Confessions of a Turkish property addict
Warning: Turkey can be addictive.
Don’t believe me? Just look at Ann Williams. She became addicted in 2002 – and she’s been gobbling up Turkish property ever since.
She contacted me last week to confess her secret.
“It all started 10 years ago,” she begins. “We went on a cruise ship and docked at Kuşadası on the Aegean coast, then went to Ephesus… and we fell in love.”
It sounds innocent enough, but that initial affection soon turned to desire. And that desire grew into hunger. And that hunger turned into a need.
“We returned to Side the following year,” she admits, “to look for a property to buy.”
It’s a perfectly understandable response. Side is at the centre of a beautiful, diverse region where the Torus Mountains connect with the Pamphylian Plain. Built on a peninsular about 1km long by 400m across on the Mediterranean coast, the resort is the stuff that holiday home buyers’ dreams are made of.
But beneath those long, sandy beaches lies the seed of a powerful compulsion.
“There are these stunning ruins,” she explains, her face lighting up. “There’s the waterside Temple of Apollo, a Roman amphitheatre which still hosts performances, a quaint harbour overlooked by bars!”
She pauses, taking care to sound calm. “Side has great archaeological importance,” she finishes.
That’s when I can tell. The dilated pupils. The accelerated pulse. The fanatic adoration of the local coastline and landscape. All the classic signs of a Turkey-holic.
It didn’t take long for her addiction to manifest itself physically: a detached villa with four bedrooms.
“It was built and completed in June 2003,” she says, instantly won over by its position on the street corner, not to mention the cute balcony overlooking a swimming pool and garden. She produces photos to prove how nice it is, while sweating profusely.
I nod, sympathetically.
The marble staircase is very attractive, I offer. And the kitchen, fitted out with mosaic tiles and granite work surfaces, is lovely.
“You should see the bathroom!” she replies. “It has a Jacuzzi bath!”
She smiles a little too widely.
I try to bring the conversation around to suggesting some form of medical help. Surely the financial leap was enough to make her come to her senses?
“We bought the Villa first,” she says. “It was ideal being on a small complex when we were working – people don’t realize that looking after a pool and garden on a standalone villa can be a problem if you only visit for holidays.”
I ask her to say that again. The penny drops. That’s the full scale of her Turkey addiction: she didn’t just buy one home. She bought two.
“We purchased the apartment in 2009,” she confesses. “But we live in the villa.”
She speaks as if she’s talking about her own child. “It was always our favourite because it’s a detached property, it’s spacious and in such a quiet location.”
But what does the apartment give her that the villa doesn’t? Isn’t this just an uncontrollable craving taken too far?
“It’s a penthouse apartment that looks over the fields right up to the mountains. It’s beautiful.”
It certainly sounds nice, I comment. But doesn’t she feel like a crazy person trying to gobble down two different pieces of Turkey?
“They’re only 15 minutes walking distance from each other,” she grins, only half-hearing my question. She goes back to talking about the apartment. Shops are nearby, she assures me. And a private hospital is 10 minutes away.
I see an opportunity. Has she ever visited the hospital? Or talked about her addiction with anyone else? Is that why she’s considering selling both of her properties? Has she finally recovered from her… condition?
“We’re selling both properties because we’ve decided on a change of lifestyle,” she nods slowly.
I sigh with relief. She sounds like a rational person again. What’s she planning to do?
“We want to buy a motor yacht,” comes the excited response.
At last. A chance to get away from the source of her addiction, I reason. Where will she travel to?
“We’re going to sail around Turkey!” she beams.
Then the words come tumbling out, more quickly than ever: “We love the climate here, the warm nature of the Turkish people and the less stressful lifestyle.”
I try not to look too concerned. I pretend to look at the villa photos again to avoid eye contact.
The swimming pool. The tiled kitchen. The marble staircase.
For under £200,000, maybe she’s not so crazy.And there are those long, sandy beaches. And the waterside Temple of Apollo.
Side, after all, has great archaeological importance.
That’s when I realise: this Turkey addiction is contagious.
Caught the Turkey bug?
Cure your addiction with this four-bedroom villa in Turkey: