Trabzon and Bursa
Turkey’s property market has been experiencing a new trend over the past few years as investors divert their interest from the sun soaked coastal regions of the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean to the fresher city destinations of Trabzon and Bursa. Turkey acts as the Gulf States’ connection to the west, giving them a taste of European flavours and a more westernised culture while still feeling like home. Over a million Arabs live and work in Turkey, and the country attracts a record number of tourists from the Middle East each year too. Currently, Arabs make up 40% of the 42 million tourists Turkey sees each year and the increase in tourism from the Gulf States has also added to the number of foreign investors from these countries.
The historic city of Bursa and the multi-cultural city of Trabzon are the up and coming areas in the north of Turkey, rising up the popularity charts with investors and tourists from all over the world. Trabzon in particular has recognised the growth of Arab visitors to the area, with tourist figures rising from 30,000 in 2010 to 410,000 in 2015, resulting in a tourism income in excess of $1 billion. Consequently, the city has invested a considerable amount of money in Arab tourism, adding Arabic translations to city signposts and organising an Arabic language course for tradesmen in the area, to enable then to communicated with the tourists more comfortably.
With an increasing availability of luxury city apartments in these popular cities, there has never been a better time to invest. Bursa in particular is about to profit from the opening of the new six-lane Istanbul-Izmir Highway Project to become Turkey’s new property hotspot. If Bursa’s close proximity to Istanbul wasn’t attractive enough aready, the new proposed drive time of just an hour from city to city is about to clinch the deal. Added to that the opening of the new Istanbul airport which will bring new revenues of tourism from all over the world to the north side of Turkey, Bursa appears to be the top spot to buy property.
The great city of Trabzon also has its attractions, with its own international airport close by and an exceptional transport infrastructure of land, air and sea, to rival all other cities in Turkey. But it is the incredible natural beauty of Trabzon and its surrounding areas and its fascinating and varied history and cultures, providing a whole new trend of tourism in Turkey which makes the city such an attractive prospect to investors.
Trabzon is a stunning and traditional city that once served as a trade gateway to Persia. Located on the Black Sea Coast and on the historical Silk Road, the city became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries, a multicultural facet that there is still evidence of today. The city has a fascinating history of Pontic Greek settlements, Armenian culture and Russian occupation. The city’s prime position and successful port also made it susceptible during both the first and second world wars, all in all giving the city a diverse and rich history which is celebrated all over the city through its architecture, local cultures and many museums.
Turkey Homes offers a beautiful selection of modern apartments in Trabzon, which all offer a magnificent Black Sea views. New build apartment complexes in the area are offering buyers everything that they could possibly wish for in a property. With plenty of green spaces and wooded areas for relaxing and walking in, the complexes are child friendly with large open spaces and playgrounds and high level 24-hour security. Being a small but thriving modern city today, local amenities including hospitals, schools and shopping centres are all within a short walk from home. Some complexes even offer state of the art sports centres and outdoor gaming courts. Amazingly, a modern three bedroom apartment with all of these incredible facilities can cost as little as $110,000. Trabzon is the ideal location for a second home or for those looking to move to Turkey, but the city also has huge potential in the holiday rental market.
Tourism has been growing in the Trabzon Province for many years now as an alternative to the beach holidays of the south coast. The Black Sea region enjoys a cool climate all year round, the perfect environment for lush green forests, set amid stunning mountains, rivers, and lakes. The Pontic Mountains pass through the Trabzon Province and the narrow coastal strip between the mountains and the Black Sea, known as Pontus, is home to Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests which contain some of the world’s few temperate rainforests. These conifer and deciduous rich forests are the perfect location for nature lovers, Eurasian wildlife enthusiasts and bird spotters in particular.
The city’s most important tourist attraction is its very own ‘Hagia Sophia’, a stunning Byzantine Church, formerly of 13th century Greek Orthodox origin which was converted into a mosque in 1584. The impressive building was temporarily used as a hospital and depot during the occupation of the Russian Military and in 1964 it was turned into a museum, which it still remains today. Trabzon’s ‘Hagia Sophia’ is regarded as one of the finest examples of Byzantine sites in Turkey today.
Tourists can also explore the ‘Atatürk Köşkü’, a villa built in 1890 by a Greek merchant. Atatürk himself stayed there in 1924 and 1937 and the building currently serves as a monument to the memory of the great founder of the Turkish Republic. A sunny afternoon can be spent in Boztepe Park, enjoying a few glasses of Turkish tea in the gardens on the hills above Trabzon which offer stunning panoramic views of the entire city. The Bazaar District offers an array of shopping opportunities with many traditional shops lining the ancient narrow streets, or you could learn more about the history of the region at the Trabzon Museum, which also offers an impressive collection of Byzantine artefacts.
There are also many opportunities to take yourself outside of the city, into the mountainous landscapes of the surrounding province. There are several monasteries on the outskirts of the city, none more interesting than the famous ‘Sümela Monastery’, built on the side of the very steep Mela mountain. Sümela is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is a site of great historical and cultural significance, founded in 386AD and it became famous for an icon of the Virgin Mary known as the ‘Panagia Gorgoepekoos’, said to have been painted by the Apostle Luke. Nature lovers could find themselves at the increasingly popular Uzungöl Lake, which lies south of Trabzon city in the Çaykara district. The lake was formed by a landslide which transformed the stream bed into a natural dam. The area is famous for its natural beauty, located in a valley between the high rising mountains. The lakeside village of the same name is a favourite get-away spot for locals and has also seen a massive increase in visitors from Arab states.
