Istanbul bourse. In total, we lost an income of around 35 to 40 million euros.”

Fenerbahce had originally asked to be relegated to a lower league so that the club could rebuild and not lose two seasons instead of one. The Turkish Football Federation has made a decision to announce findings from the case at the end of the current season, meaning that Fenerbahce could still be relegated for next year, thus costing the club two years. Ozdemir said: “When we applied for demotion, they said we could only be relegated if we presented a formal request that accepted that the club was involved in match fixing and would not seek compensation if the court decides in favour of the club in the future. We told them that it was not possible.”

Finally Ozdemir praised coach Aykut Kocaman for his work with Fenerbahce, saying: “Our league title is a well-deserved one. We have to thank coach Aykut Kocaman and our players. But especially Kocaman’s efforts are beyond words.”

Currently the Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim is in prison awaiting results from the trial in to the match fixing in Turkey. Should Fenerbahce ultimately be found guilty, the club stand to lose millions in lost revenue and will be forced to sell players and could be relegated to a lower league. The Turkish Football Federation has promised to clean up football in Turkey for good; the results will be eagerly awaited and could be monumental for the future of Fenerbahce Football Club.

Friday, 23 September 2011

First Turkish Film Festival opens in Rome

The first ever Rome Turkish Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday to a rounding success in the Italian capital.

Organised by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Turkish Embassy in Rome, the festival will see thirty films directed by Turkish directors showcased during the three day event to the Italian people.

One of the stars of the festival’s opening film, ‘Av Mevsimi’ The Hunting Season, Cem Yimaz, said: “Now films will speak on behalf of us. It makes us very excited that our films will be screened in front of people in another country. Six years have passed since we made the film. We remember once again that we have made a good thing.”

The Turkish ambassador to Rome, Hakki Akil, said that the festival should have been organised five years ago. Akil said that there are only 21,000 Turkish people in Italy and that proves that the festival is aimed at Italians.

Turkey urged to invest in Kosovo

Kosovo’s deputy minister for industry and trade has called on Turkish businesses and companies to look to Kosovo for investment opportunities.

Cuneyd Ustaibo said: “We want to increase cooperation with Turkish businessmen and invite them to invest in Kosovo.” Ustaibo was speaking during the Kosovo-Izmir Business Forum that was held in the Aegean province of Izmir on Wednesday.

Turkish companies are currently in a strong position due to the current economic climate in Turkey. Turkey is one of the world’s leading countries in terms of growth and development, being behind only China this year in terms of growth. As a result of this, Turkish companies are prospering and can afford to invest in other ventures and businesses.

More business ties between Kosovo and Turkey will lead to further development between the two countries and could potentially see both countries benefit greatly financially and reap the rewards of a prosperous relationship.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blues festival comes to Istanbul

This Friday will see the start of the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival in Istanbul. The successful festival will run from Friday until October 29th in venues around Turkey.

Efes Turkey’s communications director, Emre Topsakaloglu, said: “Within 21 years the festival has hosted 84 groups in Turkey.” He went on: “The festival has hosted 256 musicians and a total of 338 concerts have taken place in Turkey thanks to the festival.”

This year’s blues festival will see 24 concerts take place in 20 difference provinces in Turkey. Headlining the festival will be John Mooney, a successful blues musician from Mississippi. Other acts to perform this year include: Lucky Perterson – another successful American blues musician, and Ricky Estrin and his group the Nightcats.

Istanbul is a very culturally rich city and the blues festival will be very successful in Istanbul. The start of the festival is highly anticipated each year amongst music fans and will be a great experience for anyone in Turkey who wishes to see some blues and rhythm.

Aswell as Istanbul, other locations include: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Balikesir, Bursa, Canakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Edirne, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Mersin, Trabzon, and even northern Cyprus.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Turkey and the United States to build joint industrial zones

The Turkish-US Business Council has announced new plans to form joint industrial zones in both the United States and in Turkey as well as in other countries.

