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How to get a Turkish Residence Permit

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

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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.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Turkish victim confirmed amongst Norway massacre

Norwegian citizen of Turkish descent, Gizem Dogan has been confirmed as one of the victims of the Norway massacre carried out by Anders Behring Breivik.

The Turkish family of Dogan was informed by police following DNA testing by Norweigian police to confirm her identity following the attacks on July 22.

Breivik, who claimed 68 victims said the attack was inspired as a revolution against modern multicultural Europe and that others were ready to strike.

The family has said they are deeply saddened by the news of Gizem’s death. Her funeral ceremony will be held in Trondheim on Monday at a Turkish mosque.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry recently spoke out against the attacks in Norway and pledged support to Norway during these tough times. Turkey also called on Europe to unite to fight terrorism together.

Turkish Lions defeat English powerhouse

In a time when football in Turkey is struggling with allegations of match fixing and important personnel being sent to prison, Galatasaray gave sport in Turkey a brief moment of joy, overcoming English giants Liverpool 3-0 in Istanbul.

At the Turk Telekom Arena in Şişli former Liverpool striker Milan Baros took the spoils grabbing a brace as Liverpool looked shell shocked by the performance of Galatasaray, former Bolton striker Johann Elmander grabbed the other goal as the Lions sealed the 3-0 route of Liverpool. Manager Fathih Terim said: “My players enjoyed a good night.”

Galatasaray look to build this season after being in the relegation places at stages last season and ending the season in a very disappointing eighth position, Terim said: “I inherited a demoralized, worn out and nearly hopeless team. But we pulled ourselves together and arrived at the point where we are today.”

As Turkey look to make a bid for the 2020 Olympics, there is a real battle ahead to clean sport in Turkey in order to make a successful bid. While basketball in Turkey is on the rise with star names from the NBA being linked to Turkey, Turkish football is suffering in the wake of the scandal and this season could be key in turning the image of Turkish football around.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Arabs look to Turkey as summer tourism flourishes

Statistics from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism have shown that tourists from Gulf States are looking more to Turkey for holidays, with bookings up 75 percent and many hotels in Istanbul and Bursa being fully booked.

Nationals from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait especially seem to be flocking to Turkey when they would of previously maybe have spent time in Egypt as opposed to Turkey.

Turkey has become great place for people to invest in, visiting Turkey will provide you with great experience and amazing sights – the Arab world is taking notice of what Turkey can offer and people are looking to Turkey as a great destination to visit.

The trouble in the other Arab countries could be a factor in people wanting to go to Turkey with Turkey’s newly implemented government action against terrorism, Turkey has never been safer.

Istanbul Jazz Festival to close with Joss Stone

Grammy award winning soul singer Joss Stone will close the 18th Istanbul Jazz Festival today in Turkey.

The singer, who will be making her first appearance in Turkey is famed for her powerful soulful voice and has been dubbed as the next Aretha Franklin.

Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and sponsored by Garanti Bank, the festival has featured 40 concerts and more than 300 local and foreign artists. Stars who attended include: Lauryn Hill, Tracy Chapman, Joss Stone, and Aretha Franklin among others. It was one of the best summer music festivasl in the region this year and the closing of the festival should not be missed by music fans.

Istanbul had been looking forward to hosting the Jazz Festival and follows the successful Pride Parade last month in Istanbul.

The concert will take place at 9pm at santralistanbul Kıyı Amfi.

Fenerbahçe punished for fan violence

Fenerbahçe have been punished by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) after hundreds of football fans stormed the pitch during a friendly with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk forcing the match to be called off by the referee.

The Professional Soccer Disciplinary Committee (PFDK) has announced that as a result of the pitch invasion, Fenerbahçe will have to play two home matches without the attendance of fans in the stadium – costing Fenerbahçe millions in lost revenue.

The Fenerbahçe fans that stormed the pitch were wearing masks and t-shirts with the picture of jailed club President Aziz Yildirim in light of the recent match fixing allegations in Turkey.
The match had to be called off in the 67th minute amid fear of violence at Fenerbahçe's Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium.

The PFDK have chosen to come down hard on Fenerbahçe and hope that the fans will realise that if they carry on these kinds of stunts, they will be the ones who get punished by not being able to attend games in Turkey.

