Politics of real estate internationalization: contested liberalization in Turkey

Deniz Genç H. D., Sabah Eryılmaz G.

Turkish Studies, vol.22, no.5, pp.773-800, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2020.1833325
  • Journal Name: Turkish Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.773-800
  • Keywords: Internationalization, real estate, liberalization, property acquisition by non-nationals, construction sector, cultural political economy, Turkey
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This study explores the slow progress of liberalization of real estate internationalization (REI) in Turkey. Drawing on insights from cultural political economy (CPE), it builds on a qualitative analysis of parliamentary deliberations and argues that real estate acquisition by foreigners in Turkey was highly contentious because of the struggle between competing imaginaries on liberalization, with the neoliberal-transformative imaginaries of the ANAP, the AKP, and their affiliates in the tourism and construction sectors on one side and the national-defensive imaginaries of opposition parties and the bureaucratic elite on the other. By forming a coalition with the Constitutional Court, opposition parties were successful in preventing the adoption of neoliberal-transformative imaginaries for almost thirty years. This policy area could be liberalized only after the 2010 referendum, which allowed the government to restructure the composition of the Court, leading to executive aggrandizement.