Exclusive White House Property Turkey

Contemporary design meets classic flair in this amazing White House design by Place Overseas, take a look at the stunning video on property Turkey for sale.

How to get a Turkish Residence Permit

Every year, thousands of people apply for Turkey Residence Permits, Here explains exactly a step by step guide to getting a Turkish Residence Permit.

How to set up a business in Turkey

A guide to setting up a business in Turkey, all you need to know about business in Turkey.

A complete guide to buying property in Turkey

A guide for buyers in purchasing property in Turkey. How to purchase property and the laws and requirements surrounding real estate in Turkey.

A guide to living in Istanbul

All you need to know about life in Istanbul for expats and those living in Turkey. Check out our complete guide to Istanbul.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sun, sea and sex on luxury Turkey yacht

The yacht once used by the founder of modern Turkey has been turned into the den of iniquity according to indictments brought against a Kazakh businessman and nine of his associates.
Turkish authorities raided the yacht in September and were confronted with rich businessmen, Russian hookers, under aged girls and drugs.

Businessman Tevfik Arif, is charged with being the brains behind the operation, he bankrolled the sex party on the yacht by paying the fees for the women, the middlemen and the transfer of foreigners involved.

The other nine men are charged with human smuggling, encouraging prostitution and establishing a crime ring. The authorities also deported nine Russian and Ukrainian women, including two minors.

The luxury Turkey yacht which the Turkish government has been hiring out for $30,000 a year will now be used as a museum.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Popular Turkish soap turned into online rape game

A game glorifying rape? I can see women groups picking up their demo signs now, but is it all blown out of proportion?

Based on the story of the popular television program “Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” (“What is Fatmagül’s Crime?”) The soap follows the story that unfolds after five men rape Fatmagül, who they know from childhood.

In the flash-based online game named “Koş Fatmagül Koş” (“Run Fatmagül Run”), players control Fatmagül as she tries to escape her would-be rapists. The game ends when the rapists catch Fatmagül and she starts to cry.

The TV show and the game has come in for a lot of criticism for being obscene and immoral while others say it normalises the act of rape. But isn’t the arts all about portraying real life and let’s face it, most rapes are perpetuated by people the victim knows so they are highlighting a reality.

In this case the phrase 'shoot the messenger comes to mind'; should producers be criticised for putting a real social issue in the public arena? Although fans don’t seem to mind the controversy, according to creators “Koş Fatmagül Koş” has been played by approximately 300,000 people so far.

What do you think? Is “Koş Fatmagül Koş” airing a serious issue in Turkish society or just promoting rape?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Own a piece of Turkish Paradise

As the saying goes, money ultimately gets you whatever you want and owning an island has always been on the wish list of the rich and famous.

It is therefore no surprise that news of Turkish islands coming on the market has rich folk from Dubai, Russia, Egypt and the Netherlands circling like sharks.  They all want a piece of natural paradise they can call their own not to mention the prestige that comes with owning your own Turkish island.

There are a large number of Turkish islands - particularly in the Aegean Sea, within cooee of anyone who owns property in Bodrum.

It’s not all smooth sailing though; the government who want to sell the Turkish islands can’t sell to rich foreigners because of laws preventing them from doing so but hey, they can’t let the small matter of $25 billion pass them by. 

They are the government after all; there are already plans in place to change the law but in the meantime, there are estate agents working round a loophole to make selling Turkey islands to foreigners possible through joint ventures.
Like I said - money makes all things possible.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Antalya to become base for world famous football teams in 2011

As the debate for winter break in the English premier league still rages on, football teams in countries with breaks in January usually go to hotter climates to train. Their countries of choice usually include Dubai, South Africa, Spain, Portugal and USA however managers of leading hotels in Turkey are hoping that Turkey and Antalya in particular becomes part of the list - particularly as more and more English people buy property in Antalya.

The trend’s already started with about 25 teams from the first divisions of German, Dutch, Austrian and Russian leagues having already held training camps in Antalya this year. It is expected that more teams will set up camp here from January 2011 onwards.

Antalya hotels are particularly interested in hosting camps for the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and the French Ligue 1 and they believe they should because they have superior football fields and hotels compared to those in Portugal and Spain.

Also considering that Turkish Airlines (THY) are the official sponsors of FC Barcelona and Manchester United, the managers expect them to lend their support in encouraging these two teams to come to Antalya.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Turkish PM sues Daily Telegraph

Normally, it’s a safe assumption that broad sheet newspapers are fact based but I guess that isn't the case this time round.

British Daily Telegraph newspaper published a story in September saying Iran agreed to donate $25 million to Turkey’s justice and Development Party, or AKP in a move the paper said would “increase fears that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan is preparing to abandon the country's secular constitution.”

According to the Press Gazette, Erdoğan’s office demanded the removal of the story from the paper’s website and an apology. The office then took legal action when the Daily Telegraph failed to fulfil Erdoğan’s demands.

PM Erdoğan is also demanding an injunction banning Telegraph Media from repeating the allegations at the centre of his lawsuit.

