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Why I’m tempted by Turkey

A huge land of stunning coastlines, rich ancient culture and vibrant traditions, Turkey is a fast-changing nation that still offers bags of potential.

On the far Eastern fringes of Europe – and one day no doubt a member of the EU – this nation is a fascinating fusion of East and West, alien enough to be slightly exotic, yet familiar enough to be accessible.

A 4-hour flight away from the UK, with a higher volume of direct flights than five years ago, it offers a fantastic climate and a rapidly expanding tourism sector.

Tour operators report that many British travellers have preferred it to the overpriced Eurozone, making it our popular package destination, whilst Turkish figures show that tourists increased by 11% during recent months.

What’s more, overseas mortgage providers are saying the same thing: Turkey has been one of our biggest markets in 2010.

It’s easy to see why. Vast swathes of the south-west coastline still offer highly affordable property in relatively unspoilt resorts close to superb beaches and natural beauty spots. Converts also point to the cheap cost of living, hospitable locals and authentic villages.

Whilst property prices have risen steadily during the last decade, it still offers great value when compared with other pieces of the Mediterranean coast and stricter planning laws have generally prevented over-building.

Capital appreciation has been especially healthy in British favourites such as Bodrum, Altinkum and Kusadasi but where you choose really depends on what you are after; Turkey really offers something for everyone.

For those after a well-established holiday resort, Kusadasi is a good choice with family-friendly amenities close to hand. Only an hour from the nearest airport, it’s not surprising that holiday rentals are booming there.

Bodrum is another well-oiled holiday hotspot, but a little more exclusive these days, with prices to reflect that. But, again, there’s a complete spectrum of property options within the one peninsula.

If you seek somewhere a bit smaller and low-key, Didim is a good choice, and its beach area (known as Altinkum) has been a big hit with British buyers in the last five years.

Or, for those seeking somewhere more relaxed and a bit greener, up-and-coming Akbuk has much to offer with its picturesque bay and small ex-pat community.

In coastal areas just beware of any issues relating to land-zoning and title deeds (or TAPU) – do your homework and ask around before taking the plunge.

Finally, for serious investors, there’s one place that’s hard to beat: Istanbul.

Whilst a beguiling city-break destination in its own right, Turkey’s second city, is a rapidly expanding business and residential hub ideally placed between Europe and Asia.

A severe shortage of accommodation to cater for the city’s burgeoning population – it has expanded by 340,000 in just 2 years – means a hugely profitable domestic rentals market is attracting overseas buyers.

Foreign companies are relocating there, top retail brands too, plus a new marina’s just been announced in the 2010 European Capital of Culture.