Monday, September 22, 2008


A representative of a Turkish-based company, Atlas, which has officially signed up to a 49-year lease to operate a golf course on land designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The plans are centred on an area of land at Mercimek, which borders the Zonguldakllar estate and close to the Sultan Kent and Konya Kültür housing estates on the Akbük road.

The area covers 173 acres of land on which there will be allocated a clubhouse, an 18-hole golf course and a holiday village with a capacity of 420 beds.

Mr Kinaci, a map engineer based in Milas, confirmed the project would cost $40 million (approximately £20 million) – with the golf course costing close to $10 million.

He said: “I can confirm to Voices Newspaper that Atlas has signed a 49-year lease to operate a golf course and hotel project on the land at Mercimek.

“The project has been put to public consultation and there are no objections.”

He added: “As far as we are concerned, once all the legalities are complete, Atlas will build the first golf course in Didim. It will be a major boost to tourism to the whole area.”

Atlas is a company predominantly in the steel and shipbuilding industries in Turkey. This project is believed to be their first foray into the golf tourism business.

Mr Kinaci said: “We are moving ever closer to reality. We are being extremely cautious as we want to get everything right and ensure that the news we give is accurate, clear and concrete to the public.

“We would not want to raise people’s hopes unnecessarily, but things are beginning to happen.”

He declined to give any time schedule on developing the course or when Atlas hoped to open the golf course and hotel facilities.

Seda Türk, Didim council’s planning department manager, and Meltem Öz, Didim Council’s city planner, confirmed Atlas’ interest was more than just a ‘passing one’. And they confirmed that it would provide a big boost to the tourism of the area.

On a separate note, Mayor Mümın Kamaci said representatives of an unnamed Swedish company had visited Didim council offices this week to look at the potential of building a new golf course in the area.

He said that the company had been given a number of options and they had departed back to Sweden to ‘mull over’ the proposals.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Located on Turkey's southwestern Mediterranean coast in the Mugla Province, Dalaman is the ideal destination for tourists visiting the seaside resorts to the west and east of Dalaman such as Fethiye, Marmaris, Koycegiz, Oludeniz, Dalyan and Hisaronu. With culture, nightlife and wonderful beaches, holidays in Dalaman have something for everyone.

Flights will be from Leeds Bradford and Manchester and will start in Summer '09 so register your interest now and we will let you know before the seats go on sale so that you can plan ahead and get the best deals for your trip to Dalaman next year!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Prospective investors in Turkey were delighted with the recent news that the government’s temporary ban on the issue of title deeds (Tapu) to foreigners has been lifted. Now that the Turkish government has had time to re-draft the relevant law, title deeds are being processed as usual. This is welcome news for foreign investors, especially now that mortgages are more readily available in Turkey - the essential elements for overseas property investors are firmly in place.

The government’s move will reassure prospective investors looking for a good short, medium or long-term investment. The changes to the law are not expected to make any significant difference to individual foreign property investors because they primarily affect foreign companies rather than the growing numbers of foreign investors who usually buy property in officially zoned areas around cities, town and holiday resorts.

Turkey remains a popular investment location, especially now that a number of lenders are offering mortgages to non-residents. Ken Thorkildsen, Director of Obelisk Private Finance, says that Turkey’s mortgage market is evolving, particularly since the passing of the country’s new mortgage law in 2007 which allows lenders more freedom in their lending practices. “Prior to the 2007 Mortgage Law, mortgages were only available to Turkish nationals, at high, double-figure, interest rates,” explains Ken, “now non-resident property owners can take advantage of multi-currency mortgages with low fixed rates. Mortgages are available to citizens of countries with whom Turkey has a reciprocal arrangement, such as the UK and Ireland. There are a handful of lenders offering mortgages to non-residents and that is set to grow as demand increases from foreign investors.”

Now that the Tapu ban has been lifted, Land Registry offices across Turkey have restarted processing applications for the transfer of title deeds to foreign nationals. This is cause for celebration amongst investors, particularly those interested in buy-to-let. Recent survey results published by the Daily Telegraph and undertaken by independent travel group, Cooperative Travel, show that Turkey has pushed Spain from its top position as favourite holiday location for Brits, partly because of the over-valued euro, but also because the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in the UK.

Turkey is a popular tourist and investment location for a variety of reasons, not least because it is now better served by low cost airlines, making access easier and more cost effective. Most importantly, property in Turkey is still significantly cheaper than other similar locations. Now that mortgages for non-residents are gradually becoming more available and the government has passed its new Tapu law, investment in Turkey has been given the green light.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Turkey is to build a Disneyland resort near the town of Oren, 35 kilometres south east of Milas, after reaching a deal with all parties concerned in just 3 days. Disneyland Turkey, which will rival Eurodisney Paris, is to be situated just 90 minutes from Didim.

The complex is expected to be constructed in under 2 years, planning was completed after officials visited Eurodisney Paris and Germany’s Heidi Park. It will be built over an area of 1.3m square metres and will employ a “cast” of almost 17,000 staff.

