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News: Brits opt for slice of Turkish life

Wed, 28 Nov 07

Dalaman in Turkey is attracting the interest of overseas investors...

An agricultural area growing citrus fruit, vegetables and cotton, Dalaman was put on the tourist map by its international airport.

“Over 750,000 British tourists passed through last year on their way to the Turkish coastal resorts, although comparatively few stayed,” says Dominic Whiting, editor of the Buying in Turkey guide (www.buyinginguides.info). “However, this is gradually changing thanks to an on-going, government-led plan to promote tourism in the area.”

The plan includes a new golf course, due for completion in 2008, a marina, spa centre and 30,000 new hotel beds. Dalaman airport has already been expanded with the addition of an award-winning international terminal, capable of handling 10 million passengers a year.

Unspoiled mountains

Lutfu Yigenoglu, the Governor of Mugla province, in which Dalaman is located, along with British officials in Ankara have thrown their weight behind the campaign to increase direct winter flights between the UK and Dalaman. A road tunnel, completed last year, brings the posh yachting resort of Gocek within a 15-20 minute drive.

Dalaman itself is a work-a-day market town spread across a flat plain.  “Although not very picturesque, it offers a slice of real Turkish life. The municipality has been improving the centre and the shops and restaurants are becoming increasingly geared to providing for the area’s tourist population” says Dominic Whiting.

The surrounding mountains are green and unspoiled. There is white water rafting on the Dalaman River and a long beach at Sarigerme, 12 km south of the town, which is also the site of the new golf course. Nearby Dalyan has ancient ruins and boat tours run up and down the river to a beach, mud-baths and hot-springs.

Government-led plans

The government-led development plans for Dalaman have caused intense interest from buyers and investors. The resulting increases in land and property values have been dramatic, even by Turkish standards. These increases have slowed in the last year but prices are still well below neighbouring resorts, and annual increases of 10-20% are likely.

There is a wide choice of new and off-plan property in and around the town, but the quality of construction is variable so opt for a company that has a track record of well-built developments. Established local developer Curbanoglu ( Tel: 0845 355 5625, www.curbanoglu.co.uk ) have villas, bungalows and apartments available in the town itself and in Akkaya, a beautiful rural area 15 minutes away. Prices start from £44,000 for a two-bedroom apartment; £79,000 for a three-bedroom semi-detached villa or £132,000 for a detached three-bedroom villa or bungalow with private swimming pool.

For more information about Turkish property get the Buying in Turkey guide online at www.buyinginguides.info

Dalaman case study

Ian and Louise Langley, school teachers from Folkestone, had been thinking of buying a property abroad for years, but had never quite taken the plunge.

“We’d been toying with France as we do a lot of skiing and we’d thought about Spain too,” says Ian. “But having visited several exhibitions we decided to focus on Turkey as you get much more for your money there.”

The couple were impressed with the properties they were shown by one particular company, so they travelled out in May 2005 to the town of Dalaman on the Turkish Mediterranean coast.

“Neither of us had ever been to Turkey but we were enchanted by the scenery and the laid back atmosphere,” explains Louise. “We had a good look around the area – which we loved – and we were taken to see several developments.”

Although construction hadn’t yet commenced, plans for a complex of 14 villas caught their imagination. The site was little more than an olive grove at the time, but the view was excellent and it was close to a main road giving access to local beaches, Dalaman international airport and a golf course under construction. The yachting centre of Gocek was also close at hand.

“It seemed perfect as it was close to everything and the development wasn’t too big,” says Ian. “We also liked the fact that the area was predominantly Turkish, with small farms and a village nearby, as we wanted local life around us.”

Before making a final decision the Langleys had a look at some more villas in the area with a local estate agent, but they weren’t impressed by the build quality. They also talked to some of the developers previous buyers.

With their minds made up, Ian and Louise selected a plot at the top of the development, which had the best views and would catch more of the sea breeze in summer. The villa cost £107,000, which included the 530 sq. m. plot of land and construction of the house and a swimming pool. Having signed a contract and paid a deposit, the remaining money was paid in three instalments as the building progressed. They received regular updates and photographs by email from the developer, and they visited Dalaman again to check on progress.

With their villa nearing completion, the Langleys travelled out to Turkey again in May 2006 and spent a busy week buying furniture and white goods for the kitchen.

“It wasn’t exactly IKEA but there was a good selection of shops locally and the prices were really inexpensive compared to the UK,” says Louise, who was impressed by the after-sales and “really fast” delivery service.

Ian and Louise returned later that summer for a holiday with their daughter, Jessica, and the family have been returning at every opportunity since. In the spring they rented a car to explore the mountains and they have been on boat tours from Gocek and have taken up scuba diving.

“It is the perfect stress release from the class-room and after even a day here you feel so relaxed. We’re lucky to have such long holidays,” laughs Ian. “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and we love the fact that the area isn’t too touristy.”

The Langleys’ villa was built by Curbanoglu,

Tel: 0845 355 5625, www.curbanoglu.co.uk

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