Arab Spring Fuels Booming Tourism, Property Sales and Economy in Turkey

Posted on 15 September 2011

The Turkish economy was the fastest growing in the world in the first six months of this year, with GDP growing 8.8% in the year to end June according to the latest data from Turkstat. The Turkish statistical body also revised upwards its first quarter GDP figures, from the 11% which had already made Turkey the fastest growing economy in the world to 11.6%.

It is getting harder and harder to find a negative. Tourism grew 11% in the first quarter, exports continue to surge, and unemployment has just fallen from 9.4% to 9.2%. To top it all off the stack of positive data is fuelling incredible growth in investment flowing into the country, according to the central bank foreign direct investment was 325% higher in the first half of this year than last year.

All this has been building for well over a year now. But since the spring a new factor came into play that will help Turkey continue to smash records with a continued tourism, economy and property boom.

The Arab Spring uprisings that toppled governments and unsettled nations across the Arab World are being hailed as good news for the previously oppressed countries. But families wanting to take their family on holiday, or those looking to buy property or make investments are looking for safety, stability, and for the latter, growth. As Arabs tend to stick to other Arab countries for all the above, the Arab Spring has left their choices limited, and the Muslim country of Turkey is benefiting massively from this.

Did Erdogan have a clairvoyant parrot on his shoulder when he circled the Arab World in visa-free agreements with Turkey throughout 2010. Because now millions of Arabs are flooding into Turkey to shop, invest, holiday and buy property. This is of course further fuel to the booming tourism industry, property market, and economy.

A similar effect has been seen in Europe, with Russians and other European buyers who would normally have bought property in Spain or Greece, put off by the sovereign debt crisis, and looking to the stability and growth of Turkey as the better choice.

According to the Turkish Association of Real Estate Investment Companies (GYODER) foreign sales of Turkish property grew 40% in 2010 compared to 2009. It is certainly looking like we can expect more growth for this year.

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