According to the news, reported in Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, all the permission from 74 authorities has been granted and construction will commence after the proposal is signed by the Council of Ministers.

Project manager, Tekin Erdogan said “The electricity station in Oren had a negative effect on tourism in the area. It was struggling to bring any tourism investment to the town. We decided a different angle was needed to attract both investors and holidaymakers. This will be bigger than the Disneyland resort in Paris.”

He also stated that there will be 5 hotels of up to 7 stars with a total capacity of 8,000; a marina is also being built close to the resort.

Animation shows with cartoons heroes, the entertainment facilities, Turkish-Ottoman and Selcuk architectural examples are projected to attract an estimated 12,000 visitors daily. People will be able to visit the Turkish Disneyland via the marina. There will also be scheduled ferry services from selected locations to the fun park.

Babakn Olcaysu who is the licence owner of the Oren Investment Concept said “The government has given its full support to the project. We got all the permissions in just 3 days. The project is expected to cost $3.2 billion. Babakn added:” This will attract tourists from all over the world, and will be of great benefit to all cities around it.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


If you propose to invest in property abroad or take a more permanent step and live abroad, tax planning is one of the most important considerations. Obtaining tax advice – and this should be from a professional tax adviser with knowledge of tax regulations both in your home country and the country where you plan to invest – before you make any investment decisions means that you can make the most of opportunities to reduce your tax liabilities.

Within the general tax considerations of owning assets abroad is the question of inheritance tax, an aspect that many property investors tend to overlook. However, this is one area that has wide implications for the future of your heirs. Careful inheritance tax planning can make the difference between your heirs continuing to enjoy your investments or losing them to pay a large inheritance tax bill.

While inherited assets in some countries attract no inheritance taxes, in other countries taxes can be higher than 80%, particularly if the beneficiary is not a close relative. It is therefore very important to bear this in mind when making investment plans. A further issue to consider is that regardless of the country you choose to invest in or move to, you may still be liable for inheritance tax in your home country. “Inheritance tax rules have important implications for investors,” comments Ken Thorkildsen, Director of Obelisk Private Finance. “If you do not plan your inheritance tax carefully, you may find that your heirs face high tax bills both in the country where you invested and in the UK.”

In general, resident heirs pay less inheritance tax than those who are non-resident and many countries also offer generous deductions or total exemptions for beneficiaries who are direct relatives, e.g. spouse, children or parents. This is the case in Andalucía, home to the Costa del Sol, where recent legislation means that direct heirs who have been resident in the region for 5 years, are exempt from inheritance tax on assets up to the value of €175,000. Ken welcomes this recent development which he believes “has hugely positive implications for the resident ex-pat population in one of Spain’s most popular investment destinations.”

Laws on inheritance tax are complicated and inheritance tax regulations vary in individual countries. For example, Spanish law rules that in the case of a married couple, 50% of the net assets are liable for inheritance tax on first death, whereas under UK law, a married couple may be liable for 100% of the assets minus allowances. Basic familiarity with a country’s tax regimes and its implications should be a high priority for the global property investor. This coupled with expert guidance from a tax expert, can make a substantial difference to the planning of an investor’s estate and by extension, to the beneficiaries. “An essential aspect of owning assets in more than one country is to draw up a will in each country,” advises Ken. “This helps speed up the inheritance process and makes things much easier for your heirs.”

Given the complexity of inheritance regulations and the fact that in many countries they are in a state of constant change, Ken offers the following advice: “No action should be taken without consultation with a professional tax adviser. While there are many ways of reducing inheritance tax liability, only an expert can offer guidance on the right ones for you and your particular situation.”

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Garanti Bank has begun to offer a new “non resident mortgage” to foreigners looking to purchase property in Turkey. With the new service the bank will enable foreigners to obtain lira or foreign exchange indexed loans with a maximum 240-month maturity. Foreigners will also be able to obtain loans of YTL 500,000 or the equivalent amount in foreign currency

Saturday, July 19, 2008


A circular concerning the implementation of a bill regulating property sales to foreigners was issued Thursday. The circular restarted the process of property sales to foreigners, which had been suspended April 16 after the Constitutional Court's annulment of the existing legislation created a legal loophole.

The regulation enables foreign companies, which had previously been granted rights equal to Turkish ones to purchase real estate on the basis of the Foreign Direct Investment Law-No. 4875, to own real estate by permission of the governor's office. The regulations, which will come into effect in three months, will determine the basic aspects of how to receive this permission. As a result, no land will be sold to the companies concerned until then.

Meanwhile, companies operating in foreign countries and foreign real persons will be able to own up to 10 percent of the land within a building scheme. In addition, the area that foreigners can own will be restricted to two and a half hectares and demands by foreigners that surpass these limits will be rejected, according to the new amendment.

Parliament passed the bill regulating property sales to foreigners on July 3 after it was revised taking into consideration the Constitutional Court's annulment of previous legislation.