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Why Istanbul

Istanbul is among the most populated cities in the world with its more than 16 million population, while being the most populated city in the region. Located between Asia and Europe, Istanbul is Turkey’s economic center of gravity with exceptional strengths and a global outlook. Istanbul is energized, inspiring, and enterprising because of its location and history. The city was home to several culturally impactful civilizations since the 8000 B.C., including great ones as Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. The city has been a definitive resting point by Traders for centuries, because of connecting Far East Asia to Europe through the Silk Road.

More than 38k global companies operate in the city. Businesses choose Istanbul as an investment destination since it has a supportive, stable, and, most importantly, competitive environment. Already populated interactions, an increasing number of tourists add value to Istanbul’s cultural and natural gifts, while also offering potential opportunities of growth to the economy.

Global connections

The civilizations came before the country, all helped the city to grow economically, and international relations has allowed Istanbul to become a global meeting point. As the city is located both in Asia and Europe, Istanbul is the one spot for all to gather or travel around the globe.

While ranking among the world’s largest and best airline companies, Turkish Airlines continues to grow by continually adding new destinations to its expanding network of more than 300 global locations. As more than 70 airlines now services Istanbul, the city offers easy travel to 90 million passengers every year.

An Impressive Economic Growth

With its fast pacing environment, İstanbul proves to be an essential location that has always affected by economic changes. As the Turkish economy grows substantially, Istanbul acts as the engine of growth, having $17.1 thousand USD GDP per capita, which is well above the national average. GDP per capita in Istanbul has increased more than fivefold since 2001. The foreign trade volume is approx. $206 billion USD, where 76 thousand companies are trading internationally from Istanbul. Valued at $257 billion USD of GDP, Istanbul’s economy surpasses that of about 25 European countries such as Romania, Hungary, and Luxembourg.

A Self-Sustainable Financial Environment

Over the past decade, Turkey has let go of the familiar boom and economic mantle. It was a surface wherein a low-interest rate and competitive environment, banks could develop plenty of methods to tempt investors, both local and foreign. Financial services industry employs around 87 thousand people in Istanbul. This workforce is highly educated, as well as loyal, with relatively low resign rate due to Istanbul’s quality of life. A blooming, different in many ways economy and a favorable tax environment make Istanbul’s finance industry highly competitive.

A photo of Turkey’s own Stock Exchange platform, Borsa Istanbul

According to the Bank Association of Turkey’s 2018 data brief, 203 Billion TRY was deposited in saving accounts of 2816 total bank branches. Istanbul’s very own stock exchange, Borsa Istanbul, offers the possibility to invest in many products through a reliable trading environment to local and international investors. GDP rate skyrocketed in 2017 when the government put new forms of tax cuts into effect, as well as a loan guarantee program that rekindled the flame between small to medium businesses and banks. Through this method, Borsa Istanbul was the world’s second-best performing stock market in that year.

One of the Most Affordable Living Standards

Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey is a survey designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their migrant workers. The study covers 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 everyday items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Governments and major companies use this surveyed data to protect the purchasing power of their investments when transferred abroad and to assess local housing allowances. In 2018, Istanbul was ranked 163rd in this survey, which means economically, a rather carefree life awaits you, in a land close to many other major cities. When compared with many European cities, the ratio of investment to money back rate, Istanbul should be among your top choices.

Real Estate Potential is Beyond Expectations

Istanbul’s already high population never stops growing. This fact demands for constructing more and more living spaces. The recovery of old buildings to secure the history, while building new ones became a high priority in the city’s development plans for economic growth. The growing middle-class market, as well as the younger population with innovative ideas that are transforming into professionals, are helping the city create a demand for consumerism in the city.

The government’s 2012 decision to lift restrictions on foreign property ownership is attracting investors from the neighbouring regions. Turkey’s own Association of Real Estate Investment Companies predicts $10 billion USD investments into the Turkish market over the coming years, especially now that a $250 thousand USD investment is enough to secure a Turkish citizenship.

