Turkey eyes up Golden Visas

Turkey is planning to introduce its own Golden Visa scheme for foreign investors, following success in countries such as Portugal.

The groundbreaking announcement by the Turkish Minister of Economy revealed that the country looks set to follow in the footsteps of its European cousins with its own scheme to offer residency to investors.

Minister Nihat Zeybekci has stated the country intends to grant citizenship to those foreigners who impart a certain level of investment in the country’s property industry, suggesting the threshold would be around the $500,000 to $1 million mark.

The announcement follows strong success with similar schemes in other countries. Indeed, in Portugal, the scheme has been largely responsible for stimulating overseas interest in the country’s real estate, which, in turn, has helped to fuel the country’s market recovery. Since its 2012 launch, the scheme has generated €1.47 billion of investment for Portugal, €1.33 billion of which was via property purchase.

Compounding the notion that the Arab nation is focussed on expanding the already flourishing property market, the government has now made their intention to expand overall foreign investment clear, aiming to take figures to groundbreaking $10 billion levels. The knock-on effect of the proposed scheme to the sector and those who operate in it, as well as to the country’s coffers as a whole, is  welcomed by leading property agent, Universal21.

Adil Yaman, Director of the largest management company based in Istanbul, says it “could revolutionise the Turkish property market”.

“Turkey, and the country’s biggest city of Istanbul, is widely lauded as a cultural melting pot and this is certainly – increasingly – the case in the property market,” he explains. “In recent years growing numbers of external buyers have looked to purchase property in this wonderful country, and the exciting new announcement by the Minister looks set to escalate this to impressive levels in 2016.

“Benefitting individuals looking to purchase in a growing market, providing welcome advantages alongside their property purchase, as well as the economic benefits for Turkey as a whole, this is a positive move from the government for a country open to, and welcoming of, foreign investment.”

And this is already being reflected in the current levels of foreigners buying in Turkey. The most recent figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat) have shown that such sales grew by 19% from January to September this year, compared to the same period the previous year.