Turkey is home to 81 provinces, most of which are tourist cities that attract millions of visitors annually due to their enchanting nature and moderate climate. Additionally, Turkey is inhabited by over 5 million foreigners from various countries around the world in different parts of the country, according to the Anadolu Agency.
However, Istanbul always stands out as the top Turkish city in terms of economic, commercial, and tourist sectors, as well as exports. The question remains: What are the reasons that have made Istanbul a magnet for global investors to put their investments there, especially in real estate?
1- Geographic Location and Vast Area:
Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles both Asia and Europe. The Bosphorus Strait separates the two continents and is connected by three main bridges. Istanbul is bordered by the Black Sea to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south, with land borders with Greece. Istanbul’s area spans 5,343 square kilometers, consisting of hills, plateaus, forests, and beaches. It is divided into 39 municipalities, with 25 on the European side and 14 on the Asian side.
2- Economic Capital of Turkey:
For over 30 years, Turkey has aimed to make Istanbul the economic capital of the country. This became evident in the past 18 years since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) gained a majority in the Turkish parliament in 2002. The Turkish government has made great efforts to invest in vital and developmental projects in Istanbul, including bridges, roads, highways, public parks, medical cities, hospitals, universities, factories, and extensive trade activities.
3- Competition among Construction Companies:
Government initiatives in any country tend to attract local and foreign investors. This has happened in Istanbul since the government’s focus on the city became apparent in 2000 when massive residential complexes were constructed in the Basaksehir district to establish it as the new center of the city. This led numerous other companies to initiate massive urban projects in Istanbul, creating intense competition in developing modern residential complexes that adhere to international construction standards.
4- Diverse Real Estate Options:
The intense competition and the launch of hundreds of residential, commercial, and service projects have resulted in a wide variety of real estate options. This attracts investors from all backgrounds, catering to their desires and objectives of real estate ownership in Turkey. The projects are diverse in terms of location, including central areas of the city, areas surrounding tourist and historical centers, complexes with sea or lake views, as well as suburban areas. Moreover, there is a wide range of apartment sizes, types, and price differences determined by the square meter price in each construction area.
5- Tourism in Istanbul:
The tourism sector plays a significant role in attracting investors since investment is closely related to tourist activity. Investing in apartments, hotels, or villas provides accommodation for tourists when they visit Turkey, creating more investment opportunities and competition. In 2020, while various Turkish provinces received around 16 million tourists (according to the Anadolu Agency) despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Istanbul had the largest share with approximately 4 million tourists (according to the Greater Istanbul Municipality).
6- Major Development and Government Projects in Istanbul:
In late 2018, Turkey inaugurated the first phase of Istanbul New Airport, which upon completion in 2023 will be the world’s largest airport with a capacity of 250 million passengers annually. Additionally, work is underway to open the Istanbul Canal, which will serve as an alternative to the Bosphorus Strait and extend from the northern part of Lake Küçükçekmece to the Black Sea north of Istanbul. Furthermore, four medical cities were opened in Istanbul in 2020, including the largest one in Turkey and Europe, Başakşehir Medical City. There are also other ongoing projects and those that are already completed.