What is drawing the big names in football to Istanbul?

Tw VPTurkish football and the Süper Lig may not carry the same global prestige as the Premier League, but the profile of Turkish football has been regaining strength in recent years, due in part to a number of high profile names heading for Istanbul.

Tw NaniBut what is it that saw players as high profile as Didier Drogba and Wesley Schneider opt to play at Galatasary a few years back, and more recently lure United team mates Van Persie and Nani to Turkish rivals Fenerbahce for the coming season?

Well despite the reputation of a league, the obvious light that attracts even the largest moths in the game is of course, money. Heavy investment, big sponsorship deals and improvements in grounds and training facilities have allowed teams around the world, to evolve into a more tempting proposition for the big names.

We’ve seen it in China, Russia and probably to the greatest extent the USA. “Soccer” is fast becoming a national past time in the states and the MLS draws vast support despite only being a spritely 22 years old.

Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, David Villa, Kaka and most notably David Beckham are amongst the big names to head state side. But the MLS has been branded with the unfavourable title of the Premier League’s retirement home, as players head for warmer climates to see out the twilight years of their careers.

The same however cannot be said for the Turkish league. The rivalry within Istanbul alone between Galatasary and Fenerbahce, and to some extent Besiktas, is arguably one of the fiercest in the game. With Galatasary and Fenerbahce in particular offering a very real chance of excelling in European football, the pace is far from leisurely.

So for those not quite ready for the retirement home, Istanbul offers the competitive football they require but what else? Well with some of the best tax rates outside of Monaco RVP will be keeping the large majority of his £240k weekly wage in his pocket. Not only this but the cost of property in Istanbul is considerably cheaper and, even the high end market offers more for your money than you’ll find elsewhere in the footballing world. The average cost to rent a one bedroom apartment in Istanbul is just £310 a month, a 52% difference to the £650 a month in Manchester. Over 80% cheaper than renting in London at £1,600 a month!

With their £4m+ transfer fees, it is unlikely either Van Persie or Nani will be struggling to afford the cost of living in Istanbul, or that they’ll opt for a one bedroom flat in the city centre. Professional footballers are wrapped in cotton wool these days and their agent organises everything from their hair cut to their living arrangements.

The majority of them end up rubbing shoulders with the Istanbul elite in the high end housing developments, that provide the secure environment needed to keep them away from prying eyes. Developments such as Istinye Park, Listinve, Selenium Twins and the Macka Armani Residence (rumoured to be home to Sneijder’s multi-million pound pad) are all popular options.

Lilimonts Istanbul Partner, Keith Boyle, commented:

“The privacy of these luxury residences with their high quality fitness and wellness areas, 24 hour security looking after the needs of Istanbul’s elite, swimming pools and full concierge services seem to be de rigueur in the choice-making of these wealthy, though often temporary expats.

Many, of course, opt for rentals in the same type of compound. However, others sense that the exorbitant rents make it a wiser choice to purchase a property with the anticipation of price gains.

The size requirements would typically be anywhere from 200 sqm all the way beyond 500 sqm. Mr. Persie, in an elite compound with great Bosphorous views, may expect to pay anywhere from £1.2-5 million on such a great pad.”

Lilimont 1Lilimont Istanbul are listing such apartments in this luxurious development in Florya, situated within eight acres of landscaped grounds. It boasts sea views, a central but private location, its own shopping centre, food, drink and entertainment facilities, a playground and health and fitness facilities including a Turkish bath. These three to seven bedroom apartments start as low as £390,000.

But if this expansive development is a little too open for the camera shy footballer, an apartment in this extremely exclusive Selenium development in Sisli may be more appropriate.

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Each of the buildings offer every amenity our former Premier League stars might expect from the finest hotels. There is a grand entrance, fitness facilities, the buildings personal security as well as lounge and restaurant space to name just a few.

The development is one of the premier property projects in Turkey at present carrying the prestige associated with a top name in football. An apartment on one of the top floors will set you back just over the £1m mark, with one on the lower floors priced around £700,000. A real steal when you compare the quality and price tag with similar projects around the city.

However for the footballer that likes to think for himself there are other options offering the expensive flash lifestyle, but with a trendy city location that will provide a taste of Istanbul’s culture, not just another private gated community.

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It doesn’t get flasher than living on your own exclusive island and the Karamanyan Timber Mansion would make the perfect footballing residence! It lies just off mainland Istanbul on the second largest of The Prince’s Islands”.

The prestigious location is a stone’s throw the island’s private beach and beach club and is steeped in history. Standing 60ft tall it is easily the most impressive property on a street whose name translates to “Street of Mansions”.

Lilimont 4Or if Robin or Nani favour a drive to work over a speed boat, this penthouse apartment in Galata ticks all the right boxes.

The two bedroom apartment offers panoramic views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorous are spectacular, further brought to life by the property’s oversized living room window. The 40sqm terrace provides outstanding views, overlooking a gothic church that remains from the Crimean War.

So if RVP or Nani are still in the market for a property, they should visit us at Lilimont Istanbul, and we can help them find something a bit more unique than an apartment in a closed community.

Lilimont Istanbul Real Estate: http://www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com/

Istanbul & Its Street Art Culture

Mural 3The attraction of living in a foreign city for most, is the opportunity to experience a new culture and way of life. Istanbul offers this in abundance, due for the large part, to its straddling of two continents and its historic, strategic importance for the Romans, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

 

But culture comes in many shapes and forms and isn’t necessarily confined to food, religion or nationality. Art has long been a strong influence within culture whether it be music, poetry or painting, but as times change, culture changes with it and this artistic expression manifests itself in different ways.

Wall paintings date back some 40,000 years in both Europe and Asia, but the modern day graffiti artist is often thought of as a blight on society. Without the consent of the owner, as is often the case, graffiti is a criminal offence and punishable by law. However it provides the less privileged in particular, with a vehicle to express underlying social and political angst.

Particularly in recent years, street artists such as Banksy, have seen graffiti and street paintings become a legitimate form of art, with his work now fetching a high price. Major cities around the world have become a blank canvass and Istanbul is one of those leading an artistic revolution.

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Since 2012 Istanbul has held the Mural-Ist Festival, organised by the Kadıköy Municipality in the Anatolian side of the city, it celebrates street art through the creation of enormous wall paintings.

 

 

The aim is to brighten up some of the city’s more subdued areas, filling blank walls with vast amounts of colour, each narrating their own story. Once again the festival will bring as many as 10 mural artists from around the world, keen to make Istanbul their blank canvass, with each artists taking around 10 days to complete each masterpiece.

One such mural painted by Polish artist M-City at last year’s festival, was considered one of the best of its kind worldwide.

Not only are these works of art becoming a thread in the fabric of Istanbul, but it demonstrates the city’s open minded approach and acceptance of new forms of expression. This makes it a desirable location of many, not just the artistically inclined and should serve Istanbul well in the future.

If you want a first-hand experience of Istanbul’s street art, Lilimont have a number of properties within the vicinity of some of these artworks and the expertise to help you secure one.

Take Galata for example.

We’re listing this spectacular penthouse flat with panoramic views of the Golden Horn. This fifth floor, two bedroom apartment is one of a kind and packed with historical character.

We’re also listing this sleek penthouse flat, again in Galata, for 350,000 Euro. Offering a mix of regal, historic architecture with a sleek, contemporary design.

Both properties aren’t to be missed and both lie a stone’s throw away from one of our favourite Istanbul street murals!

Panda mural