Trabzon offers a cool alternative to the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, with incredible natural beauty just a few kilometres outside of the city and an active community offering plenty to enjoy from day to day. With many stunning apartments on offer and the property market set to take off in the future, Trabzon is now becoming an ideal lifestyle choice and area of investment opportunity for Arab visitors and investors.
Bursa is a large city located in northwestern Anatolia, in the southern Marmara Region, settled on the slopes of Mount Uludağ. Bursa is Turkey’s fourth most populous city and third most popular in terms of foreign property purchases. The city sports hot and humid summers, lasting from June until September, while winters are much cooler and damp, occasionally with the added excitement of some snow. The city of Bursa benefits from a vast array of parks and gardens as well as the richly varied forests of its surrounding region. In fact, the city’s nickname is ‘Yeşil Bursa’, meaning “Green Bursa”. The city is already extremely popular with Gulf investors, but demand is expected to grow as more investors look to take advantage of the city’s improved transport infrastructure.
Bursa and the city’s coastal suburbs are about to boom in the Turkish property industry following the completion of a landmark road bridge over the Marmara Sea which will drastically cut journey times to Istanbul; the new six lane Istanbul-Izmir Highway Project. The first phase of this super highway includes the creation of the 3.3km Izmir Bay suspension bridge linking Gebze just east of Istanbul with Yalova on the southern shore of the Marmara Sea, which is connected to Bursa by the D575 highway. Though the entire project will not be completed until 2018, the suspension bridge is expected to be in use by the summer of 2016, meaning connections from Bursa to Istanbul’s Sabiha Airport and the city itself will be less than an hour.
House prices in Yalova have already rocketed, and the effect is likely to spread to Bursa, meaning that now is prime time for property buyers considering Bursa as an option for investment. On completion of the new suspension bridge, Istanbul will realistically be commutable for those who work in the city but want to live in Bursa. With stunning waterfront locations, deluxe lifestyle accommodations and elite neighbourhoods, Bursa is fast becoming the first choice for those looking to move to Turkey from the Gulf States.
Turkey Homes has a number of incredible properties on offer in Bursa, from luxury apartments to waterfront villas. Set in stunning complexes which offer communities of their own, the facilities are second to none, with tennis courts, fitness centres, swimming pools and shopping centres and restaurants on site and shuttle transportation into the city. There is something to suit every budget in Bursa with prices ranging from as little as $78,000 for a two bedrooms apartment with a sea view in the Mudanya area of Bursa, to private five bedrooms luxury villas in excess of $1 million. Whether it is a second home you are looking for or a holiday rental investment opportunity, Turkey Homes can find you the perfect property in Bursa at the perfect price.
Bursa offers an alternative city investment to Istanbul, with the added bonus of nearby Mount Uludağ, one of the most popular ski resorts in Turkey. The 8.8km long Bursa Uludağ Gondola connects the city of Bursa with the resort, 1,870m high on the mountain. But the city itself also sports many places of interest for holiday makers, including Ulu Cami (the Grand Mosque), a landmark of early Ottoman architecture, built between 1396 and 1400. Inside the mosque there are 192 monumental wall inscriptions written by the famous Ottoman calligraphers of that period and is now one of the greatest examples of Islamic calligraphy in the world. Another experience that must be had in Bursa is a visit to ‘Koza Han’, a silk trading market that once acted as a caravanserai and roadside inn where travellers of the Silk Road would rest and trade. Other city attractions include 1st century Bursa Castle, the Archaeological Museum, the Atatürk Museum, Bursa Zoo and Botanical Garden, Saitabat Waterfall in Guvercinlik and some of the best beaches in the north of Turkey, including Armutlu Beach and Orhangazi Beach.
Health tourism is also on the rise in Bursa, with the city’s thermal baths used for therapeutical purposes since Roman times. The area’s natural thermal spas are worth a visit for the ailment of any problem areas in the body or indeed the soul. Kermit Hot Spring, Armutlu Hot Spring and Gemlik Hot Spring are just a few within Bursa that are worth a visit for the day. If relaxing in a hot thermal bath doesn’t sound like fun, perhaps exploring the city’s ancient history does? The mausoleums of the early Ottoman Sultans are located in Bursa and the city’s main landmarks include numerous edificed built throughout the Ottoman Period. However, it is Bursa’s close proximity to Istanbul which makes Bursa such an accessible city for investors. With the new shorter journey time to Istanbul, international travel will be made incredibly simple with the use of Istanbul’s major upcoming airport and there are also numerous daily bus and ferry services between the two cities.
Owner and Director of Turkey Homes, Tolga Ertukel also adds: ''The cities of Trabzon and Bursa are fast becoming the top choices for international property investors in Turkey. Properties in these cities are of top class workmanship and offer incredibly good value for money. The property prices in Bursa are set to shoot through the roof in the coming years as buyers begin to choose the city as a suburb to Istanbul and Trabzon is one of the north of Turkey’s most up and coming cities. Now is definitely the time to invest in coastal city luxury and its rising tourism market.''