Author Con Coughlin defended his article to the Turkish media in September, saying the money had been transferred from the Iranian Ahl-Beit Institution to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through the İHH, a Turkish aid organization some have accused of links with radical Islam. However, he was unable to back the story with any documented evidence.

I’m all for journalistic freedom but considering the Daily Telegraph has so far been unable to produce evidence to back the news story, the best thing would have been to print a retraction which so far it has refused to do.

It looks like this one is going to go on for a while…

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Kobe aboard Turkish Airlines

All we hear these days is how Turkey’s economy is the fastest growing in Europe but like most things in the media, we haven’t seen any proof of this. Well the national carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY) having enough money to sign Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant as its “global brand ambassador” for the next two years is definitely proof enough.

Despite the recent embarrassing Wikileaks revelations, it looks like Turkish companies are going all out to forge stronger links with America.
Last week saw a full assault of all things Turkey on CNN and now by signing Bryant as its ambassador, Turkish Airlines will be in practically every American home.

Bryant will begin appearing in Turkish Airlines advertisements in the U.S. and Middle East early next year, as the company launches its first non-stop flights to Los Angeles from Istanbul.

As part of the deal, Bryant will participate in a number of public relations events for THY and special gatherings with his fans around the world, promoting the THY brand.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Segregation even in death - religion in Turkey

As far as I know, Turkey is a country with both Christian and Muslim population; although it is predominantly Muslim, both religions manage to co-exist at least on the surface.

Which is why this story is quite surprising; the remains of a retired Canadian diplomat Hans Himmelbach have been relocated to a remote corner in the Bodrum cemetery where he was buried because a prominent local family was uncomfortable with his proximity to the graves of their loved ones.

The diplomat’s wife objecting to the relocation of her husband’s remains, applied to the Bodrum Municipality five times for an intervention. Her efforts were futile; her husband’s grave was moved 20 meters and now lacks a proper gravestone.

Asked why they requested the grave to be moved, it appears the prominent Muslim family ’wasn’t comfortable’ performing their Muslim prayers so close to a Christian grave.

That answer will have seemed less ridiculous if both bodies weren’t rotting in the same earth regardless of the family's religion. The question is will the authorities have done the same thing if the request had come from the diplomat’s Christian family?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Turkey finds ways to plug future Wikileaks disasters

The world is still feeling the rippling effects of the on-going Wikileaks revelations. Depending on where you stand, the revelations are great because of freedom of information whiles others think it puts diplomatic relations in jeopardy, some also think it is old news.

America is still trying to find out how Wikileaks got its hands on the documents, they might not be able to get that information but at least they can protect themselves from it ever happening again.

Young Turkish engineers from the University of Ankara say a software they developed would have prevented such information from going public.

Shame they didn’t come forward a few months ago, because Turkey has been sufficiently embarrassed by the revelations but better late than never.

The software known as “MyDLP,” is a program designed to keep information secure online, it is available for download from

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Human breath cause damage to the Hagia Sophia in Turkey

For people visiting Turkey, the Hagia Sophia is top of the must see list; this is not surprising, the Hagia Sophia has been described as ‘a heritage not only of Turkey, but also of the world.'

On average, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum gets about 2.5 million visitors a year; however, Japanese experts suspect that human breath increases the humidity level in the Hagia Sophia Museum causing damage to the ancient building. They will be making tests in the New Year to confirm this theory.

If the team of Japanese experts determine that human breath causes an increase in humidity levels, a quota will be imposed on the number of visitors to the museum.

A reduction of people visiting will be a shame, as the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is one of the main attractions that bring people to Turkey in the first place.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Germans lay claim to Turkey’s national anthem

Got to hand it to the Germans, they don’t play around when it comes to ownership of stuff; it has recently become known that the Turkish national anthem, “İstiklal Marşı,” may be unprotected by copyright.

And who steps up to claim it? A German musical society, can you imagine a group from another country asking for royalties every time we sing ‘God save the Queen? Well that is what is about to happen to the Turkish national anthem.

This has the Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan propose a bylaw to make the song public property but he’ll have to move fast as GEMA, a society for composers, songwriters and music publishers that focuses on music licensing, had demanded the royalties from a Turkish school in Germany that played the “İstiklal Marşı” during its Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day celebrations.

The poet who penned the words to the Turkish anthem, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, died in 1936, while the score’s composer, Zeki Üngör, died in 1958. This means that if the intellectual property rights are applicable to national anthems, rights to the song would still belong to Üngör’s estate.
So technically Üngör’s heirs can claim royalties…geez I hope the English national anthem is copyright protected.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Now, that’s what I call Art

You know what they say, it isn’t art if it doesn’t get a reaction out of someone and that’s exactly what happened at the Casa Dell Arte Gallery in Istanbul when Turkish contemporary artist Şükran Moral made love with a female partner during her latest performance “Amemus” (Lovemaking).

Guests were shocked when a young woman, wearing only a G-string and bra, went onto a bed on the stage and started to have sex with the artist Moral, who was wearing the same.
Most of the audience left the venue in the first 10 minutes, but not deterred by this, the artist, Moral was still having sex with her partner when everyone left some 20minutes into the performance.

