We have just learnt of some changes to the way property transactions are completed.
It is now a requirement that before military checks can be initiated, the owners must sign a declaration that they wish to sell to person(s) who are requesting the checks.
Also, the tapu office informed us yesterday that the 4% property tax must be shared equally between buyer and seller, i.e. each will pay 2%.
Altinkum, A Place in the Sun
I was invited to contribute to an article about Altinkum for the magazine "A Place in the Sun" which is linked to the Channel 4 TV programme.
I was pleased to be able to contribute some views and delighted that they not only chose to use them, but also linked to my website.
They were really nice people to deal with, they asked lots of questions and on reading the article it is great that they are giving such a positive view of the area.
Read it for yourself here:
What can't we get in Turkey?
This is something I am often asked, and the honest answer is nothing at all really!! Of course it can be different for people with close family ties, but in those instances you have to question whether living abroad anywhere is a good idea in the first place.
But the question is usually asked in practical terms, i.e. what could you get in the UK that you can't get here that you really miss?
Residents' Permits can now be applied for in Didim
Changes to Turkish property ownership laws for overseas buyers
Until now, foreigners who have been able to buy in Turkey have been restricted to those who's home country had a reciprocal arrangement with Turkey regarding property ownership.
What this meant was e.g. citizens of EU countries could buy property in Turkey because Turkish citizens could buy property in those EU countries. That restriction is now being removed, so that ownership will now be possible for citizens of many other countries. Also there are increases to the amount of land that can be owned by foreigners.
First beach Altinkum - Progress
Another week has gone by, and now it becomes easier to see what the finished product will be like. Wooden seats have been added to the concrete blocks, and plants have been added which will both soften and add colour to the overall effect.
Once it is finished and cleaned down, and the plants have become established, I think most will be happy with the new look. In July and August it gets really busy, and the wider walkways are definitely going to help. The additional seating means there is more space for those who prefer to take their own food and drink to sit and enjoy looking out to the sea or people watch.
McDonald's opens in Didim
When I first came here in 2008, one of the things I saw as a positive was that despite the fact that this area is quite westernized, there were no western fast food outlets. I actually made a point of this on my website, saying that although western culture was welcomed, Altinkum Didim retained it's Turkish roots. The existing restaurants and takeaways offered a choice of food, you could easily get many western dishes but the emphasis was on local cuisine.
Then two years ago Burger King arrived, and I had to withdraw that comment. surprisingly enough it wasn't the european (mainly British) residents and holiday makers that flocked to it, but Turkish people who hadn't expereinced it before.
Last year Domino Pizza arrived, and although there were already Turkish run pizza establishments this too offered something different. Now the daddy of them all has come to town. But rather than focusing on takeaways, this venture promises to offer an in-house family friendly eating experience, with children's play area and plenty of seating.
Rather than be located on the seafront, it is midway between the resort area and the town of Didim, which may encourage foreigners on holiday to venture away from the more obvious attractions.
Altinkum Didim is growing fast, and it actually needs these major players to set up shop here to give confidence to smaller enterprises that they too can make a go of it. So although originally I was pleased at the lack of western business prescence, I now see it as something necessary to take the town forward. There are a lot of shops here which provide the same thing, and we are crying out for some diversity, in particular places which offer higher quality goods. There is a huge market every Saturday for those who want to barter, but for those who want to shop for genuine products the options are limited.
There are strong rumours that Kipa (the Turkish arm of Tesco) is looking for a site, and this again will hopefully encourage more new businesses.
Permits Can be Renewed in Didim
Following on from the reduction in price for Residents' Permits announced last year, more good news for residents is that they can now be renewed in Didim.
Previously the options were to go to Kusadasi or Aydin. For renewal, the resident has to take their existing permit, 3 photos, their passport and a copy of their passport to the police station. The duty officer then gives a notice of the amount payable, and the resident takes a short walk to the tax office to pay the amount due. They then return to the police station to finalise the documentation and the renewed permit will be available for collection in about a week.
This new facility has been available since 1 May, but we delayed reporting it until confirmation had been recieved that residents had actually used it. This was because it was originally planned to be available earlier this year but was temporarily shelved.
Altinkum Beach - latest update and photos
Having just visited the main beach at Altinkum in the last hour, it is disappointing to report that completion still seems a very long way off. My understanding was that the date had been brought forward (after being put back) but it is difficult to be optimistic in the face of the evidence. Yes it will be completed, and yes it will provide a much broader walkway which will benefit everyone, but the timing seems off (to put it mildly).
Anyway, photos are attached and you can make your own judgement:
Altinkum Main Beach Photos and News
Although the work on Altinkum main beach is a long way from being finished, I was encouraged to see today that the marble paving has now been put down and it is beginning to look more like a promenade and less like a construction site.
Local businesses are naturally angry at the delays, because they are already losing trade and stand to lose more the longer this goes on. In addition there are rumours that tour operators are steering holiday bookings away from the resort because the beach isn't ready.
The shame of it all is that Altinkum is about much more than the beaches, but it is undeniable that they are what it is famous for (Altinkum translates to Golden Sand in English). The beaches themselves are fully accessible, it is just that the surrounds aren't all that they could be.
Anyway, here are the photos taken within the last hour: