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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Citizenship Investors in Turkey...

Today by chance I did an internet search for 'Citizenship Investment Turkey', and clicked on a few of the advertisements there. I was shocked by the number of new 'practitioners', the number of old 'practitioners' dressed up in new websites to look 'professional', and the number of scam artists that were previously so prolific in misleading British investors buying property in Turkey ten years ago. Some had new names, but were still operating out of the same offices in North London, Covent Garden etc...

I was also shocked by the false and misleading statements being made on websites:

1) In one case I found an example of an agent boldly stating, not just implying, that the 'Certificate of Conformity' an investor receives during the Citizenship application process, confirms that the property is in full legal compiance with all regulations. Nothing could be further from he truth, and the unknowing investor will unfortunately find out the truth much later...

2) The second most popular 'ploy' or 'hoax' is to provide a list of 'APPROVED' properties... they may have been approved by someone for something, but certainly not by any government regulatory authority as an attestation to being in full legal compliance of everything that matters...

Investors, add these two clues to your information gathering exercise... make a list of every 'practitioner' or 'agent' by their name and address, and those that are using the above mentioned false and misleading practices, place a big cross through their names for future reference, so you remember in case you should encounter them again in the future when they may have changed their name, website, and the hoaxes they are peddling...

#citizenship  #investment #Turkey #CIP #scam #hoax #ploys #property #real-estate

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Where to Buy Property in Turkey...?

Yes it is a common question, 'Where to Buy Property in Turkey'....  At first glance it seems the question is asking for a location. Is Bodrum, better than Antalya? Is Istanbul better than Izmir? But actually the answer is more simple. The question of where to buy property in Turkey is best answered with ' Buy Where the Locals Buy'.  And locals always begin their search at the online portals. No not agents websites... some agents call these 'portals' but that is simply another misleading tactic like so many in their bag of tricks...

There are many good reasons why local Turks buy at online portals and avoid English speaking agents websites. The advantages and benefits are worlds apart. And for this reason, when doing an internet search in Turkish language for buying an apartment in Alanya or buying a villa in Dalaman, the search results are all from on-line portals. There are no English speaking agents websites to be found. Who would use them? Obviously no one does, or they would appear in search results. Only English language search results show these English language agents' web pages.  Only people that can not speak Turkish, and do not have access to real information, and are easily mislead about property purchases, use English speaking agents websites.,  Turks generally don't use agents and avoid agents trickery, and would never use use these English speaking agents.

When local Turks are looking into where to buy property in Turkey, the online portals are the place where they make their first stop. Here are all the property listings in Turkey, more than a million, and this is where property for sale by owners is available for purchase. Here the buyer and seller can communicate directly through the online portals messaging system... something that is impossible when dealing with an agent, and one of the reasons why agents are able to wield so many tricks. There are many other advantages also, including very detailed search engines that can identify properties based on numerous search criteria, which is not possible on google. If you are a buyer or a seller, this is the market, forget the agents. Need help? Feel free to email me or leave a message on my blog....

#where-to-buy #property #realestate #real-estate #Turkey #Istanbul #Izmor #Bodrum #Bursa #Yalova #Antalya #Alanya #Fethiye #Dalaman #Marmaris #Didim #Akbuk #Kas #Kalkan #Kemer #Belek  

Friday, June 5, 2020

Citizenship Investment in Turkey: No Risks but the Investment...

Today’s real estate market in Turkey is being led by the most active source of new buyers. These new buyers are the citizenship investors buying property to obtain a Turkish passport and world-wide tax free income with non-residency status. A very attractive prospect, and a very well designed inward investment program, competitive at the leading edge, globally.

The program is so well designed that the citizenship qualifying criteria are basic and simple, the application submission and disclosure is basic and simple, the application processing is basic and simple, and the delivery of the passport is basic and simple. A non-Turkish speaking applicant obviously will need a Turkish speaking person to follow the application in a periodic manner, as it crosses the different approval stages within the different ministries, but very little can or does go wrong. There are no hidden pitfalls, contingencies, criteria, additionalities. Investors that are overly concerned about this need to rest assured, citizenship application procedures are indeed as simple as described.