Speaking after, Moral said her performance did not have a singular purpose. “Generally speaking, the purpose was to bring a new expression to the language of performance art and of course to break taboos. My goal was to annoy the viewers of the performance. I don’t want to make a performance that does not annoy people and make them excited and confused.”

Well she certainly accomplished that; shame she had to cancel her exhibition of the same name for security reasons.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Live on the edge - shark attack in Turkey

Living on the edge, the adrenaline rush, is what tells us we are alive, not everyone has the guts to live life to the max so if you are one of the few who thrive on adrenaline rush, try deep sea diving in Turkey.

If you are moving to Turkey, there’s little chance of getting bored with many activities available but if you like danger the numerous seas in Turkey’s Mediterranean region offers plenty.

If you are lucky, you can play hide and seek with rare oceanic white tip sharks; granted they have recently attacked tourists at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

But this is rare, in the ten years that Turkish resorts have offered deep sea diving, no shark attacks have been reported.

So whether you are in Turkey for the long term or just there for a luxury villa holiday, indulge your wild side with the many deep sea diving activities available.

For people who own luxury Kalkan properties, Kalkan is by far the best place to go diving; you might not get attacked by sharks but you will see thousands of colourful fish, coral formations and underwater ruins dating back to ancient times. Don’t have diving experience? No worries, there are tons of diving schools; you will become a diving pro in no time.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Turkey takes wikileaks documents with a pinch of salt

We love you, we hate, we love you, we hate you, we love you...I wish people will make up their minds.
In the aftermath of the wikileaks revelations, it’s interesting to see how governments around the world pursue their interests regardless of their religious affiliation. Nothing stands out more in these leaked documents than the hypocrisy of Muslim nations when it comes to American.

These documents show that Arab nations have been systematically deceiving their citizens for years; they criticise American foreign policy publicly while urging them on privately. The Saudis refer to Iran as “evil” and have requested that the US “cut off the head of the snake.” But really Saudi’s are the biggest threat to the US and its allies; same cables reveal that even now the main financiers of al-Qaeda are Saudi donors; 15 of the 19 terrorists that attacked the US on Sept. 11 were Saudis, none were Iranians.

Someone should tell the Saudis that charity begins at home; perhaps they should cut off the head of the real snake, al-Qaeda, by arresting and imprisoning its Saudi financiers before turning their attention to Iran.

Yes America is infuriating with its holier than thou attitude when it comes to other countries but I can’t help but think that if you hate America then you should also hate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar and other nations that urge them to interfere.

The documents revealed by Wikileaks has done two things, it has the US worried about its relations with its allies while Muslim governments are worried that these leaks will expose the extent to which they routinely lie to their own people. It actually seems like the only government who has come out well in this whole debacle is Israel; they have always made their intentions clear.

Embarrassment or not, it looks like it’s business as usual for world governments; Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday cast doubt on the credibility of the released documents, he told reporters that “Let WikiLeaks spill the beans first, and then we will find out whether this is serious or not because the seriousness of WikiLeaks is doubtful.”

China also urged the US to "appropriately resolve related issues’’ concerning the leaked documents although you won’t be wrong in thinking they are enjoying America’s discomfort. Other nations said the leak did not alter their relations with the US; who can blame them, they wouldn’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.

In the end the revelations by WikiLeaks might not have an effect on the way governments behave, today they are all back to their double dealing ways but it has certainly opened the eyes of ordinary people about their duplicity.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Turkish town's zesty festie

Orange, clementine, tangerine? What is the difference? I’m not quite sure; I think it is all down to where it is coming from. We need them for Vitamin C, for potpourri but it turns out it can be used for a whole lot more.

No wonder the Turkish town of Seferishisar is holding a tangerine festival; it started on Sunday and is part of the Town’s initiative to promote the district’s agricultural mainstay. Sunday was mainly for entertainment activities and today the organizers will host two panels on tangerine cultivation as well as marketing and sales strategies for the fruit.
Tangerines come in different types;

Clementine - the most popular variety of tangerine, it contains very few seeds and has a glossy, dark orange peel. Clementines are often sold with the leaves attached. They are in season from mid-November to January.

Dancy - they have a dark red-orange thin peel, a fairly large number of seeds and an excellent tart-sweet flavour. They are in season from mid-December to January.

Fairchild - known for their easy to peel "zipper skin," Fairchild tangerines are one of the earliest varieties, available from mid-October to January.

Honey - also known as Murcott or Honey Mandarin, this variety has a thin skin, many seeds, and is very sweet and juicy. They are in season from January through April.

Minneola Tangelo - this is a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo (a type of grapefruit). Tangelos have a characteristic knob on one end where the stem grows, and a dark orange colour. They are in season from January to April.

Royal Mandarin - also known as Temples, these are tangors, a cross between a tangerine and an orange. They are larger than other varieties of tangerines, and their tart-sweet taste is closer to that of an orange. They have very few or no seeds and are available from mid-January to mid-March.

Satsuma - Satsumas have a lighter coloured orange peel and bright orange flesh. They are less acidic than some of the other varieties, and are often sold in cans as Mandarin oranges. They are available from mid-October to the end of December.

