An announcement this week by Turkish construction giant Agaoglu declared they signed a letter of intent with Chinese investors to build Europe’s biggest tourism city on the Bodrum peninsula.
Although plans are yet to be unveiled, the construction company said the 12 million square metre city will attract all year-round tourists and permanent residents through its extensive facilities and amenities including golf courses, technology park and health services which will tap into sectors such as spa and wellness.
It is also widely reported that the site will also have schools, offices and medical facilities. Comparing the project to the Turkish equivalent of Cannes and Miami, it is expected to cost 2.5 billion USD to build.
Suggestions at the moment indicate the project will take place in Dorttepe Mevkii area that is close to Lake Tuzla, and the surrounding resorts of Bogazici and Guverncinlik. Bodrum airport is roughly a 15-minute drive away.
The Agaoglu Group first started running in 1981, and since then have grown into one of the country’s largest construction companies working in various sectors including construction, renewable energy, and tourism.
Using incentives and themes to sell their brand, one of their most successful real estate projects was the “My Life” brand that targeted highly educated white-collar workers earning higher incomes. The “My Office and “My Prestige” brands targeted businesses looking for state-of-the-art office space to accommodate significant amounts of employees.
In 1988, they entered the tourism industry by building hotels in Istanbul and surrounding areas such as Uludag. Their announcement of the Bodrum project suggested that alongside the golf courses, and luxury villas, there will be four hotels.
Citing their partners in the project as a Hong Kong investor and a Chinese construction company, they said the planned tourism city was part of the “One Belt One Road” project that will see combined infrastructure investment and development happening in more than 68 countries.
In May 2017, leaders from 70 countries including Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in Beijing to discuss China’s proposal called the “One Belt One Road” Initiative, abbreviated as OBOR.
The Chinese president pledged a staggering 113 billion USD towards the project in an effort to get other countries onboard. The aim is a massive infrastructure network based on energy, transport, and tourism that will connect 60 plus countries. The estimated cost of building that will take place is 5 trillion USD. Some suggest the project will fill the void left by the USA after Donald Trump embarked on his “America First” campaign.
The Chinese president said the aim is to build one big family of harmonious co-existence, but it is clearly a revival of the old silk road trading route of which Turkey played a significant part, particularly as the bridge between Europe and Asia.
What is unclear, however, is the statement by Agaoglu Group that the OBOR route will end in Bodrum, because current plans show it may extend to countries like Germany, Italy and Russia.
Regardless, Turkey is throwing its full support behind the “One Belt One Road” project to strengthen ties and economic trade between the two nations. Therefore, the Bodrum project may just be the first of many, and the Agaoglu group said that as well as touring the Bodrum peninsula, the investors had also been looking at various projects in Istanbul.