Why today’s Istanbul is attractive to non-resident Turkish and Arab investors

Turks and Middle Eastern citizens based around the world, including the Americas, who are looking for global investment opportunities could be missing out by not considering modern-day Istanbul and wider Turkey, said Turkey property specialist Spot Blue International Property in September.

“In the USA alone there are an estimated 500,000 Turkish Americans,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “Some – descendants of emigrants, may never have visited Turkey, while those that have may have lost touch with how things have developed there in recent years, both commercially and in terms of infrastructure. Travel links between the USA and Turkey have improved hugely, thanks largely to Turkish Airlines, while arriving in Istanbul with dollars to invest puts you in a strong position.”

Recent statistics highlight Turkey’s growing attraction to foreign investors, in particular as an alternative to Europe, which is historically seen as a safer option. Statistics from the Turkish Statistical Institute confirmed that the country’s economy grew by 3.3 per cent during the first half of 2014, after GDP rises of 4.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent in the first and second quarters respectively. According to the Central Bank of the Republic Turkey, Turkey attracted $6.8billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2014, representing a 28 per cent hike compared to the same period in 2013. Of that, real estate purchases by foreigners accounted for $2billion, while the European Union accounted for 68.1 per cent of FDI, worth $3.6billion.

“These latest positive statistics are especially poignant as they come at a time when a negative vibe has returned to economies in Europe, making Turkey a more attractive option for international investors from outside Europe,” said Mr Walker at Spot Blue International Property. “According to the Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, business growth in the Eurozone cooled in September for a second consecutive month, falling to its slowest pace since December.”

Foreign investors welcomed commentary from the fifth istanbul_province”>Istanbul Finance Summit held in September, which brought together leading finance experts from around the world. With its regulated markets and structure, Istanbul was labelled a candidate to become a global financial centre, according to renowned international economist Cornelia Meyer. Turkey was again in the global investment spotlight at the Cityscape real estate exhibition in Dubai, where it had the largest pavilion of all foreign exhibitors and the highest number of exhibitors after the host nation the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, in June this year Turkish Airlines added its tenth route between Istanbul and the Americas. Turkey’s national carrier now flies to New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Montreal.