Tangerine’s health benefits are many, they are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and dietary fiber; they also contain calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2 and B6.

It is also used in many dishes and desserts like tangerine duck, tangerine chicken, coleslaw, fruit salads, green salads, fondues, sauces and glazes for cakes and sweet breads, chutney and salsa. Tangerine juice and zest can be also added to soups
So what else are can be made out of a tangerine? Check out this cool video below….

Friday, 26 November 2010

Meet Turkey’s telephone man

Love art? Then check out Turkish artist Lütfü Güngörer; he’s been creating sculptures out of coloured telephone cables for over 46 years.

He calls his creations the art of “Sculpicture,”and started doing it when he was a driver for the Turkish Postal Service, or PTT, in the 1960s in Ankara. In his case, the phrase ‘do what you know’ has a literal meaning.
Born in 1938 Güngörer received an art history certificate in 1965 and summarizes his business life as a “struggle to survive.”

 He makes his art with his bare hands, using self-developed techniques and no molds
His first creation was a sculpture of Turkish Sufi figure Nasreddin Hoca; now his sculptures include important political figures like founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, other artists and pieces featuring social issues.

Although he’s never shown his work in a museum, Lütfü Güngörer was the first Turkish artist to be included in the prestigious online art catalogue in 2002

According to the artist, he has been seeking support from Turkish officials for some time but so far nothing’s happened. But what is art without the social struggle, I believe being misunderstood is part of the make-up of artist. Check out Lütfü Güngörer’s sculptures whenever in Turkey; he keeps them in his house.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Get a touch of Armani in your Turkey property

Giorgio Armani may be well known for his clothes but he has now turned his stylish hands to interior decorating for Turkey properties. Armani has caught the decorating fever after making a successful transition into interior design earlier this year with the first ever Armani hotel in Dubai.

The signature hotel has already won awards for being the Best Business Hotel and for having the Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the Gulf Connoisseur Awards 2010.

Armani is now flexing his interior decorating muscles by taking on another project in Turkey, Istanbul to be exact. This is great news if you are currently looking for a nice luxury Istanbul apartment; you will have to move fast though as it is being snapped up like hotcakes.

The project which is a collaboration between Astaş Real Estate Investment and Tourism Incorporation in Turkey and Armani/Casa, the interior design line of the Armani brand; launched in May of this year and attracting keen interest from the wealthiest elements of Turkish society as well as Brits looking to live in a house designed by Armani.

If the Armani hotel is anything to go by, owners of the Istanbul Armani apartments can expect clean, simple and plain shades in the décor.

If you like Armani clothing, imagine living in a house clothed in his touch; the man himself is designing everything from the wallpaper to the sink in the bathroom.

The Armani Istanbul apartments are priced at a very reasonable £190,000 - £2 million.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Naughty and Nude in Turkey

Holidays are important because it gives us a break from our normal humdrum lives; it’s a chance to do something different and out of the ordinary. So if like most Brits you spend your holidays in Turkey why not try something new the next time you are there and be a bit naughty.

It will definitely give you holiday stories to tell when you come back home to the UK, besides memories made on holidays can stay with you for a long time and become something you can look back upon with fondness in years to come.

If it is new experiences you want, they don’t come any better than Turkey, it has amazing views not to mention long sandy beaches among other things which provide water sports and wholesome entertainment for the entire family. However some of these beaches also provide entertainment of the saucy kind just for adults, two places that come to mind are the beautiful Butterfly Valley and Patara Beach. Both are very liberal, gay friendly, and safe places to visit - Turkey is proving to be safe haven for living and has an ever growing gay community as more gay men and women look to move to Turkey.

Patara beach is a 12.5 miles long strip of sand bordered on its ends by mountains and along its length by sand dunes and a large marshy area which was once the harbour of Patara. Even Times Online voted it one of the top beaches in the world; it is also known as the widest beach of the northern Mediterranean.

Patara beach is interesting because although it is officially not a nudist beach, most nudists in Turkey use the beach.So if you ever wonder how it will be like to feel free and walk around without any constraints of clothing then this is your chance.

The gorgeous Patara beach can be the backdrop for your new found brazenness, nudity is not a problem on Patara beach as long as it is kept away from the family end of the beach. The west end of the beach is ideal for nudity and skinny dipping as well as a few other naked things …(if you catch my drift) the beach is so long and wide that there is no danger or bumping into anyone or people seeing what you are up to.

Another interesting location is the Butterfly Valley, it is one of the few places where you can go nude in Turkey and do other things you wouldn’t normally do in other places. It is accessible only via boat unless you are an experienced climber then you can hike there.

Frequented by locals and tourists mainly in the evenings, the Butterfly Valley is the place most people go to revisit their youth unless you are a youth then it is the place to make memories. Possessing a frat house atmosphere, it is the sort of place you don’t know what you have smoked or who you are lying on top of until daylight.

Located just two miles from Oludeniz, the Butterfly Valley is a secluded and really enchanting twenty-six acre valley walled-in by vertical rock where people go to have fun.