Following a meeting in Istanbul, Ahmet Yakici, undersecretary for Turkey’s Economy Ministry, said: “These joint industrial zones will contribute to the economies of both countries.”

Yakici added that the new industrial zones will emphasise on manufacturing food and health products.

Yakici said: “The new business council we have established with the US will contribute to our bilateral trade relations and to the trade of third world countries.”

The US undersecretary of commerce for international trade, Francisco Sanchez, added: “We want to increase our trade volume of $15 billion with Turkey by three-fold in the near future.”

Increased relations between Turkey and the US would be beneficial all round. The US economy is currently struggling whilst the Turkish economy seems to be growing and flourishing. Agreements between the two countries could see both nations prosper and lead to further development between the two nations in the future.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ishak Pasha Palace restoration to be complete in 2013

Ishak Pasha Palace in Turkey’s eastern Agri province is to be completely restored by 2013 by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The ministry regional director, Muhsin Bulut, said: “Treasure hunters have done serious damage to the palace, especially on the observatory patio. It may not be seen as important by these people, but even a small mistake can lead to serious damage.”

To cost a total of 8 million Turkish Lira, the project will see the famous palace, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site restored to its former glory. The palace was constructed in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha, the ruler of Dogubeyazit and took 99 years to complete; the project was completed by his grandson Ishak Pasha in 1784.

The palace is a major tourism hot spot in Turkey and is known worldwide. The palace was the first I history to have a central heating system in place, and consists of 116 rooms, court halls, a mosque, and a shrine. The restoration of the palace is expected to give a significant boost to tourism in the area.

Turkish mobile firm opens 14 new stores in one day

Turkey’s third biggest mobile phone operator, Avea, opened 14 new stores on Saturday in the south eastern provinces of Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep.

Avea’s chief executive officer, Erkan Akdemir said: “We have grown 18 percent in the first half of the year.” Akdemir also noted that the company are to open more than 100 more new stores by the end of the year totalling an investment of 40 million Turkish Liras by the company.

Recently Avea concluded a deal with Turk Telekom for Turk Telekom’s broadband services to be sold in Avea stores. Akdemir said: “According to World Economic Forum Data, Turkey ranks first regarding GSM coverage. The GSM coverage area in Turkey is far beyond other countries at a level of 97.3 percent.”

Mobile phones in Turkey is a big business in Turkey, most people in Turkey now have access to mobile phones and the new stores and new initiatives will ensure that the mobile phone service in Turkey continues to be of the highest quality and reach new barriers.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Paris is host as Turkish arts showcased to experts and scholars

The 14th Turkish Art Congress at the College de France will be hosted in Paris from September 19th until September 21st which will see Turkish arts in the ancient era showcased to experts and scholars.

The Ottoman and Turkish arts, archaeology, and architecture will see seminars and meetings open to the public to gain some knowledge on the Ottoman Era of art.

Organised by the Paris Embassy and the College de France and the Turkish Culture Ministry’s Fine Arts Department the event will host experts and scholars from all over the world, including the Textile Museum in Washington D.C., the Wallace Collection in London, the Louvre Museum in Paris, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

The event is a great chance to showcase Turkish history and Turkish art in lots of different forms. Those who go to the event will be privileged to be in the company of experts and in the company of historic art that is not to be missed.

Retail giant opens first store in Ankara

Swedish retail clothing giant H&M has opened its first store in the Turkish capital of Ankara to bring the total number of H&M stores in Turkey to eight.

The store, situated in Ankara’s CEPA shopping mall, is H&M’s biggest store in Turkey to date and was opened with a ceremony on Saturday. According to company officials, H&M will open another store in Ankara on September 24.

H&M only entered the Turkish market in November 2010 with the opening of a store in Istanbul, and less than one year later, the clothing retailer has grown to eight stores already as the company looks to invest in the Turkish market.

