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Society

On The Waterfront in Turkish-Occupied Cyprus: Great Properties Cheap

NICOSIA – It wasn’t said if any belong to Greek-Cypriots forced out by unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions that seized the northern third of the island, but waterfront properties on other occupied side are attracting international buyers.

In a report on a boom in buying Turkish waterfront homes the featured the mainland spots of Bodrum, Kusadasi, and Kalkan – featuring the remnants of what used to be Greece – The New York Times said occupied Cyprus is alluring.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/02/realestate/turkey-waterfront-homes.html

United Nations resolutions call for only the original owners of property on the occupied side to be recognized as hardline Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is demanding recognition for the territory no other country apart from Turkey accepts as legitimate.

The newspaper called it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – a term unrecognized in the world apart from Turkey and anathema to the Greek-Cypriot side that’s a member of the European Union.

That’s lost on property buyers and so much political baseball to them, and the paper said that the recent re-election of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the face of human rights worries, was a positive sign to investors.

Tatar is even moving to further reopen the once-famed resort of Varosha that was sealed off after the invasion, ignoring the UN he’s beseeching for recognition otherwise, hoping to attract tourists there.

While the Greek-Cypriot side is renowned for its beaches and an EU hot spot for tourists, the newspaper said there are rivals on the occupied side even if those buying property there are in a stateless state.

“They visit for the scenic, long stretches of beach; the charming and historic northern Cypriot areas such as Kyrenia, Iskele and Famagusta; and the inexpensive hotels,” the report said.

Julian Walker, a director at the London-based firm Spot Blue International Property and a specialist on Turkey, told the paper that waterfront homes on the occupied side are especially valued and sought.

“As tourism has increased, so has the interest in buying a vacation property here,” he said, without getting into the politics, with real estate there offering luxury apartments and townhouses in villages and luxury villas on or near the water.

He said prices begin at about 85,000 euros ($91,111) for studios with sea views in upscale buildings that offer amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, Turkish baths and tennis and basketball courts.  “The amenities that you get for even an affordable unit are somewhat over the top,” he said.

On the upper end, property prices can reach over $1 million, which could afford a buyer a modern five-bedroom beachfront villa with a large infinity swimming pool, spacious garden and luxury finishes, he said.

The benefits include a climate that allows owners to enjoy their properties year-round and high-quality food cheap that’s also attractive to foreigners who have means and want to make it go far.

Warren Olfert, a university professor from Fargo, North Dakota, bought a one-bedroom apartment on the occupied side in December, 2022, just a 5-minute walk from a beach.

He said that he wanted to buy a waterfront property in a destination that was welcoming to English-speaking foreigners and had a low cost of living.

“We landed on North Cyprus,” he said. “We loved the beautiful beaches but also the villages and endearing locals,” praising the Turkish-Cypriots.

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