Hope for Cyprus
With support from Turkey and the United States, and a potential new government for Northern Cyprus, this might just be the year the island reunifies. US Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his support for talks this year, saying that a reunified Cyprus would be a huge boost for the region. Elections are currently being held in Northern Cyprus, and political commentators believe that a new moderate government will further help facilitate change by working closely with Greek Cypriots to find a mutual solution.
Turkish Airlines soaring high
Turkey's national airline has announced an increase of passengers for the first quarter of the year. Passenger numbers have risen by 6.5 percent over the same period in 2014. Turkish Airlines has also added a new route to San Francisco, as well as more daily flights to Budapest.
Claire Sweeney in “the biggest scam in Turkey"
News this week came out that celebrity Claire Sweeney is trying to sell her property in Turkey at half the price she paid for it eight years ago due to bad investment with what is commonly called the biggest scam in Turkey with Parador Properties. We take a look at why Claire and many others chose Parador and what exactly happened, and how that has changed the property market in Bodrum today.
Antalya’s drive to boost golf share
An initiative to increase Belek’s golf share is focussing on French golfers. Belek, in Antalya, is the country’s premier golfing destination, with 14 world-class courses. A development agency is to bring French golf tourist agents to the region to sample Belek’s best golfing facilities, with an aim to divert French golfers from popular Tunisian and Moroccan courses. In other news, in May, Belek will host 126 female golfers as part of the Ladies European Tour, a prestigious tournament that will be a huge boost for Belek and the wider Antalya region.
Antalya gears up for G20 summit
Antalya City will host 1300 G20 delegates in November as part of its G20 presidency, which was assumed in December. The summit will not only be a chance for Turkey to shine on the world’s stage, but will bring global attention to the country, in particular, the Antalya region. The G20 summit will aim to address issues such as global inequality, renewable energy costs and increasing prosperity and improving financial systems to guard against future financial storms.
The intriguing story of Soho House
If walls could talk, the beautiful Palazzo Corpi, home to the US Embassy for a century, would certainly have a few stories to tell. The beautiful mansion was once a meeting place for the movers and shakers of the world - as well as spies. Now, the mansion is moving into its next incarnation: the Istanbul home of the luxury club Soho House. Millions of dollars have been spent on restoring and improving the mansion, which opens its doors to members and non members alike this month.
Investment and employment plan to boost Turkish economy
The Turkish government has revealed a new package that will rejuvenate the economy by creating 120,000 jobs and encouraging investment. While the country has seen an average of 5 percent annual growth since the AKP party came to power in 2002, during the last two years the economy has slowed. Elections are also looming, and AKP hopes that the ambitious economic plan will win favour with voters in the lead up to June. President Erdogan’s party is determined that Turkey become one of the world’s top 10 economies within a decade, and this plan is one step toward that goal.
Reduce global poverty, Turkish minister urges G20
Last week the Turkish minister for Labour and Social Security Faruk Celik made a rallying cry for influential G20 states to turn words into actions and make moves to eliminate global poverty. Turkey, who has G20 presidency, is urging the world to sit up and take notice as ever-widening gap between rich and poor turns critical. Turkey is well qualified to comment on the issue of leaving poverty behind - a World Bank report shows that poverty levels in Turkey have dropped dramatically, from 16 percent a decade ago to just five percent today.
Falling interest rates boost domestic property sales
The Turkish housing market has been revived by domestic demand as falling interest rates allow first time buyers to gain a hold in the property market, boosting sales volume and bolstering the economy. Overall sales were up in February, with mortgage house sales increasing by more than 50 percent. Istanbul maintains its position at the top of the sales hierarchy, with 19 percent of sales completed there last month. This is due in no small part to increased investor attention, with buyers attracted to the low-cost, high yield residential complexes outside the city centre.
New EU-Turkey agreement to bolster relations and cement trade
An updated Customs Agreement between Turkey and the EU is set to cement Turkey’s importance as a trading partner and solidify its role in a lucrative free trade agreement with the US. The Customs Agreement has been in place for almost 20 years, and has not kept pace with Turkey’s position as a trading partner and threatened its position in future trade deals. The updated agreement will not only open Turkey up to foreign markets, but is paving the way for future trading and energy deals with the EU.
Turkey’s tech boom: a 2015 forecast
Technology is booming in Turkey, with overseas and domestic investment facilitating a rapid growth in software development and communications technology. Turkey’s youthful population is driving the demand for better, faster communication and transforming the way Turkish businesses work, with an emphasis on independent, mobile-connected working units. Spending in the technology sector is set to reach US$11.7 billion this year as the sector hits its stride.
Turkey to be the energy distribution hub of Europe
A gas pipeline connecting Azerbaijan's largest natural gas fields to Europe via Turkey is set to cement Turkey's status as the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. The move will make Turkey the region's key energy distributor and ensure future access to lower-cost gas. The pipeline will also allow Turkey to distance itself from Russia, who previously supplied the country with most of its gas supply.