Despite the press reporting that Turkey property investment rules for buyers from Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are to be loosened up, there has still been no change to the law, and citizens from these nations have legal barriers between them and an Istanbul property investment.

However, this legal barrier does not appear to be dampening the spirits of citizens in this part of the world, as one Turkey property expert has reported a recent flurry of interest in making an Istanbul investment in particular.
Whether citizens from Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are planning to get around the ruling somehow is unclear, but the interest and excitement around an Istanbul property investment is currently “significant”, says Turkey property expert Graham Flaherty.

He explains: “Recently there has been tremendous and significant interest in Istanbul apartments from investors based in the Middle East, but unfortunately, people based in Syria, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia cannot buy property in Turkey because of the reciprocity agreements between them.”

At the end of 2010 newspaper reports suggested that there could be a rule change in the pipeline, though nothing materialised, but recent interest could suggest otherwise.

Luckily for European investors, where interest is also riding a wave at the moment, there are no such barriers for investors, and they are free to act on the many positives indications emerging from Istanbul today, adds Flaherty.
“Interest of course is coming from Europe as well, and they have no restrictions, but Istanbul clearly holds investment potential for the Middle East and it seems a shame that they can’t make progress on this and invest,” he says.

What is driving up this worldwide interest level is not entirely clear, and potentially is a combination of reports on airports in Istanbul seeing huge rises in visitor numbers, the city being acknowledged as one of the main conference locations in the world, and also the fact that Turkey has risen from the downturn with one of the strongest economies in the world.

Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, interest has surged from both the restrictive nations with the Middle East and other less constrained areas of the world. The question now, is how whether Middle East investors will eventually get the chance to take advantage of what is clearly a sustainable investment in a developing and prosperous city.