New GRI Europe 2005 session: Impact EU accession on real estate in Turkey

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'Impact EU accession on real estate in Turkey'

At the New GRI Europe 2005 last Tuesday 8 November in Prague, a session was held on the Impact of EU accession on real estate in Turkey. "Turkey is a growing market (among the fastest growing OECD economies). But also, Turkey has a young, well educated and growing population, as well as a growing number of households", said Arnold de Haan, COO AM Development. "This makes Turkey the only country in Europe with the triple combination of economic growth, population growth, and household formation. Obviously, opportunities for retailers and real estate investors are fenominal. But a European secular Turkey may also be a main asset for the ageing societies in the rest of Europe, a growth engine for real estate at the time that many markets are matured and saturated."

Speakers at the Turkish session. On the photo f.l.t.r.: Husnu Akhan, Board Chairman & CFO,
Dogus Turkey; Fernando Salazar, Head of Corporate Banking Southern Europe Eurohypo Germany; Mr. Arnold de Haan, COO AM Development, Netherlands.

The EU started negotiations with Turkey with the aim of a Turkish EU membership on October 3rd. The outcome was unclear. Turkey has still a long way to go, and EU member states - thinking that a Turkish EU membership will always be a fiction - have to prepare themselves for this reality and convince their population.

Is EU membership for Turkish real estate important? Yes, of course, very important. Having a real perspective on EU membership, Turkey will harmonise regulations - including those of real estate - to EU standards, making the market better accessible for international investors.

EU perspective is likely to lead to accelerated growth, more purchasing power, more production and more jobs, leading to more need for real estate, being a major opportunity for international players

The pressure to reform for the sake of EU membership is a strong guarantee to keep opportunistic and populist economic policies which led to imbalances in the past at bay. This will facilitate macro-economic stability which is an important condition for foreign players.

The EU perspective puts Turkey closer to EU on mental map and will accelerate foreign investments in the real estate market and enhance further professionalism in the market.

However, in the end, the EU and Turkey need each other. this is also true when it comes to the real estate market. Spoken with the words of writer Orhan Pamuk (a controversial writer because of his statements on Armenian genocide in Turkey, and who also made the statement in Germany that treatment of Kurds in Turkey can be compared to treatment of Turks in Germany), the Turkish vocations for EU membership is a call for peace, and move away from nationalism, a vocation which the EU should embrace rather than fear.

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