New Istanbul canal project could boost Turkish property market June 15, 2011 Home Property News We will be calling Recep Tayyip Erdogan Prime Minister Erdogan for at least another 4 years (unless of course the election is called early, as has happened frequently in Turkey), after the AK Party stomped home with just shy of 50% of the vote to take 326 seats in a 550-seat parliament. Normally after an election the question is, will the party deliver on its promises, but in this case it has special meaning, because Erdogan threw out a couple of "crazy schemes" during his campaign, including a plan to bypass the Bosporus. If it goes ahead, the project to bypassing the Bosporus will be a massive boost to the Turkish economy, the Istanbul economy, and of course the Istanbul property market. We are talking about contractors and building firms from around the world bringing in huge machines to take on one of the biggest construction projects in the world. This will lead to a massive increase in demand for homes to rent and to buy, but especially to rent of course. This is because the firms will need to employ thousands of Turkish tradesmen and labourers and in my experience they usually do so at far better salary levels than are otherwise possible in the area. This will increase the affluence and lead to people moving from shared-housing or parents-housing to find their own place, bought or rented. But there will also be thousands of staff who come with the companies, and these will be looking for places to rent, on a sliding scale from luxury for the project managers, to basic for the lower-level supervisors etc. The proposed completion date for the Canal is 2023, so regardless of the start date (if there is one, more on this later) the construction will go on for many years, and boost the property market for many years. There is another potential boost, which would come after completion. That is the fact that the Bosporus Strait would be decommissioned as it were from its global transport career, and would be reserved solely for pleasure uses. This would of course add another boost to the Istanbul tourism market, with such a massive body of water to pursue windsurfing, jet-skiing and all other water-based sports. However many people believe that the proposal is nothing more than a publicity stunt, especially with its being announced during an election campaign. Seemingly in support of this is the fact that the project is a potential environmental disaster, because of the different salt levels in the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, or rather the fact that an environmental study into its viability wasn't carried out before he made the announcement does. Time will tell if it is a serious proposal or not, and then we can look forward to a boost in the Istanbul property market.