Iranians not only tourists, but ardent investors in Turkey

Iranians continue to take greater interest in investing in Turkey, according to a statement issued by Elit Citizenship and Investment Consultancy, which offers consultancy services to foreigners in Turkey about company founding and investments under the brand of VIPTurkishPass.

While 3 million Iranian tourists visit Turkey annually, a remarkable increase has also been seen in the number of Iranians investing in Turkey.

In the last few years, Iranians are ranked second after Iraqis in buying houses in Turkey and first in applying for Turkish citizenship through investment. In addition, in the first six months of 2019, they are also ranked first among foreigners who have made direct capital investments by opening companies in Turkey.

Having started to implement a series of policies aimed at attracting foreign direct capital in recent years, Turkey has come to attract a number of investors from many countries in the region, especially from the Middle East.

After the "Turkuaz Kart" (Turquoise Card), a practice similar to the U.S. Green Card application, was launched in 2016, it became possible to get Turkish citizenship by investing in the country as of 2017.

In September 2018, lowering the minimum investment limit in the Citizenship Through Investment Program to $250,000 in real estate investments led to an increase in foreigners' interest in the country.

While a significant portion of foreign direct investment in Turkey has been made in the real estate industry, there has also been a remarkable increase in direct capital investment in the recent period.

According to the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette data, 559 foreign-owned joint stock companies and 5,622 foreign-owned limited companies were established in Turkey in the January-June 2019 period. The total capital of these companies is TL 2.04 billion while TL 700.86 million of it has been brought by foreign capital holders.

According to the data, the amount of foreign capital investment in Turkey has exceeded 83%. With this capital ratio, the amount of direct capital investment made by foreign nationals in Turkey in the first half of 2019 has pushed TL 1.8 billion. It is estimated that the foreign capital investment commitment to Turkey will exceed TL 4 billion by the end of the year.

Foreigners' great interest in capital investment in Turkey is also confirmed by the statistics of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) about the companies opened and closed in Turkey. The statistics indicate that foreigners take a great interest in founding companies in Turkey, especially in Istanbul.

While 63% of the foreign-capitalized companies established in the January-June 2019 period are registered at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), the amount of foreign capital brought to Istanbul has neared TL 1.2 billion. In the first six months of the year, a total of 362 joint stock companies and 3,530 limited companies were established by foreigners in Istanbul. In terms of the number of companies opened, Istanbul is followed by Antalya, Gaziantep, Ankara and Mersin, respectively.

As far as the field of activity of these companies goes, wholesale trade in stores which are not allocated to a particular property comes to the fore among foreign-capitalized companies from January 2019 to June 2019.

A total of 770 out of these companies have been established to operate in this area.

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