So there you have it, all you need to be a little bit naughty and live like a Nudist in Turkey; at least for as long as your holiday lasts. Imagine the experiences and the stories you will have to tell.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Istanbul’s thriving Cat culture

There are many things to see in Turkey’s most famous city but one fascinating thing that is usually left out of the city’s tour guide books is the city’s long association with cats.
There are abundance of stray cats in the old imperial capital of İstanbul, they lounge around mosques and have the run of a couple of universities. There is even a Facebook campaign to gather supplies for them; when visiting the city, it’s easy to spot nibbles and plastic containers of water left discreetly on sidewalks for the felines.

When President Barack Obama visited Turkey last year, he paused to stroke a tabby cat at the former Byzantine church of Haghia Sophia, a sight that is common for most people visiting Istanbul. The cats are part of the city and welcome the attention; most of these strays have developed friendly relationships with people. They have personalities and in many neighbourhoods, they are almost part of the community.

Cats benefit from their association with Islam in Turkey, Islamic lore tells of a cat thwarting a poisonous snake that approached the Prophet Muhammad. In another tale, the prophet found his cat sleeping on the edge of his vest. Instead of shifting the cat, the prophet cut off the portion of the vest that was free and wore it without disturbing the pet. This makes the Muslim population of Istanbul and Turkey as a whole more partial to cats.

This however cannot be said of all animals with dogs getting the wrong end of the deal; stray dogs are considered more of a nuisance and sanitation threat than cats. In 1910, İstanbul officials unloaded tens of thousands of stray dogs on an island in the Sea of Marmara, where they starved to death.

So on your next visit to Istanbul; look out for the many cats that wander the city freely, they are one of the untold gems of the beautiful city.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Calis carnival makes Fethiye the Ultimate Turkey Holiday destination

Most people book their summer holidays as soon as the cold winter season begins and I for one think it is a great idea; booking holidays to hot places like Turkey provides a focus and gives something fun to look forward to.

If like most Brits, you enjoy yearly Turkey Luxury Villa Holidays, trying a destination like Fethiye will definitely be worth your while.  You can plan the trip to coincide with the popular Calis carnival which is a favourite for Brits and other tourists from different parts of the world.

Going on for three years now, the Calis carnival has become one of the highlights of visiting Fethiye and neighbouring resorts. The growing popularity of the Calis carnival is mainly down to the gorgeous Calis beach, the oh so hot temperatures, Calis has an average of 25 degrees and the chance to explore Fethiye, which is a typical Turkish harbour town.

Fethiye as a holiday destination has a lot to offer, there are a lot of shops to satisfy even the worst shopaholic, it also has a mixture of modern and historical cultures as well as an active night life. This merits Fethiye as popular holiday destination on its own but the Calis carnival propels the whole experience to another level.

 Fethiye is definitely a destination worth exploring when planning your Turkey Luxury Villa Holidays, you will not be disappointed. 2011’s Calis carnival will be on Saturday 28th of May and all proceeds will go to local charities, don’t miss it.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Turkey and Britain’s Prime Ministers in Times Person of the Year title Clash

Normally both men work together because citizens of both countries live in each other’s countries but all friendly collaboration is suspended, at least until Time announces the winner of the 2010 Person of the year.

Turkey’s premier, Recep Erdogan was nominated for the award because of how influential he has been this year; he was outspoken when Israel raided the flotilla of activists trying to deliver aid to Gaza, he spoke out when most politicians tried to be diplomatic about the whole issue.

If you own property in any of Turkey’s sunny resorts, then you have him to thank for that. He has helped pass laws making it easy for foreign investors to buy Turkey properties. He also makes it possible for Turkey to have an influential role in the Middle East as well as move the country towards a full EU membership.

That seems like a lot of achievements but don’t forget British Prime Minster David Cameron also managed to end Labour’s tenure in Britain, even if he needed, the help of the LibDems to do it. He is also the youngest British prime minster in two centuries and is looking to reclaim the centre ground of British politics championed by Labour’s Tony Blair.

So out of these two, who gets your vote? Don’t worry if you can’t make a choice, you can always vote for Lady Gaga, Lebron James or the Chilean miners who are also on the list. Go to the Time website to cast your vote.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Marry Mall to ease anxieties of wedding planning in Turkey

Previous posts have established that there are tons of breathtaking places to get married in Turkey but what about planning the wedding? The stress of wedding planning turns even the most demure bride into bridezilla in short time, so here’s some very welcomed news.

Istanbul has a Marry Mall, yes a marriage-themed shopping center which caters for everything that will make your big day special. The marriage themed shopping mall is sure to provide relief for British expats especially, looking to get married in Turkey. Thanks to the Marry Mall, there is no need to hurl everything you want for your wedding from the UK to Turkey; you also save money because importing items for a wedding into Turkey will not be cheap.