The biggest risk is not the application risk. The biggest risk is the investment risk. There are no specific regulations governing business practices applied to foreign investors buying property in Turkey, and consumer protection laws are week compared to most developed  many countries. As a result, estate agents and everyone else, from lawyers to mortgage bankers, are facilitating sharp practices, all driven by ‘gold rush mentality’ in pursuit of exorbitant hidden price mark-ups and commissions.

An example of one of many investors’ grievances illustrates these risks below. What is he complaining about?
  • Paying the seller’s transfer taxes and other transaction costs.
  • Paying too much for the property.
  • Misleading information about urban location.
  • Misleading information about local transportation and travel times.
  • Misleading information about building surroundings.
  • Misleading information about rental income and yields.
  • Misleading information about permits
  • Misleading information about payments, deposits, procedures etc

Investors would be wise to spend less time and effort on citizenship qualification criteria and application procedures, and instead, allocate more time and effort to finding properties that qualify with complete due diligence. Using professional non-commission charging advisers is the best way to do this, but there are practically none available because of the ‘commission gold fever’. Investors would do well to avoid English speaking websites of estate agents. Ninety percent have inaccurate or misleading information on their web pages, including their ‘advice’ guides on how to buy property in Turkey.  Of the remaining ten percent, a few of these have the longest and most dire track record of misleading foreign investors. One recently told an investor that they do not charge buyers a commission, and at the same time, on the firm’s website, there was a statement assuring investors they do not receive commission from sellers. Knowing this firm does not charge fees, the implication is that they are a charity, working for free.  Exactly what type of investors do they expect to be so gullible as to believe any of what they say…?

Investors be prepared, this type of practice is not uncommon or unusual. Instead it is standard practice by everyone in the ‘gold fever commission’ chain- estate agents, citizenship consultants, lawyers, mortgage bankers, appraisers etc. In private, it is laughed off amongst them as a necessary tactic for remaining competitive in business, and so acceptable. For many, receiving one or two commissions of $20,000 to $40,000 justifies risking their professional licenses, but the chances of recourse through sanction are so low as to be a nonexistent risk.

Caveat emptor is a key tenant of free market economies… ‘buyer beware’ comes with a high risk and cost for the buyer.

#CitizenshipInvestment #Turkey #CitizenshipbyInvestment #PropertyTurkey #RealEstate #Istanbul #Agents #commissions #agents

Property in Turkey: Buyer Beware of Self-Inflicted Injury

Property in Turkey: Buyer Beware of Self-Inflicted Injury….


During the last 13+ years more than 70,000 foreigners have purchased property in Turkey….

More than 85% have suffered with difficulties from what happened AFTER the purchase. First it was the British and Northern Europeans; then the Kuwaitis and their complaints resulted in a diplomatic incident; now it’s Citizenship Investors.


Official Turkish government agencies have been very proactive in providing solutions. For example, the Office of the President of Turkey has a website dedicated to providing information to guide foreign investors, and several other local agencies have the same. Unfortunately NONE of these websites receive links from the English speaking agents and develops websites (with one exception). Instead, several new websites have sprung up by agents using very similar website names as the government ones: to lure unsuspecting foreigners.


So foreigners face some problems when buying property in Turkey, and usually do not find out until after the purchase. To say that the official channels are not very helpful is completely inaccurate. So what is the problem…?


The real problem is that many foreign investors prefer to delude themselves, even when they have been told of the risks and problems. Instead of using independent professional advice, they continue to rely on the English language agents’ websites. This leads them to do things they would not do when buying a property in their own country. Perhaps because living in a property all their life, they imagine they know everything necessary to buy one, in a foreign country with an unfamiliar legal and property system.


