We Will Ensure That Turkey is at the Top of International Real Estate League
Interview Aug 10, 2020
We talked to Ömer Faruk Akbal about GİGDER’s real estate export activities
Turkey has a great potential to attract much bigger and serious real estate investors
TURKEY ATTRACTS THE ATTENTION OF INTER- NATIONAL REAL ESTATE INVESTORS WITH ITS INITIATIVES IN TOURISM, health, and education elds. Setting off to be the face of the Turkish real estate around the world, GIGDER (Real Estate International Promotion Association) continues its activities to ll this gap in the sector. We conducted an interview with Ömer Faruk Akbal, the Chairman of the Executive Board at GİGDER, to talk about the purpose and work principles of the association and their value-added projects.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO ESTABLISH THE ASSOCIATION?
We are currently operating in the real estate sector as Fuzul Holding. We execute projects as developers. During our time in business, we saw many international investors buying real estate from Turkey. And we had already started activities to create a reliable trade platform for international investors with our other brand, Nevita. All our activities have shown us that Turkey has a great potential to attract much bigger and serious real estate investors. But we observed that the sector had non-regulated areas and there was a great potential ready to be discovered.
HOW MUCH OF THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR DO YOU THINK YOU REPRESENT AS GİGDER?
GİGDER consists of many valuable actors of the sector such as real estate developers, international marketing, and consultancy companies, portfolio management companies for institutional investors and legal consultancy organisations. We can say that around 20 of 100 real estate sales to international investors are operated by GIGDER members.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC CONDITIONS TO BE A GİGDER MEMBER?
First of all, we attach great value to ethical codes. We want to see successful companies with high-quality services among us. We welcome institutions that carry such quali cations and have at least two GIGDER members’ references into the GIGDER family. These companies need to operate as service providers, developers, or consultants for selling real estate to international investors.
IT TAKES A LOT OF EFFORT TO ATTRACT INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS TO TURKEY. WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES GIGDER AIMS TO CARRY OUT IN THIS REGARD?
At rst, we want to show Turkey’s potential to the world. Because we believe that our country isn’t recognized enough worldwide for its high potential in this eld. With the right policies and the right promotional activities, our country can be among the few leading countries in the world for real estate investments.
CAN YOU GIVE SOME DETAILS ON YOUR COLLABORATIONS WITH THE PUBLIC SECTOR, OTHER PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS, AND ASSOCIATIONS?
After our establishment, we saw that we had filled an important gap in the sector. GİGDER strengthened its ties with the public and other non-governmental organisations and established trust among its members. Now, people who want to invest in real estate in Turkey from abroad can knock on GIGDER’s door.
WHAT DO INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS PAY THE MOST ATTENTION TO WHEN BUYING REAL ESTATE?
First, we should think like an international investor.
Why would a person invest in somewhere other than their own country? Maybe because they like that country and its people. They may see growth potential in the country and think of making better pro fits in their investments. Or they may feel the need to emigrate due to certain issues in their countries. To attract an investor with these reasons to Turkey, we need to have a good infrastructure and show it to the world.
WHICH CITIES DO INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS PREFER THE MOST? WHAT ARE THEIR REASONS FOR DOING SO?
We see Istanbul as the prince of Turkey. And the g- ures prove that. And Antalya, our holiday paradise, is attracting substantial investment. Bursa, Ankara, Izmir, and Yalova are among other cities that are frequently preferred. We also want to bring out the hidden beauties of Turkey through collaborations with local public institutions.
HOW WILL THE SECTOR BENEFIT FROM THE ORGANISATION OF THE MISSIONS ABROAD OF THE T.R. MINISTRY OF TREASURY AND FINANCE?
Establishing this organisation will no doubt bene t the country. We’ve closely monitored this development and are pretty pleased with the result. The announcement of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance’s organisation hints the hopes for a more cash in ow into Turkey.
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT GİGDER’S FUTURE PROJECTS?
First of all, we want Turkey to be among the top five countries in the world in terms of real estate investments. We are no less than countries such as France, Germany, and England. We even believe that we have more positive aspects and beauties. There- fore, it is not difficult to receive USD 20 billion worth of real estate investment in the country. Our state and other administrators take some serious initiatives in this regard. In our association, we will continuously produce content and information, reflect our experiences in the eld, and never forget our responsibility to direct them.
Our country carries great potential, especially for tourism. And our gures in recent years are a source of pride for us. We want to feel the same pride in real estate investments. We have an annual USD 30 billion tourism income while the real estate investments are said to be USD 6 billion roughly. We will strive to increase these gures. On the other hand, we will hold various conferences and summits to make Istanbul the centre of real estate investments. We will draw international real estate investments summit to Istanbul. We will conduct serious R&D activities to find the right markets abroad. We are examining the UK, the USA, France, and Spain whose sales gures are higher than Turkey. We analyse the steps of success in these countries one by one with our research companies. We will conduct roadshows in countries where our members can introduce their companies and projects. We are also working towards online platforms where people can buy real estate from Turkey, maybe even without coming to the place. I really cannot emphasize promotion enough. They are essential for conducting our business. If we are to put Turkey before everyone’s eyes, we need to have a powerful and effective promotional policy. This is not something GİGDER or the private sector can do on their own, but our association will act as a power source in this regard. Therefore, we must attract the attention of competent authorities to the topics I mentioned above and have them as driving forces.
LASTLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY MESSAGES FOR THE SECTOR?
Even though we are a quite new association, we have a strong infrastructure with the national & international organisations and our members. We would be pleased to see all developers operating abroad in real estate and institutions who want to get into the foreign markets among us.
INTERVIEW: CEM EKER