Welcome to Kucukcekmece: A House Buyer’s Guide to Istanbul
The Kucukcekmece area of Istanbul is a star performer of its real estate industry. Emerging from a rarely talked about district to attract global investors, its newfound fame as an ideal place to buy Turkish property is bringing in nationalities from all around the world. Sitting on the European Catalca peninsula of Istanbul, other surrounding districts also receiving fevered interest on the real estate scene include Avcilar, Basaksehir, and Esenler.
Even though there was a small town during the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, Kucukcekmece hasn’t always been a populated area. Until 70 years ago, locals from other regions in Istanbul only visited for excursions and summer weekends. However, developers soon realised the flat landscapes were ideal for building projects, and from there it slowly grew. It’s now a fashionable residential district loved by Turks and foreigners alike.
Being just 17 kilometres from the city centre, working commuters take advantage of significant highways nearby like the E80 and E5. Also, Istanbul’s new airport is only 1 hours’ drive away and when complete in 2023, will provide residents with year-round air travel to over 300 global destinations.
There is a lot more to the area though than useful transport links. Once they see Kucukcekmece, anyone looking to buy property in Istanbul will easily understand why Turkish and foreign house buyers are snapping up properties.
Covering 14 square meters, and formed thousands of years ago by rising sea levels, some locals call the lake a lagoon, because only a sand wall separates it from the sea. Unfortunately, in previous decades, local businesses neglected it, and a high level of pollution made it unsanitary.
This all changed in year 2000 when the local council realised residents wanted more and it was in their best interest to preserve this natural landmark. Various bird species have returned, and its future looks bright. These days, 7 kilometres of the lakeshore offer residents multiple social and leisure facilities including walking and jogging paths, picnic areas and cafes.
To celebrate the natural landmark, every year in July, a festival highlights local culture and heritage. Residents also enjoy other smaller parks with lakes, wooden bridges, picnic areas, basketball fields, café facilities and walking routes. Indeed, if green space is what you want, Kucukcekmece offers bucket loads of it.
Yarimburgaz Cave: Where It All Began
At the northwest of the lake, Yarimburgaz caves, the other famous landmark is where it all started. Much of Kucukcekmece’s historical claim to fame stems from archaeological finds saying it was one of the earliest traces of human settlement in Istanbul. Over decades, archaeologists working in Yarimburgaz caves discovered humans lived, fished, and hunted in the area. Despite its historical importance, it only attracts a few tourists who already know of its existence, and travel there specially to see it.
Kucukcekmece and the Istanbul Canal Route
Over the last ten years, modernisation and upgrading work has transformed transportation, urban planning, shopping, education, and health facilities but a flurry of real estate interest descended on Kucukcekmece when the Turkish government announced the planned Istanbul canal route would start there.
At present, most maritime traffic goes through the Bosphorus heading from the Marmara to the Black Sea. However, as traffic increased over the decades, pollution rose and occasionally, tankers lost control and ploughed into historical shoreline buildings.
The plan is to divert traffic by building a new canal route to separate European Istanbul into an island. Starting from Kucukcekmece, the 45-kilometre (28 miles) canal will head north through the Sazlidere and Durusu corridor, and the completion date is 2023. This project has attracted many real estate investors looking for long term capital appreciation.
Modern Architecture: Kucukcekmece’s New Face
Since 2000, local projects have turned Kucukcekmece from a dying town into a desirable place to live by utilising modern architecture. The council building boasts of big windows to maximise natural daylight and BREEM awarded it a green certificate for its friendly energy, carbon dioxide, and waste facilities.
Arenamega is another landmark building open since 2013. Hosting concerts, cultural, arts and crafts activities, a sophisticated light and sound system has led the way for professional theatre performances. With a capacity to host 35,000 people, it is one of Istanbul’s biggest arenas. Other arts and culture centres include Cennet, Sefakoy, Halkali. These days, the area is a pleasant blend of old and new with many reasons to look forward to the future but still remember the town’s nostalgic roots.
Shopping Malls and Local Markets
Across the country, a time-honoured Turkish ritual is buying fresh fruit and veg at the local markets, and Kucukcekmece adheres by hosting various markets on different days. In Halkali centre, a market takes place on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Ataturk neighbourhood, another famous district hosts a market on a Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, while Monday markets happen in Inonu, Sogutlucesme, Istasyon, and Kanarya.
Weekly markets make a roaring trade from locals but do not underestimate the power of shopping malls. Istanbul is full of them, and all offer shopping, dining, and entertainment centres under one roof. Locals enjoy Arena Park and Armoni Park but drive further afield to outskirt neighbourhoods, and a choice of 20 plus is at your disposal.
Buying Property in Kucukcekmece, Istanbul
Property buyers can choose from 21 neighbourhoods each with a claim to fame and unique characteristics. Fatih, Yarimburgaz, Cumhuriyet, Kanarya, Istasyon, and parts of Atakent are ideal for lakeside homes. Many off-plan and new build project developments in this area, are the pride of Istanbul’s real estate market.
A perfect example is this luxury, lakeside lifestyle residence, a short distance from the coastline and near the E5 highway and Metrobus station making it easy to get into Istanbul’s central districts like Taksim and Fatih. Developers were also keen to maintain Kucukcekmce’s natural landscaping so included landscaped gardens and decorative ponds.
Property owners pay a monthly maintenance fee towards upkeep of communal facilities, and for this, they get to enjoy indoor, outdoor, and rooftop infinity pools, gym and spa, tennis, basketball, volleyball courts, and lakeside water sports. Families also enjoy on-site cafes, picnic areas and children’s playgrounds, and for those moments, when time is lacking, concierge service steps in to help compliment a luxury lifestyle.
Homes for sale range from 1 bedroom to 3 bedroom apartments with curved balconies to maximise lake and sea views as well as large patio doors to allow natural light to stream into your home. These luxury apartments are an all-rounder suiting single dwellers, couples, families, and buy-to-let investors looking for a healthy year-round income.
If you don’t already know the Kucukcekmece area of Istanbul and are looking to buy property, call us to arrange a time and date for viewing in which we also show you around neighbourhoods, and where prominent shopping, leisure, banks and transport links are. Also, contact us to receive a portfolio of homes for sale in Kucukcekmece via email.
(Canal route image @Anadolu Agency)