And then there is simple delusion: usually they prefer to take a chance with an agent by convincing themselves it will be all right, all the while knowing they will be paying huge hidden price mark-ups of $20-30,000 instead of paying $2-3000 to a professional advisor in fees. Paying fees to professional advisors is clearly much more difficult for these naive investors, than paying 10 Xs as much in an agent’s hidden price mark-ups. And for that reason the agents continue to do thrive and do business, and the naive foreign investors continue to complain about being ‘ripped off’; but it is a self inflicted injury.


Read below how foreign citizenship investor have described their recent experiences;


‘---- On Sat, 11 May 2019 13:16:52 +0300 (PersonalDetailsRedacted forPrivacy) wrote ----


Its very simple, let me explain my position.

I am looking to buy a property in Turkey for the purpose of Rental Income. I have visited Istanbul back in Nov 2017 and realized the following:

  1. Most of the Agents try to see you over priced properties in new developments in  BaşakşehirEsenyurtAvcılar, Buyukcekmece,etc. There are areas far from center and NOT good for rental income. or even resale because no ones going to buy from you when there is an abundance of properties already available direct from constructors ones. I checked later with some of my arab friends and realized they (few ones I know) bought into these areas back in 2013+ and now not able to resell it at all. 
  2. The rental income promised to me for some of the properties shown (during my stay in istanbul agents showed me several properties and even projecs like denize istanbul) that I will get 7% Rental Yield and that in 3 years 20% Price appreciation. I later found out from reliable internet europe based sources that the rental yield in turkey is the lowest some where from 2.5% to 3% as NET (after you deduct the rental income tax etc) and that too were for areas like lavent, nisantasi, florya etc. These new dev areas stand no chance near the same figure.  
  3. Later in 2018, Lira crashed  (when I visited Istanbul in nov 2017, I cached 1 SAR for 0.95 Lira and now 1 SAR fetches 1.6 Lira) do the math. and see for yourself has the property really appreciated for folks who are foreigners and sending Euros or USD or SAR or AED to buy properties? I feel they will lose their capital even if they are able to resell and bring back the dollar value..



---- On Sun, 23 Jun 2019 20:27:20 +0300 (PersonalDetailsRedacted forPrivacy) wrote ----


Let me make a few statements so you know the background


  • Based on my one year research and personal visit to Istanbul and understanding, I have opinion that 95% of the agents lie and cheat. In the sense that they will inflate the prices. This is true for either agents or developers. The moment they know you are a foreigner they haunt you and think all foreigners are stupid. So I stay away from such agents. Unfortunately there are no English language folks or depts in Turkey for info gathering so I will need to get a turkish person or company else I could have done all by myself. I am a salaried person but i manager to create a couple of good properties in Dubai completely with my own efforts and now enjoying 6% (it was 9%) net rental yield in Dubai. of course not all properties will give you that . you need to be brutal in your research not to fall for those greedy and cunning agents or builders. there is a whole lot of research involved like the past experience of the builders. how many projects it completed. visiting the completed projects, talking to people there, knowing issues of maintenance, visit forums etc etc. its a hell of a process and i was able to do all for dubai because every one speaks english
  • My aim to invest in dubai is twofold. One is to diversify my portfolio as dubai is now down in terms of profit but still better, yet its good idea to diversify and second is to get turkish passport. Of course my main strategy is to use the property for rental income.  am not in for flipping properties. However i should atleast ensure that in 5 years time that i should be able to sell those easily in secondary market. Hence I realized from global property websites that turkey is the lowest in rental incomes; avg 2.5 to 3%. Now all of the agents and developers boasted a lot to me claiming 5 to 8% and thats a big lie. All over world avg rental yield is hardly 3%. Anyway am good to go with 3% net in turkey.
  • The new developements claimed in center like maslak or sisili are not exactly in that close. Take for example avengart which is situated up close to the belgard forest. Likewise these new developements are very large in nature with glass walls and all that fancy stuff. maybe appealing to rich arabs --fine. but i doubt i will be able to rent them easily. avengart may have say 500+ units but how many clients will wan to rent? i doubt it. also the example of zorlu i saw so many ads on sahebindan that I am sure 30% of zorlu flats are up for rent -means vacated. Even if am lucky my rentai will be quite low. for exampe the avengart developer says list price 1m but may give upto 900k for cash. In my view this is still over priced and correct price shuld be 700 k
  • I sent email to who really replied my queries well but they are being political too so no clear answer as well..  They provided me a link which does not help much as it has basic info about each property. Then to apply for citizenship, the offics in turkey needs several visits and knwldge of turkey. The avg fee of a lawyer asking is 3250 USD from start to end but the lawyer wont guide me which is best property.
  • Other thing i noticed is that some of these developements put up a sign saying we are gvt backed, tapu is ready. now the unit is not handed over but tapu is ready. So i think these agents or companies like avengart have tie up with some agents to process all under the table like getting an assesment report in their favor for the price of property. 
  • I did a research on sagenbindan for 1+1 or 2+1 from local market. and concatcted owners or local turkish agents and use google translate to chat on whatsapp and i realize it is MUCH MUCH better to buy a property from secondary market already rented so you know the ROI than going for these new dev projects. But then i need a local turkish expert to negotiate but less price means more rental roi. on the asking price of rents and sell for same properties in areas like levent, nisantase , maslak , gloriya, i found the gross rental yield a 4.1 to 4.3 %. So negotiatate a better price is essential.
  • Buying from local means risks. like is tapu real. will govt assess the value correct? is the tenant rent only to sell me as fake etc etc

