News from around Turkey: Ancient tombs cleared after media controversy
Ancient tombs in Fethiye used as a dumping ground have been cleared after a media outcry; a group of excavated gladiator tombs are to be exhibited in Mersin; two trade deals with Russia could earn Turkey $100 billion; a sunken island in Istanbul is attracting great interest; the site of the Ankara bombings is to be renamed Democracy Square, and EU states attempt to hammer out a deal to ease the flow of refugees into Europe.
Turkey news: Sacrificial bull makes bid for freedom
A bull intended for a Kurban Bayram sacrifice made a bid for freedom just outside of Istanbul. Elsewhere in Turkey, Istanbul residents are outraged over three new ferries that have been introduced without consultation; ancient artifacts have been uncovered at Demre, the resting place of Saint Nicholas; a Roman-era sarcophagus will be returned to its rightful home in Turkey; and 41 million tourists are expected to visit Turkey by the end of of this year, matching 2014 figures.
Turkey’s role in the refugee crisis
The largest migration in recent history has pushed Europe and the countries bordering Syria into crisis point. Governments are struggling to deal with the influx of refugees fleeing civil war, with few countries wanting to take responsibility. Turkey has admitted the largest number of refugees - almost two million - and while resources are stretched, grassroots and local government organisations are working hard to deal with the growing numbers of displaced people.
Tourism news: Restoration turns castle into Spongebob
This week in tourism news: a restoration of a 2000-year-old Istanbul castle has social media abuzz with comparisons to children’s cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants; a sea tunnel currently under construction in Istanbul should be completed ahead of schedule by the end of next year; an index report shows Turkey still has plenty of room for improvement in the tourist stakes; the introduction of tax-free zones mean tourists can visit designated resort areas without passports, boosting spending; and cruise ship traffic is on the rise, especially in Istanbul and Izmir.
Turkey’s snap election – what you need to know
President Erdogan has called a snap election for November 1 after coalition talks finally broke down today. Erdogan has been accused of obstructing talks in order to move to the repeat election. The president is hoping to swing some of the left-voting populace back towards his ruling AKP party. But will the scheme work? Or will it backfire completely? We examine the possible outcomes and economic effects.
Turkey's role in battling ISIS
Turkey’s partnership with the US in the war against ISIS could represent a turning point in the battle against the terrorist organisation. We look at the reasons why Turkey has been reticent in its anti-ISIS involvement until now, and what the implications of a US deal mean for the country. With all eyes turned towards ISIS it’s inevitable that potential visitors are concerned about possible danger within Turkey - but just how realistic are the dangers to the average tourist visiting Istanbul or the Mediterranean?
Turkey news: Elections, Marriages, and solar buses
This week in Turkey: coalition talks break down, which likely means a repeat election is on the cards for November. President Erdogan denies any involvement in the failed talks. A marriage proposal on a major Istanbul road caused traffic hold ups and angry commuters. Grey plastic balls might help save millions of gallons of water each year in Turkey, and a solar-powered bus hits the streets of Istanbul in a bid to provide cleaner transport options in Turkey’s biggest city.
Heatwave to push south coast past 40 degrees
This week’s tourism news: Istanbul’s third airport is scheduled for completion in 2018; Diyarbakir Fortress earns UNESCO status; Antalya Airport serves a record-breaking number of passengers; Gulluk’s new marina should be operational by the end of the year; Antalya is the top business destination in Turkey; Eid and Germans boost the tourism sector; and the African heatwave that’s scorching Europe is set to hit Turkey this week, sending temperatures skywards.
“Don’t mess with my plans”, President Erdogan warns parties
This week’s news: Erdogan warns parties discussing coalition deals to leave his presidential ambitions and plans for new constructions alone; a small boy’s tears spur a campaign to take him to meet his football hero in Istanbul; Antalya’s ice sculpture museum will be the first of its kind in the country; a dogged search for stolen manuscripts ends in success for PhD student; Turkey’s energy minister welcomes Iran nuclear deal.
Turkey could double its foreign property sales
An expert has stated that Turkey’s potential to sell properties to foreign buyers is huge - but changes need to be made to the country’s policies before the number of properties sold reaches 60,000. The real estate consultancy head has pinpointed cities where he believes potential lies - Antalya, Izmir and Istanbul, dynamic centres with young populations and growing economies.
UberBOAT, Rescued baby, and seagulls in Istanbul
Taxi service Uber is launching on the Bosporus, hoping to take advantage of the road congestion; a dramatic rescue in the Aegean Sea saw a 10-month-old baby plucked from the water after drifting out to sea in an inflatable device; Russians are going missing in Antalya, one still remains lost; a seagull caused a serious motorway pile up in Istanbul; a man who has been listed as “dead” since 2004 finally proves he’s in fact alive; and coalition talks are set to begin, with a deadline of 45 days given by President Erdogan.
Turkey property news: foreigners at an all-time high
Bodrum Mayor declares that 25,000 Bodrum homes built before the 90s are in need of renovation, and that the resort town is too important a destination to neglect the poor quality homes; property purchases throughout Turkey have risen year-on-year from 2014, with Istanbul and Antalya charging out in front; and Antalya is currently number one for foreign home ownership, followed by the Mugla region and then Istanbul.