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In the last 20 years, the retail market in Turkey has been completely transformed from being an almost insignificant player to one that has attracted international investors and retailers. In 1995, for a population in excess of 12 million people, Istanbul had only two shopping centres, Akmerkez on the European side of the city and Capitol on the Asian side. The first shopping centre in the city, the Galleria, was built in 1990 near the Atatürk International Airport but suffered major difficulties. In 2006, Istanbul boasted the second largest shopping centre in the world after Vancouver and by far the largest in Europe. The Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Center was developed on land owned by the Greater Istanbul Municipality and had a gross leasable area (GLA) of 110,000 sq m. Barely 2 years after opening, it was acquired by St Martin's Property Corporation at an initial yield of 6.0%.

The total GLA of the retail market grew by 401,410 sq m during the first half of 2018. In 2010, there were 236 shopping centres in Turkey with a total GLA of 5.69 million sq m. There were also around 68 projects in the pipeline nationally, with a total GLA of around 2.47 million sq m. As of Q2 2018, there were a total of 417 shopping centres in operation in Turkey with a total GLA of 12.72 million sq m. There were also around 50 projects in the pipeline nationally with a total GLA of around 2.54 million sq m. Most of the modern shopping centres are concentrated in the major cities; Istanbul, with 125 shopping centres, alone accounts for 39% of the total shopping centre GLA in the country. Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir together represent approximately 56% of Turkey's shopping centre stock and are increasingly becoming oversupplied in many of the cities' catchment areas. Of Turkey's most populous cities, Istanbul is the densest retail market with a GLA of 330 sq m per 1,000 people followed by Ankara with a GLA of 284 sq m per 1,000 people and finally Izmir with a GLA of 139 sq m per 1000 people.

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Turkish is the mother tongue but English, French, Spanish, Russian and German are widely spoken in tourist areas and cities. Smoking is prohibited in all public and private closed areas excluding private homes and vehicles. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited outside of licensed venues and private homes (i.e. alcohol may not be consumed in parks or on the street). The religion of the country is predominantly Islam. VAT (sales tax) is levied at different rates depending on what you buy and it's important to get a VAT Refund Invoice from the shop if you want Customs Office validation at the airport when you fly out of Turkey.


Turkish Lira (TRY)


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Cost of a Pair of Jeans

160.00 TRY

Cost of a Cup of Coffee

8.00 TRY

Cities in Turkey

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Ozan Bulut
İçerenköy Mah. Umut Sok. No:10-12
AND Plaza Kat: 5 Atasehir, Istanbul
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