Located at the World Shopping Center in Istanbul, the wedding themed shopping center has 136 stores to cater for every need, from wedding gowns, salons, jewellery, cosmetics, photographers to wedding registries. The center also has free parking spaces for 1,750 cars as well as free customer services to help you plan your big day without any drama. It is worth checking out, if you are getting married in Turkey.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Bucket list of an Adventurer, Trekking the Lycian Way in Turkey

Everyone should have a bucket list in life, how else are we supposed to motivate ourselves and live life to the Max? If you don’t already have one, make your to do list today and start enjoying life.

Among the many things people wish to do, about 20% put trekking the Lycian Way in Turkey on their bucket list and who can blame them? The Lycian way is an experience everyone must try at least once; it’s like climbing Mount Everest or diving with sharks.

Most people who go to Turkey would have heard of the Lycian Way, it is a 509 km way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. Although the trail itself was opened 1999 it is made up of paths that are thousands of years old.

There’s an option to pick smaller sections to explore over a few days or to take a month and hike the whole trail to Antalya the way God and man intended. Graded medium to hard; the route is not a level walking; it has many ascents and descents as it approaches and veers away from the sea.

Trekkers can bring a tent or rent A fully equipped caravan or camper trailer, alternatively, there affordable hotels in nearby towns like Patara, Kalkan, Kas, Myra, Finike, Adrasan, Olympos, Cirali and Tekirova.
The Lycian Way has many beautiful sites, one of the many highlights is Butterfly Valley on the beach; start at Faralya and hike down the steep trail to reach Butterfly Valley on the coast. Vertical cliffs on both sides of the narrow beach define the valley. Kabak is the next town along the coast and boasts a secluded deep blue bay on the Mediterranean.

Along the trail are historic towns and ruins like Letoon and Xanthos. Xanthos is a mini version of Ephesus, with an amphitheater where gladiators fought in Roman times. See beautiful tile mosaics and Lycian tombs as well as the Chimaera or eternal flames of Mount Olympos which has tree houses overlooking the Mediterranean.

The most stunning part of the Lycian Way are not specific places or ruins but the experience, many begin to get used to life there. It isn't uncommon to spend a few hours with a stranger walking along the trail as they commute home on foot; the list of stunning views is endless but it's the smaller moments that you remember.

Trekking the Lycian Way trail is one of the few chances you will get to experience the Mediterranean the way people did in Ancient times. Trekking here is a fascinating experience no one should miss.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Russians are coming: the invasion of Turkey

Messy: Russians paint the town red in Alanya.

The Russians are not just coming - they are here and they are taking over.

Turkey hideaways and property havens like Antalya, Bodrum and Kalkan has seen the invasion of Russians - to the chagrin of British expats. Statistics show that every year some three million Russians vacation in Turkey, spending a total of $3 billion on average.

Russians with their excessive spending and love of local products were voted the most desirable shoppers by Turkish shops - but are Brits justified in their dislike of them?

After all, Brits were the first people to make Turkey their second home. In some ways they put Turkey on the map as a holiday haven so have the right to feel aggrieved that the Russians have taken over. Russian is virtually the official language at many local spas. Alanya even has a Russian school, a Russian radio station and a Russian television channel.

It seems Russians feel more at home in Turkey than visitors from any other countries, and this point is reinforced by the common sight of Turkish men with Russian wives.

Regardless of the complaints, the Russian invasion is seen as a good thing for Turkey’s economy so the government has rewarded them by abolishing visas for Russians.

While some may think Brit expats are just being petty, some see the Russian invasion as a serious issue because a typical Russian trait is the inability to compromise and share. This behaviour has seen Russians voted the worst tourists by holiday makers. Even previous title holders, the Germans, deem the behaviour of the Russians as unacceptable.

In their heart of hearts Russians firmly believe that anything good is bound to end soon, so you should get all you can while the going’s good. What they don’t get is that this rule of Russian life does not apply in Turkey.

 Their alleged offences include

  • Taking hotel sun loungers into their rooms to make sure they get a seat by the pool in the morning
  • Eating almost everything at all-inclusive dinners - even taking doggie bags to stock up on grub
  • Flashing their money around and ordering hotel staff to be at their beck and call
  • Belching and swear in public areas such as hotel swimming pools and bars
  • Dressing like 'chavs' - wearing tracksuits and gold bling
  • Pushing into queues in bars and shops to be served first

According to holiday-maker Geoff Hunt, his Turkish hotel was 'overrun' with Russian tourists; ‘they were known as the 'Rude Ruskis' by everyone - even the Germans; they just barged into queues flashing their money and shouting.’

However Natasha from Russia says ‘Russians are smart enough to wake up earlier to put a towel on the best placed lounge to keep it.’ She believes Brits are just jealous because Russians have more cash flash about.

Regardless of the way they behave, it looks like the Russians are here to stay thanks to their spending power. So Brits should brace themselves the next time they visit Turkey and watch out for the 'Rude Ruskis'.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Designer home in Bodrum

Check out this pile for a taste of how the other half lives.

Interior designer Mica Ertegun and her late husband bought the Bodrum villa as a doer-upper in the late 70s.