A $1 Million USD buys 98 m^2 Prime Property in Istanbul. This number is higher than many around the globe, such as only 28 m^2 in London, 46 m^2 in Paris, 58 m^2 in Los Angeles, and 66 m^2 in Beijing!

A City Full of Opportunities and Potential

Turkey continues to rise as a high-growth market for many businesses. Istanbul is the moving force of this fascinating economy, offering many opportunities to those who see it. After the 1980s, the city decided to transform its economy by shifting the focus away from low-cost manufacturing to knowledge-based industries and high-value-added services sector. This move was to keep up with global developments and remain competitive as an investment location. The fruit of that investment has been showing itself for more than two decades now. Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city with design-driven hotels that pay homage to civilizations before it, a lively nightlife, and an active contemporary art scene. The city was thrust into the spotlight in 2010 when it was named European Culture Capital.

The whole country’s economy throbs in this city of 16 million. While the corporate tax rate is %22 percent, the Income tax rate is just between %15 to %35 percent. In Istanbul, the HQ of Turkey’s largest companies, the offices of major global firms such as Citibank and ING Bank, as well as the bases of manufacturing plants producing tradable items.

Since 2015,

  • The budget of Incentivized Investments was at $16 Billion USD,
  • This information led to 3,685 Incentive Certificates being issued,
  • Which created about 80 thousand jobs.
An Energetic and Young Population

Istanbul leads the top European cities in the young population surveys as the average age is still in the early 30s. According to a research by TURKSAT, more than %71 percent of the population is still in the labour pool. At the same time, the city also is home to more than 350 vocational schools. This fact allows the city to stay competitive and active among other major cities with well-qualified workers.

Istanbul has about 1 million students at the College level, registered in 58 different universities throughout the city. The investment of academic researches has yielded a rapid increase in the awareness of intellectual property rights. Still a fast-growth economy, but no longer just a follower, Istanbul has become one of the global landmarks of excellence with its differentiated knowledge.

An Infrastructure In Constant Growth

As the real estate sector rises, especially in the last decade, a handful of attractions have sprouted up in and around Istanbul. Istanbul Airport, the city’s largest and 3rd airport, finally began accepting flights in 2019. The airport that welcomes 150 million passengers is a bridge to 350 different destinations around the world. The High-Speed Railway Project between Istanbul and Ankara, the country’s capital, that cuts the 500 km travel time in half has is now operational.

Galataport; mainly designed as an investment in Tourism sector, this project aims to be a must stop location for global cruise lines. With its 122 thousand km^2 area, Galataport restores the surrounding buildings from the Ottoman era, while constructing new recreational areas and cultural facilities. While it is estimated to be a merely $1 Billion USD project, it aims to bring an extra 1,5 million tourists annually.

Galataport in Construction, May 2019
Cheap, Yet Top Quality Tourism Options in Every Sector

Istanbul is not just a must-stop destination for 14 million annual tourists for its culture and lifestyle. Many of them also travel here to receive treatments from private hospitals, sometimes seven times cheaper than anywhere around the globe. Istanbul’s medical roots offer 300 hospitals with 37 thousand beds and top-of-their fields doctors with a competitive price range.

A view of the Asian continent from the Prince Islands

Let’s take a look at the beauty sector for example. Turkey is among the top five cheapest countries in the world to get Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “Nose Job,” done. In Turkey, you can get Rhinoplasty surgery three times cheaper than Europe, and up to 7 times less expensive than you would get in the US. For example, a Nose Job in Turkey costs between 2 to $4000 USD, while costing up to $6000 USD in South Korea, up to $9000 USD in Spain, and between 14 to $18000 USD in Switzerland. While Greece, the neighbouring country, sets $4200 USD as their cheapest surgery option. In Turkey, their price will often include an All-Inclusive service such as Hotel Accommodations, Language Assistance, and Airport Transfers. The total cost of this procedure is so vast compared to the European cities that the customers usually can stay for a week-long vacation.