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Why Turkey’s building and interiors industry?

The Turkish construction industry has been expanding rapidly for years, to the point where it is now one of the fastest-growing in the world. There is no signs of this growth stopping, with the government and foreign investors continuing to fund enormous projects. In fact, chairman of Agaoglu Group Companies Ali Agaoglu predicts that the second half of 2015 will see Turkey's construction industry grow by ten per cent.

This makes the country an excellent place for anyone in the build and interiors sector to do business in. Read on for a guide to the current state of the construction industry that will help you enter into this thriving market.


Construction facts

 - The construction sector in Turkey is among the highest-growing in the world with a growth rate of 8.5 per cent between 2009 and 2014.

 - The construction industry is projected to grow by between 3.5 and 4.0 per cent in 2015.

 - 137,632 building permits were issued in 2014, 20,408 of which were for Istanbul.

 - The total value of these permits was around $67 billion.

 - $459 million of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) went into real estate and construction in 2014.

 - Building output grew by 3.3 per cent in 2012, which was the fourth consecutive year of growth.

 - Construction expenditures equalled $77 billion in 2014.

 - Turkish contractors obtained over $30 billion of work abroad in 2013.

 - Some $9.3bn of building materials were imported into Turkey in 2014.

 - Sixth-largest paint manufacturer in Europe with a production capacity of 850,000 tons/year.

 - Per capita coatings consumption is 11 kg/head (the global average is 20 kg/head).


Five major projects

Istanbul New Airport
This project, tendered at a total of $29 billion, is one of the largest construction schemes in Turkish history. The plan is to build a six-runway airport with the capacity to serve 150 million passengers per year once completed.

The airport is being built in four phases, the first of which is scheduled to open in 2018. This will have the capacity to serve 90 million passengers per year, which will increase to the full 150 million as other phases are completed. It is being constructed by a consortium consisting of Turkish building firms Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, Mapa and Kalyon.

Terminal one of the airport is planned to be the largest terminal in the world once completed, with almost one million sq m of floor space. When the project was announced, Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan said: "Such an airport… will carry Turkey to a different level on the international stage."

Istanbul International Finance Centre
A huge construction project intended to boost Turkey into becoming one of the world's top ten economies, the Istanbul International Finance Centre (IIFC) is a vast mixed-use project being developed by the Turkish Ministry of Development. Covering 4.2 million sq m, the scheme will see a new business district built from scratch in Istanbul.

The focal point of the development is a one million sq m area, 723,000 sq m of which will be office space. The remaining 277,000 sq m will include retail and residential buildings, a hotel, a conference centre, mosques, schools, and car parking. It is estimated that the project will have been completed by the end of 2016. Overall, it will cost Turkey a total of $2.6 billion.

Urban Transformation project
One of the most ambitious projects Turkey is currently embarking on is its bid to replace all buildings that have not been built to resist earthquakes with new, secure structures. There are around six to seven million of these homes, which the government envisages will take fifteen to twenty years to fully replace.
The price of this project could end up being astronomical. Turkish building firm EYP Yapi estimates that it could cost an average of $50,000 per home, which would equate to between $300 billion and $400 billion.
However, Turkey is committed to this project. In 2014, 400,000 structures were scheduled to be replaced, which would make up around six per cent of the total. If this level of activity can be maintained, the project will be completed in just over 16 years.

The Akkyu nuclear power plant
Turkey has been looking to invest heavily in infrastructure over the last few years, and alongside several transportation projects sits the Akkyu nuclear power plant. This major construction will have the capacity to provide Turkey with 17 per cent of its total electricity once completed.

The project is currently in its preparatory phase. The construction phase, which is to come next, is expected to last until around 2022 at which point the plant will be operated by Akkyu Nuclear Joint-Stock Company (JSC).

Tarlabasi 360
The country's largest individual urban renewal project is the Tarlabasi scheme. The district has in the past achieved a reputation for being an eyesore, and action is being taken to restore its buildings to their former glory. The cost of this project could end up reaching around $200 million.

Around 700 buildings are set to be restored by developers Calik Real Estate and Gap Building. The nine-block district will see 150,000 sq m of residential, office and retail space regenerated and modernised. The historical facades of the buildings will be kept intact as much as possible while the interiors are rebuilt.


International interest

 - Japanese firm IHI-ITOCHU is responsible for delivering a chain bridge for the Gebze-Izmir Highway Project. Once complete, the $6 billion bridge will be the second-longest in the world.

 - Akkyu Nuclear JSC is a joint venture between the Turkish and Russian governments, and Russian companies will supply most of the project's equipment and hi-tech products.

 - Architecture firms such as London-based Sevimli Architects and New York's Global Architectural Development have opened up offices in Istanbul, as have interior design companies like Milan's Studio Punto.

 - Sumitomo Construction Machinery, a manufacturer of building equipment based in Japan, is moving to Turkey to use the nation as its base of operations for the region.  Sumitomo Rubber Industries is also building a $500 million tyre factory in Anatolia.


Country facts

 - GDP: $1.41 trillion (2013).

 - GDP per capita: $18,574 (2013).

 - GDP growth rate: 2.98 per cent (2014).

 - Unemployment: 10.3 per cent (2014).

 - Ease of doing business: 55th in the world, ranking above the average for the region (Europe and central Asia, which ranked 68th).

 - Ease of getting credit: 89th in the world.

 - 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking: 40th.

 - 2014 World Talent ranking: 35th.

 - Government: republican parliamentary democracy.

 - Population: 81,619,392 (2014).

 - DHL Global Connectedness Index ranking: 59th (the most globally connected country in the region of south and central Asia).

 - Interest rate: 7.5 per cent (2015).

 - Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Turkey: $12.5 billion (2014).

 - Of this, $6.6 billion came from Europe, $1.2 billion from the near and Middle East, $535 million from the rest of Asia, $325 million from North America and $42 million from Africa.

 - Starting a business in Turkey takes an average of six days, compared to the world average of 30.6 days.


Interior design trends 2015

Turkish interior design firm diseno is forecasting a number of trends in the way homes are decorated in Turkey. The nation is moving more towards painting walls in soft pastel colours, for example. Block colours have been more popular than patterns for the last few years, but the trend has generally focused more on bright primary shades.

Now, diseno predicts that soft reds, blues and pinks will become more and more popular in Turkey in 2015. These will often be paired up with black, grey or shades of beige to create stylish minimalist rooms.

Another growing trend in Turkish interiors is that more and more items of furniture are showing a theme of national identity. Many designers are incorporating themes of traditional Turkishness into their work, such as the critically acclaimed Zeynep Fadillioglu.

Talking to the Financial Times, she said: "We’re not really able to say yet that there is a specifically Turkish design aesthetic but I think we are beginning to see a kind of language emerging. The younger generation is more conscious of their heritage and is exploring ways to come up with ideas that reflect that."

These typically include decorative items featuring opulent hints of copper or gold, as well as the occasional flash of intricate patterns on rugs or traditional tiles. In many cases this is being combined with modern minimalism, with patterns being made up of just two or three soft colours.
This traditional, Ottoman-style design is fairly popular around the world, and is only just becoming popular in the country from which it originated. However, it is growing in popularity and looks set to become a major trend in 2015.

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