(The Bodrum of 1978 is a far cry from the present-day tourism hub that sun seekers flock to today:
“There were only three boats in the harbor; women were washing their sheep in front of the house. There were just two private cars in the whole town.)
Today, her stone villa is a triumph of design. Using materials sourced from all over the world, she's stuffed it full of antiques, woven fabrics and finished it with clean lines of marble, wood and stone.

Even if you're not a multi-millionnaire, you can still own a piece of Bodrum paradise. Check out this selection of Bodrum villas - just down the road from Mrs Ertegun.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Time for a Ski-volution – The 5 best places to go skiing in Turkey

Who cares about the Alps? They are so over; there is a new place to ski now and it doesn’t involve breaking the bank. Like holidays and property investments, Turkey has thrown its hat in the ring; skiing in Turkey is the latest thing for the trendy.

If you are reading this, you are probably wondering how you can go skiing in Turkey with its Mediterranean climate; the secret lies in Turkey’s several inland mountainous regions which has a continental climate. Also the Turkish tourist board has invested heavily to provide facilities and skiing resorts to rival the Alps.

It is not by chance that Turkey holidays and Turkey properties are so popular; they are favoured because they are affordable without sacrificing quality. This same principle has been applied to skiing facilities and skiing resorts in Turkey. Check out the most popular places to ski in Turkey;


This is one of the many popular skiing resorts in Turkey; it is about 20km from the capital Ankara. Elmadag’s piste is about 1km long with fully functional teleski facilities to take you to the very top of the ski piste. Elmadag also has a variety of chalets skiers can stay at.


Uludag is the oldest skiing resort in Turkey; it is great for all level of skiers and has great facilities for people with children. The resort offers chair-lifts, three ski-lifts, slalom and giant slalom courses as well as beginner’s slopes. This experienced resort has skis and skiing equipment for hire in addition to a small hospital.


The Palandoken skiing resort is an up and comer in Turkey’s skiing industry, it is few kilometres north of the city of Erzurum. Palandoken offers several long and quite difficult runs for skiers to negotiate making it perfect for those with experience. Accommodation is Palandoken is no problem thanks to the many hotels near the resort, skiing here starts in December and lasts till April.


This popular skiing resort is located in Sarikamis some 60kms from Kars; it has very good courses to suit both experienced skiers and beginners. It is also ideal for families with children.

Erciyes ski centre

Erciyes Ski Centre is located on the extinct volcanic mountain of Erciyes, which is a 45-minute drive to the nearest airport. The skiing centre is suitable for summer skiing, ski touring and heli-skiing; it also has 2 chair- lifts and 2 T-bars. Qualified skiing instructors and equipment for hire are available and the centre has first aid facilities as well as a rural clinic.

Skiing in Turkey offers an ideal compromise; skiers get modern, well set up, cheap and easy to get to resorts. Although skiing in Turkey may be cheap it is by no means substandard; resorts offer world class heli-skiing and facilities to rival the Alps. This has encouraged Europe’s elite to abandon their usual hangouts in the Alps for Turkey’s resorts; for example, Uludag skiing resort which is a short ferry ride from Istanbul usually play host to the city’s glitterati.

Turkey is mostly known for its sunny resorts; it has managed to keep its ski activities a secret however there has been a change in the past two years where people are abandoning established ski resorts in the Alps for Turkey. Skiing in Turkey like everything else in Turkey is blowing up so join the revolution and check it out before the rest of Europe descends on it. Who knows, you might bump into a celeb or two.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Weddings in Turkey make dreams come true

Turkey has miles and miles of beautiful coastlines to fulfil the dream of sunshine filled wedding or honeymoon. The sun, sea and breathtaking views give couples the perfect start to marriage. Couples who want a ceremony in view of a beach have a lot to choose from but none can top the beautiful fishing village of Kalkan.  Unspoilt by mass tourism, couples can get married in beautiful private Kalkan villas with breathtaking views of the crystal clear sea and historic architecture. Kalkan’s charm lies not just in its beaches but also the authentic rooftop dining experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.
After having the perfect wedding, couples can continue the experience by picking another perfect spot to honeymoon. There are many affordable Bodrum properties with beautiful views and easy access to Gumusluk where there are abundant restaurants, beaches and nature to explore.
Alternatively the equally beautiful and spooky town of Kayakoy is perfect for adventurous honeymooners. Couples can stay in luxurious beachfront Fethiye Villas and Kayakoy town houses while they explore the historic ghost houses of Kayakoy. Whether you prefer the beach, adventure or privacy, weddings in Turkey is not likely to be forgotten.

Turkey primed for growth

Turkey's impressive economic growth is being noticed around the world.  

This story in the Vancouver Sun points out what Turkey property owners already know:
"... the OECD recently noted Turkey's economic growth "rebounded strongly" starting in the second quarter of 2009, fuelled by robust exports and domestic consumption. It expects the Turkish economy will grow 6.8% this year and 4.5% in 2011 - although the 2011 forecast may be downgraded shortly. The IMF has pencilled in a 3.6% expansion in 2011, which would still be above the IMF's forecast for 2.2% growth in advanced economies and the 3.1% advance in central and emerging Europe.
Turkey is attracting the interest of investors in every sector - and the uptrend can only continue with the latest positive news.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

We won't let terrorists dampen our holiday spirit, Turkey vows

Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, was rocked by a suicide bomb this Sunday. The horrific attack left some 32 people wounded but thankfully there were no fatalities except the suicide bomber who blew himself up.

In a way, this is nothing new; Turkey like most countries in the world face terrorist threats daily. The UK for example recently raised its terror threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ in line with many European countries who have been on high alert for some time now. This brings home the sad realities of terrorism in the world.

Sad though the event was, Turkish natives, holiday makers and property investors refuse to let this disrupt their way of life. As one local man puts it ‘stopping our normal routines will mean the terrorist have won and we won’t let that happen.’

To reinforce this point, the week started with strong forecasts for more investments in properties in Turkey meaning property investments in Turkey will be at an all time high by the end of the year.

Although the general public remain vigilant, regular holiday activities in holiday havens like Kas went on as normal. Activities such as water sports, cruises and tours to the unspoilt Turkish coastline and islands took place. 
This sends a strong message to the property world that it is business as usual in the Turkey property and holiday markets, and the opportunity to make profit is still available.

Everton star's slice of Bodrum paradise

First Ricky Hatton, now Everton midfielder Tim Cahill - it seems Bodrum's the place to summer if you're a British sporting celeb.

Cahill's brand new Bodrum property - complete with private pool and near Tuzla's golf course - is a slice of paradise away from the pressures of the pitch, and the sportstar is over the moon.

“I love it. I’m very lucky, it’s somewhere to catch some sun and I do see it as an investment too,” he told a local newspaper.

“Being a footballer you don’t always know when you’re going to be able to get away, so this is ideal,” said the Australian player. 

“It’s not too far away and it’s easy to get to. It’s five minutes from the Bodrum airport, so I can take in some sun, play a bit of golf and fly my family over from Australia for a holiday, too.”

Monday, 18 October 2010

Bodrum Nazis?

Holidaying Brits were outraged to find Nazi helmets on sale at a Tesco-owned store in Bodrum.

The helmets were priced at £8.50 and relegated to a bargain bin. To add insult to injury, the store, Kipa, was founded 86 years ago by a Jewish entrepreneur.
Sun reader Lee Gillet was not impressed. "I couldn't believe it. I'd popped in for some groceries and saw this Nazi helmet in a bargain bucket."

Bodrum, home of Turkey's original tourist resort, is not known for its Nazis and holidaymakers will no doubt hope this remains the case.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Awkward social situations

If someone chucked rubbish into my garden here in the UK, I'd probably throw it back. But what if you're in another country? It's hard trying to negotiate social situations when you're unfamiliar with another culture.

Alison Kenny writes about negotiating social situations as an expat, and learning to stand up for yourself. Having a holiday home in Antalya is one thing, but living there permanently, well, it's a whole different ball game.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Turkey's earthquakes - are you at risk?

Turkey’s earthquakes are well documented. Crossed by the Northern and Eastern Anatolian fault lines, the country is squeezed between two giant plates. 

Although quakes are relatively frequent, most are minor. However, in the last fifteen years the country has been hit by four earthquakes of 6.0 or more on the Richter scale, the deadliest being the 1999 Izmir-centred 7.4 quake which left more than 17,000 dead and many more homeless.

Thanks to Turkey’s rapid urbanisation and expanding cities, the potential for massive earthquake casualties is greater than ever. Sadly, the casualties will mostly likely be Turkey’s poor. As more and more people move to the cities for work and a better life, the demand for cheap housing grows. Unfortunately, not all developers adhere to Turkey’s strict building regulations, greasing palms and taking shortcuts to make a fast buck. The resulting housing is often ramshackle and poor quality – and liable to collapse at the smallest tremor. It was Turkey’s poor who suffered the greatest loss and injury during the 1999 quake.
After the Izmir quake the Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (TCIP) was established to make sure that in the future the country was safeguarded against the massive cost of reconstruction, without the need for international aid. Together with the World Bank, the TCIP set up a nationwide insurance policy. 

Now in its tenth year, the policy, which had been growing each year, has experienced a significant reduction in purchases.
Of Turkey’s 13 million private homes, only 25 per cent have up-to-date TCIP policies. Fethiye property owners top the list with almost 46 per cent of homes holding a valid policy. This is thought to be due to its relatively wealthy population, many of whom are foreigners who are used to the idea of insurance.

How can you safeguard yourself against earthquake loss?
  • Take out a TCIP policy.
  • Check your developer thoroughly to make sure they have adhered to the latest building regulations
  • Buy new build – older properties may not adhere to regulations. If this is the case, you may not be able to get an insurance policy.

What to do during an earthquake

• If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold

• If you are outside, move no more than a few steps, then drop, cover and hold
• If you are driving, pull over and stop
• If you are at the beach or near the coast, drop, cover and hold then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows the quake 

After an earthquake

• You should expect to feel aftershocks
• Help those around you if you can
• If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place
• Do not go sightseeing to look at the damage the earthquake has caused
• If you smell gas, try and turn off the gas main outside the building if it is safe to do so
• If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so
• If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes