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How to get a Turkish Residence Permit

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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.