Many international companies have recently looked to the Turkish market to invest in as the Turkish market is currently flourishing and expanding faster than any market in the world. Investing in Turkey is rich and global companies are seeing the potential and are flocking to open offices in Turkey and to gain a slice of the prosperous Turkish market.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Historic Ottoman ship to be displayed in Alanya

The historic frame of Ottoman ship Cekevele is to be displayed in Alanya in a shipyard following a project sponsored by the Alanya Maritime and Seafaring Museum.

Due to be displayed this week, the ship was recovered from the seafloor by experts and is thought to have been used to supply goods to the Ottomans in the 16th century.

Mayor Hasan Sipahioglu said: “We’re doing this in order to lay claim to our history. Alanya has distinguished itself through this project.” The ship arrived in Alanya on Wednesday and the hull of the ship measure 14.95 metres in length and 4.9 metres in width.

The ship offers people in Alanya a rare opportunity to witness such a historic ship up close and personal. According to the museum director, the ship was most likely to have been built at a shipyard in Urla.

If you are in Alanya when the ship is to be showcased, make sure you drop by and have a look at some truly astonishing history.

Besiktas beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-1

In the middle of a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel, Istanbul’s Besiktas defeated Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv in the opening day of the UEFA Europa Cup group stage with an impressive score line of 5-1.

Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida started things of for Besiktas, netting a goal in the third minute and again the 28th minute. Maccabi tried in vain to fight back in the second half, scoring a goal in the 48th minute but Besiktas quickly stepped up a level just two minutes later with a goal from Aurelio in the 50th minute and defender Egeman Korkmaz in the 53rd minute. The tie was settled with Edu scored late on in the 88th minute to seal victory for Besiktas.

Security was extra tight for the match, 2,000 policemen were deployed around the stadium due to the current crisis between the two countries. Turkey demands an apology from Israel for the attacks that left nine Turkish people dead last year. Israel has so far refused all moves from Turkey leading to an intense standoff between the two countries.

Very few Maccabi fans turned up to the match for fear of safety reasons. The atmosphere inside the stadium was tense, with the Besiktas fans making their views heard right from the kick off. Outside the stadium a group of around 300 protesters made their feelings known to the Israelis who turned up for the match. Overall there was plenty of security and everything panned out in a good way, no serious incidents were reported.

Following the result, Besiktas are currently leading Group E with three points followed by Stoke City and Dynamo Kyiv. Maccabi are bottom with zero points after the first match. Besiktas next travel to Stoke on September 29th for their next match in the competition.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Galatasaray to sell twenty percent of shares in club

Turkish football giant Galatasaray has announced that the club is to sell 20.3 percent of shares of the club’s stock on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

The shares are valued at 172 million and the club is to use the money from the sale to ease banks debts. The sale of these shares follows the recent 2 percent sold for 14 million liras to finance new transfers for the club.

Favourites to buy the shares are an unnamed international fund and the chairman of the Galatasaray Education Foundation, Inan Kirac.

Galatasaray had a disappointing season last season and will be looking to this season to restore football of the highest level to Galatasaray. The club has invested heavily in top players such as Felipe Melo from Juventus and Johan Elmander from Bolton.

In wake of the recent scandal in Turkey regarding match fixing allegations of rival clubs, this season could really be a chance for Galatasaray to shine and mount a challenge to win the Turkish league.

Ankara to host Anki Rock Fest

Ankara is to host the 4th Anki Rock Fest from September 23rd to September 25th at the Ahlatlibel Social Club.

The festival, organised by the Cankaya Municipality, will see local and international groups perform such as: Orphaned Land, Hayko Cepkin, Ogun Sanlisoy, Aylin Aslim, Black Tooth, Deja vu, and Kurban.

Since starting in 2006, many rock musicians have showcased their skills at the festival. The festival is also planning on creating a concert area at Cankaya University. The festival organiser said: “In the future we are planning to establish a large venue for the festival.”

Speaking at a press conference, Turkish rock musician Ogun Sanlisoy, said: “People who will attend the festival will have the best experience of their lives.”

Tickets for the festival are priced at 60 Turkish Liras while a one-day ticket will cost 25 Turkish Liras.