During the overseas property boom, impending EU accession came to be seen as an investment plus.
Based on the fact that almost all of the countries acceded to the EU in 2004 saw rapid property price growth, investors were keen to get in on the next wave of applicants. This was great news for countries that looked near certain to be accepted, like Albania and Montenegro, but not such great news for Turkey, which faced stiff opposition.
Now that the EU is struggling to grow economically, facing a sovereign debt crisis, and with banks up to their eyeballs in bad loans, investors have to look harder for their next opportunity. Turkish property is definitely benefiting from the fading importance of EU accession.
Turkey became an official applicant country in 2005, but its accession has always been opposed by France and Germany, both waving an unofficial veto in one hand, and the offer of a "privileged partnership" in the other.
Thus, Turkey lost out. First to Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the bloc in 2007, and then to Ukraine, Montenegro and Albania, which had seemingly more straightforward paths to EU membership.
Now the EU is embroiled in a sovereign debt crisis: Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy all have massive budget deficits of up to and over 10% (13.6% of GDP, 9.49% of GDP, 9.6 of GDP and 9.3% respectively as of 2009 estimates), and are facing the necessity of imposing harsh austerity measures on their respective populations.
In Greece one arm of the austerity has been to increase the taxation on property sales and ownership. Many foreign owners are currently trying to sell up, but buyers are sparse because of the high taxes combined with the dire economic outlook.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has advised that Portugal impose similar high taxes on property.
Both Greece and Portugal have been downgraded by the ratings agencies since the sovereign debt crisis began.
In those three and in the European Union as a whole growth remains sluggish as they struggle to crawl out of recession. The EU as a whole grew just 2% year on year in the second quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile the Turkish budget deficit stood at around 5% in 2009 and is thought to have fallen this year. Turkish gross domestic product grew 10.3% year on year in the second quarter of this year, following 11.7% growth in the first quarter, taking overall growth to 11% for the first half of 2010.
Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to have had its debt upgraded by the ratings agencies since the downturn began.
Whether Turkey joins the EU or not is certainly less important in the eyes of investors now than it ever has been before.
But this isn't strictly a sudden development. In fact EU membership became less and less necessary for Turkey throughout 2009, as Turkey shored up its relations with its allies and formed new alliances throughout the developed and emerging world.
During the last 18 months Turkey has signed 12 free trade agreements, entered a "strategic alliance" with Brazil, and reached visa-free travel deals with Russia, Serbia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
Global Property Guide recently published its report, "Turkey: Europe's Best Residential Property Investment?" This was accompanied by an article titled, "Turkey: a Housing Boom Ready to Roll?" Both detailed how Turkey property, currently among the lowest priced in the world, is undervalued and presenting good investment opportunities.