Europe wants Turkey and Turkey wants Europe
By Peter Mindenhall

What will EU membership mean for Turkish property?

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Turkey is moving closer to joining the EU and investors will now be questioning what this will mean for the country's property market. Talks over Turkey's membership will restart on November 5th and will hopefully mark the end of a long journey. The country originally applied for full membership of what was then known as the European Economic Community in 1987. Talks on joining the EU broke down three years ago and negotiations to resume them stalled again in June because members criticised the way Turkey approached its anti-government protests.

While there is still a way to go until the country achieves full EU member status, there are certainly signs that relationships between Turkey and countries like Germany are beginning to thaw, according to Istanbul property consultants Universal21. Membership will bring radical changes to the country and strengthen its economic position yet further.

Adil Yaman, investment director at Universal 21, commented: "Europe wants Turkey and Turkey wants Europe because joining the EU can bring so many benefits for both. The economy in Turkey is growing so there is every chance that its inclusion will be a benefit to the rest of the EU."

Access to the world's largest trading bloc and increased freedom of movement between nations will likely have a positive effect on the property market. The Turkish real estate sector has already begun to welcome more foreign investors, particularly from the Middle East. This has helped to bolster the market and demonstrate the power of non-domestic buyers. Mr Yaman expects that EU membership will cause property prices to rise in popular tourist spots and Istanbul.

This follows the pattern enjoyed by other EU member states when they joined. Indeed, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia and Poland also saw significant growth in property purchases and prices after joining the EU. Part of the reason behind this is the 'stamp of approval' EU membership symbolises, giving the green light to global investors.

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