Hence i asked all of the questions.   



Unfortunately only about 15% of foreign property buyers use an independent professional advisor: these are usually investors or people from professions like doctors, who understand the value and necessity of expert guidance. The other 85% of buyers seem to think that they can obtain a little advice free from the internet, and that will be enough. What these buyers don’t understand is that agents have many different misleading tactics and deceptions that they use with buyers several times a day, every day, for years. The buyer may be prepared for one tactic, but the agent has many, and will hook the buyer with one of them.


No buyer can possibly educate themselves to every trick and ploy. In this situation the buyer can not possibly win. A professional advisorthat has experience dealing with agents’ tricks everyday for years can win.


Tags: Buying Property Turkey

#CitizenshipInvestment #Turkey #CitizenshipbyInvestment #PropertyTurkey #RealEstate

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Citizenship by Investment in the Amount of $100,000…?

Citizenship by Investment in the Amount of $100,000…?   
Yes it’s possible to obtain Citizenship by Investment in Turkey for less than 
$250,000. This is only possible by applying a technique that utilizes investment 

There are additional risks for the investor with this technique. First, there is the 
risk that the investor will forfeit the amounts invested if the investor misses making
the periodic installment payments. Second, there is the counterparty risk that the
investment becomes insolvent, leading to legal costs, deferred liquidation, and 
potential loss . 
To successfully apply this technique, a higher level of expertise is required for two 
aspects. Firstly, the Risk Assessment of the investment requires detailed Due Diligence 
on the counter-party, cash flows, asset, transaction, and investment contract. This is not 
an investment for an investor that is unfamiliar with any of these concepts.  Second, a 
greater degree of expertise is required for the management of the Citizenship 
application, both at the initial stage, and during the life of the contract.  
All of the above require expert advice that 'drills down’ into  the 
investment in much finer detail than the usual standard investment parameters 
and application management.
Expert advice is essential, and is not widely available. Investors will require a 
professional Risk Assessment, beginning with the transaction methodology, as 
the essential first step. Under no circumstances should the advice be relied upon 
from service providers that handle only the usual investment fund or real estate 
investments, such as stock brokers, real estate agents, generalist lawyers, 
or global citizenship consultants. 

#citizenship-investment-turkey, #CitizenshipInvestmentTurkey

Saturday, May 30, 2020

‘The Guide’ of How to Buy Property in Turkey - Explains ‘What and Why’… Knowing ‘How’ is the Key

The Guide to Buying Property in Turkey - Like a LocalThe Guide...'Buy Like a Local'... How to Find and Invest in Property in Turkey a Safer, Smarter, Better Way...
Finally buyers can now rely on simple guidance on buying procedures used by
locals. Thus avoiding the numerous pitfalls and disastrous outcomes that occur
when foreign buyers of property in Turkey are mislead by English speaking estate
agents, and their glossy websites.