Sport in Turkey is currently facing an indifferent period. Basketball in Turkey is flourishing with big names like Kobe Bryant linked with moves to Turkey, while Turkish football is currently facing allegations of corruption leading to the start of the season to be delayed by a month and Besiktas recently returned the Turkish Cup until they are cleared of match fixing.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Turkish FA decide to delay new football season

The Turkish Football Federation have decided to postpone the start of the new football season in order to have more time to decide on the match-fixing allegations that has gripped Turkish football.

Matches were scheduled to start on August 7 for Spor Toto Super League and on August 14 for Bank Asya First League; these have now been pushed back to September.

So far around 60 players, managers and officials from nine Turkish football clubs have been arrested in connection with an eight-month-long investigation into organized match-fixing. Among them was president Aziz Yildirim of last season's champions Fenerbahce.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) are currently deciding whether the clubs and officials involved in the case should be punished hence the delay.

Last week, the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office sent documents to the TFF, which will decide whether the clubs and officials involved in the case should be punished.

Meanwhile the Champions league match between Trabzonspor and Benfica will go ahead today as scheduled.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Turkey makes 2020 Olympic bid official

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last night officially confirmed that Istanbul will bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Erdogan made the announcement infront of a cheering 20,000 crowd during a speech to open the European Youth Olympic Festival at the H. Avin Aker Stadium in Trabzon.

His announcement coincided with the 88th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 that established the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire.

Hopefully that means Istanbul’s luck will change as this is the fifth time Istanbul is bidding to host the prestigious games. The city previously mounted four consecutive failed bids, for the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. This time it will face stiff competition from Madrid, Rome and Tokyo and, possibly Doha.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Turkey starts to see a rise in Israeli tourists again

After a steady decline in Israeli tourists to Turkey; it looks like the tide has turned as the numbers slowly start to rise again. The decline in Israeli tourist figures was attributed to tensions between the two countries going back to the aftermath of the deadly flotilla raid.

According to the Turkish bureau of statistics, only 29,903 Israelis visited the country from January through to May – a 59% drop compared to the first five months of 2010, which ended just before the deadly flotilla raid.

But after reports of alleged calm in the diplomatic tensions, hundreds of Israelis have returned to enjoy the warm hospitality Turkey is famous for. Currently there is one daily flight to Turkey on weekdays and many flights on the weekend – most of them fully booked.

According to experts, Israeli tourists enjoy the 'all-inclusive' culture of children's clubs, water parks, clean beaches, activities for the entire family and good food the Turkey holiday sector provides.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Turkish Super Cup postponed

The Turkish Super Cup match between league champions Fenerbahce and cup winners Besiktas scheduled for July 31 has been postponed as both clubs are involved in match-fixing allegations.

A Turkish court has already jailed pending trial 31 people, including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce and the coach as well as the deputy chairman of Besiktas on charges of match fixing.

The on going scandal has put in disarray the Turkish football calendar; it is currently unclear when the new football season will commence. Turkish Football Federation chairman Mehmet Ali Aydinlar said it was expecting to start receiving prosecutors' documents regarding the probe on Wednesday and the federation would then reach a decision on when the new season will start.

The league season was originally scheduled to begin on Aug. 5 but a postponement is one of the options open to the federation as it weighs up its response to the match-fixing allegations.
The delay will also affect Champions League matches as league champions Fenerbahce and runners-up Trabzonspor are set to play in the Champions League.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Turkish Airlines continue to expand

Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY) continues to add more routes to its already expanding network. The airline started flights between Sulaimaniya, Iraq and İstanbul this Monday, making the number of THY flights to Iraq five since the beginning of the year and THY’s weekly flights to Iraq 24.

There will be four flights between İstanbul and Sulaimaniya per week, flights will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Planes will depart from İstanbul at 11:15 p.m. The İstanbul-bound flights from Sulaimaniya will depart at 3:10 a.m. on the same days. The prices for a return ticket will be around $440.

With 42 domestic locations and 144 international, THY has the world’s eighth biggest flight network and has the title of the best airline in Europe.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Besiktas return Turkish Cup as match-fixing scandal spreads

Looks like the curse of match-fixing is eating its way through the Turkish football league; first it was Fenerbahce and now it’s Besiktas.

After Besiktas vice-president Serdal Adali and coach Tayfur Havutcu were charged and jailed overnight; Besiktas said they were returning the trophy to the football federation until they are cleared.

According to media reports, the cup final between Besiktas and IBB is one of the games under investigation. Besiktas won the match on penalties.
Police say they have obtained evidence of match-fixing and bribery in 19 games in the first and second divisions.

The suspects are accused of manipulating games last season, which saw Fenerbahce clinch the title in the last game, outstripping Trabzonspor on goal difference.
Trabzonspor, have also been implicated, with president Sadri Sener questioned and released on bail earlier this week.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

NBA lockout to benefit Turkey

With the NBA stuck in a lockout that could last for months, NBA players are looking for other playing options with the Turkish NBA the likeliest destination for most top stars.

It looks like NBA Commissioner David Stern won't fight players moving to Europe during the lockout. He said players are free to do what they want, as was the case with the league's last work stoppage in 1999.

New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams became the first major NBA player to take up this option as he takes his talents to Istanbul. Williams has agreed to join Turkish team Besiktas in the event of a lengthy lockout.

There's a track record of NBA players working overseas, former Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury plays in China while Allen Iverson signed with Besiktas last year.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Turkish Airlines revamp Indian routes

Turkish Airlines has introduced a new strategy and incentives for passengers using its daily flights to Istanbul from Delhi and Mumbai.

As of this month, the airliner will be deploying its brand new Airbus A-330-300 wide bodied aircraft, offering more facilities and greater comfort to the travellers.

According to a Senior Turkish Airlines official, the new A-330-300, being pressed into service from July 1 on Mumbai-Istanbul and Delhi-Istanbul routes, will have two class configurations, offering 28 full flat beds in the new business class and 261 seats in the economy class.

Overall, Turkish Airlines is adopting an aggressive marketing strategy, to that effect; it has launched the Turkish Corporate Club which offers additional benefits to business class passengers.

Turkish Airlines has also introduced special discounted fares for students for their destinations in Europe and U.S. In an overhaul of its India-strategy, the carrier has tied up with PVR cinemas for promotion among young travellers offering two free tickets to different destinations every month.

Over the past month, Turkish Airlines has launched 11 new destinations taking the total number of its global destinations to 180.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The secret behind Turkey’s booming tourism

Some 2.1 million tourists visited Turkey in the first quarter of 2011; this is an increase of 17.6 percent over last year making it the fastest growing tourism destination in the world and Istanbul’s tourism alone will earn $10.2 billion in 2011.

So why is Turkey so popular as a tourist destination? Well it’s because Turkey spends $96.8 million on tourism promotion abroad, $96.8 million might seem like a huge amount but based on the number of tourist that visit every year and the revenue they generate, $96.8 million is peanuts.

So how does one spend $96.8 million on tourist promotion, the answer is through various TV commercials, advertisements on billboards and Internet banners.
Through such efforts, Turkey has increased its total number of tourist from 13.2 million in 2002 to 28.6 million by the end of last year, a total increase of 116 percent, according to official figures.

The country’s total spending on global promotion campaigns, advertisements and international fairs peaked at $98.6 million this year compared with $27.8 million in 2002.

The nation’s tourism revenues are also bearing the fruits of long-term investment, as the total revenue of tourism had climbed from $7.6 billion to $20.8 billion by the end of last year.
Turkey’s tourism revenue might hit nearly $25 billion by the end of this year making all the tireless promotions well worth the effort.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Ice cream companies race to get a slice of the Turkey Pie

Ice cream companies have intensified their investments in Turkey ahead of summer, with Turkey’s Mado launching its “express” concept for ice cream service and Italy’s L’era Fresca opening its first ice cream shop in Istanbul.

Mado Executive Board Chairman Mehmet Kanbur said ‘The first 10 caravan-type express shops will open in Istanbul, the Marmara Sea and Anatolia regions.’

Some 200 express Mados have already been launched on holiday routes, and the figure will rise to 2,000 in five years’ time, the company has already allocated $10 million to the project.
Meanwhile, the Italian ice cream brand L’era Fresca launched its first shop in Istanbul’s Bebek district on Thursday.

“We plan to open 10 stores in one month in Istanbul,” said Ahmet Toksöz, the founder of Fermet Gıda, partner to L’era Fresca in Turkey.’’ In a press conference to introduce L’era Fresca products, he said their aim was to open 20 to 25 stores in Istanbul and a total of 40 overall in Turkey.

Some 6 million Turkish Liras have been invested in a production facility in Istanbul’s İkitelli district and 10 shops, Toksöz said. “The İkitelli facility’s production capacity is sufficient to meet the needs of 100 shops.”

This rush to invest should give an idea how big the Turkey holiday sector is right now; a week ago the MasterCard Worldwide index predicted some 9.4 million tourists will be visiting Turkey this year. If that’s not a chance for ambitious entrepreneurs to make money I don’t know what is.