Regrettably, these same misleading procedures are also often followed by lawyers 
and mortgage brokers to which the agents introduce their foreign buyers.  In this
way many, many foreign buyers have completed a purchase without realising the
procedures they have followed would never be accepted by local Turkish buyers.
For good reason, too, most often because the misleading procedures of agents are
designed to minimise the buyers negotiating leverage on price discounts, and
conceal key deficiencies in title, the most common being the lack of habitation
certificates. Eventually the foreign buyers learn about the true market prices, and
the lack of permits, and in both cases, the cost of following English speaking agents’
buying procedures adds up to several thousand Pounds, Dollars or Euros.

Now thankfully,  ‘The Guide to Buying Property in Turkey - Like a Local ‘  describes
 ‘what’ the differences in procedure are, the local way,  and ‘why’ it is so important
to avoid following English speaking agents’ insistence and manipulations to obtain
a ‘reservation deposit’. Ten pages of detail are a must read for anyone and everyone
buying a property in Turkey.
A property purchase is a substantial investment, and a buyer that informs themselves
fully at the beginning of the procedure, has made the right first step protecting that
investment, ensuring a favourable outcome at the end. Too often buyers are mesmer-
ised by the many wonderful lifestyle attractions of great food, beautiful natural sur-
roundings, joyous social atmosphere, warm sunny climate, and cheap property with
ample proportions. And these are the circumstances, in which a buyer is tempted
into ignoring the essential procedural details of ‘how’ to buy, which is exactly what
agents are relying upon.
The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of buying are fully explained in the ten pages of the guide, 
conveying more than 30 years of insights into managing more than 3,000 property
purchase transactions for foreign buyers in Turkey. Unfortunately, what the Guide
can not do in the ten pages provided is to explain ‘HOW’ to do what is needed. For
the very simple reason that ten pages is simply insufficient to address the very wide
range of tactics and deceptions, applied by agents and their collaborators in law
offices and mortgage banks, for manipulating the trusting, unsuspecting foreign
buyer.  If a buyer isn’t hooked by the first trick an agent uses, the buyer will be
hooked by another, of the many in the agent’s proverbial bag of tricks. No amount
of advance reading and research can adequately guard against this outcome, for the
simple reason that buyers can not know what questions to ask, or what to instruct,
because they do not know what to expect of the situation, and most often only have
only the advice of agents and their collaborating lawyers and mortgage brokers to
consider. So many permutations and variations in the non-standardised nature of
Turkish property permits, title liens and claims, and payment procedures, means
that having done one, two, or three transactions, is not enough to obtain a satisfact-
ory awareness of everything that needs understanding, in the myriad of circumstan-
ces that can unfold for each different property transaction. Despite agents’ earnest
assurances to the contrary... (!!!).  
Fortunately, the ‘how’ is best obtained from advice available from independent 
professionals. These transaction managers perform an essential function & service,
scrutinising and directing all aspects of a purchase transaction, and are paid by
astute buyers to look after their best interests, in the detail required. This is often
not the case with lawyers and their conflicted interests, with the agents and develop-
ers that introduced the buyer, being their first allegiance. The temptation of huge
hidden price mark-ups and commissions is simply irresistable, like 'Gold Rush Fever'.
The legal reality is that consumer protection laws in Turkey are weak, and real
estate transactions for foreigners are un-regulated. That means that legal recourse
is limited, and costly. So with some optimism, looking forward to the future will
always be brighter when the needlessly predatory practices of English speaking
estate agents are eradicated from the market. Hopefully, 'The Guide…’ will help that
to happen soon....
Check Out My Profile on Quora...
#BuyPropertyTurkey, #The-Guide-To-Buying-Property-in-Turkey
The Guide to Buying Property in Turkey - Comparison of Buying Procedures : The Agents Way vs The Local  Way

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ottomans Rising: a Hit for Istanbul Productions

The new Netflix release, ‘Empires Rising: Ottoman’ is achieving notable new ‘firsts’ for Istanbul and the Turkish film industry.  During the first full week of streaming, the six episode drama-documentary ranked 4th among top trending TV shows in the United States overall, briefly 2nd among Netflix shows, and 6th in binge viewing.

The impact of positive media projection upon property values in a specific location needs no explanation: the examples are evidenced far and wide. The more important question about ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ is whether that success is repeatable. If so, then Istanbul as a property investment location could well be on its way to assuming the status of a top global investment location, on par with the likes of Miami, London, Hong Kong, etc. So the question remains, what potential is there for a repeat success?

In terms of funding and finance (issues that have plagued all sectors of economic activity in Turkey) the impetus derives from Netflix desire to grow its global subscriber base into local audiences in the international market.  That condition appears a likely probability to continue.

Bridging the gap between funding and output, was ProSieben and their Red Arrows International production studios’ local production company Karga Seven Pictures, with operations in Los Angeles and Istanbul. This is a combination of ‘best of breed’ production management, and local ‘on-location’ execution capability, combined with the creative talents spearheaded by a Turkish director having grown and perfected his skills in the US, Emre Sahin. As co-producer, co-writer, and director, this bundle of skills, knowledge, and experience is the essential ingredient of success, not to be under-estimated.

How many Emre Sahins are there, to replicate the formula? Perhaps a few, that remains to be seen. This is the key question. Business practices in the film industry in Turkey have yet to out-grow the decrepit business practices of a by-gone age when media production was a marginal low value-added economic sector. Fortunately the nature of Netflix economics means the production was insulated from the box office distribution wrangling that plagues the local sector. Perhaps the success of ‘Ottomans Rising’ will hasten the adaptation of practices and standards applied in more advanced international markets, thereby improving production efficiencies and output quality.

This is the key to releasing Istanbul’s wealth of creative resources and natural, historic, & cultural treasures, both as a location, and as a source of creative inspiration.  Abundance in these categories is self evident: if you do not know, take a look.

The location is un-equalled for a period drama set in the era. The massive walls of Constantinople are sufficiently challenging to defy the best director of photography, but do provide ample choices.

Technical production skills, crews, and equipment are in ample supply with adequate competency: the challenge is in the management. Artistic competency has never been in short supply in this largest metropolis, and centre of civilisation for two millennia.

Successful viewing rankings were ensured by strategic casting choices, with two idols leading the cast, Tuba Büyüküstün and Damla Sönmez, once again glowing for their grateful and growing international audiences, there was always a high probability of stellar success.  Seeing is believing: take a look.

A bold and inspired casting choice in the selection of a young actor to play the very big role of near-unfathomable stature, rising star Cem Yigit Uzümoglu captured audiences with a laudable and endearing performance, as Sultan.

For his counterpart, the Emperor, was a performance delivered by Tommaso Basili, with stature and grace, the only member of cast not sourced directly from the local Istanbul creative pool.

The supporting cast comprise a rich pageantry of talents well known locally, most debuting for international audiences, accomplished local faces thus emerge gracefully into the inernational spotlight.  Reflecting the international context of Istanbul's creative vivacity by the ability to deliver international faces from the vibrant local talent pool, statistically: Eva Dedova's ratings achieved the cast's greatest increase opening week; while Ryan Ol’s emergence as a new face has clearly attracted notice of audiences. Rankings for the idols and male lead broke Turkish records, achieving international ratings commensurate with Hollywood's greatest stars.

The production is notable for its apparent success in unifying different international audiences for Turkish productions, having grown over the last five years through the Middle East, and then Spain, Latin & South America. Achieving Netflix international objectives, Ottoman Rising is capturing viewing audiences in Northern Europe and North America, extending around the world to include India and Asia.

Successful international audience attraction on such scale, combined with the production cost differentials of the Istanbul location, both above and below the line, is surely catching the attention of production executives focused on their bottom line.

The above ingredients, combined, produced a successful production. Can the formula be repeated? The sequel and new productions are eagerly anticipated.