Ms Who

aka Kym Ciftci
The other side of the coin.
Altinkum was once a small fishing village that turned into a tourist resort for Brits and then a place to buy cheap property. I don’t think all the Emlaks around in those days were greedy rip off merchants. I think they have learned a lot of lessons from the Wide boy type character who saw this as a place to earn a lot of money by using their knowledge of the British economy. These people had no experience, nor did they need any. The only requirement was to speak English, buddy people up and bobs your uncle, cash in the bank.

Many set up in business with a Turkish partner and showed them there was actually a lot more money to be made. By doing so, they are teaching the Turks a lesson and now everyone of them know, all the way down the line from builders to Emlaks, Brits will pay inflated prices. I’m sure that gave them a very high opinion of British people, seeing at first hand how a Brit would do that to his fellow countryman.

Lets not forget the people that upsticks and move here. A lot of them also know they can ‘sell’ their new found friends down the pub for commission. They will be recommending their fellow countrymen to the highest bidder, regardless if that particular Emlak is good at the job or not. What does that say to a Turk about them?

A question I have often been asked. ‘how much will you give me if I bring you customers’. Everybody plays their part contributing to the problems but it is only the Emlaks get the blame.

A hell of a lot of people of all nationalities have jumped on the Emlak bandwagon in one form or the other. The Foreigners are the worst. They come here, find a Turkish boyfriend/partner and go into business. It’s not legit but they are hiding behind their partners as the ‘Emlak’ or builder then when it all goes tits up they can just leave everyone in the crap.

As for builders, well there are reputable ones that are actually builders and there are the ones that have sold their family allocated lands and used a building crew to build an apartment block. They sell one or 2 apartments and think the best thing to do is build more and eventually they so realise that there is actually more to it than actually ‘building’ houses, there are more costs and processes involved.

Lets not forget there are those that have made a life changing decision into a happy one and unfortunately, you don’t hear enough about them. These people may be sitting in company with other Brits on holiday. It could be a mixed crowd of happy house owners who have had a great experience, the other type of Brit who is out on the hunt for new customers and his whatever percent from the rogue Emlak and people who want to buy. The potential buyers are totally at the mercy of what they are told and both bidders will be telling how great their Emlak is but only one of them is telling the truth, the other is doing it for money. How can they tell the difference? They cant!

Also, you would think by now that people would have wised up to the big boys? The Parador type who fly you out here and pay all expenses. Can they not see this is not a free service? They are paying at least 26% more for their properties. Thats a lot of flights and holidays! Parador cut and run leaving the builder in deep ****, These big companies from outside of Turkey have no power here, no history, no connections. They come here and reinforce to the Turks that not only will foreigners pay inflated prices they can virtually double them! But still, people keep buying through them and what happens when it all goes wrong? Why the Turkish builders will get the blame never mind that the big company has taken all the money and the buyers end up TAPU less and in court (some 900 cases from Parador customers I believe).Come on, common sense should tell you there is no such thing as a free lunch.

A lot of Emlaks here have been wiped out. Thats actually a good thing, we need a clear out. However, in their place come a new lot who think they too can earn a fortune, so the wheel just keeps turning. There are many that are just hanging on in there, good and bad and this causes problems of its own. Its common on this forum to hear people advise: ‘shop around’ ‘speak to several Emlaks’ etc.. Good advice you may think but not so for the Emlak. On two occasions in the last month we have had trouble from other Emlaks, shouting in the office that we have stolen their customers. Why? Even though the customers in question had been communicating with us for 1 year and 3 months respectively, they walked around and spoke to other Emlaks while they were here. One of them, a lady on her own who continued and bought a house from us, was then followed by this guy in his car for a few days!. Some of these guys are just plain desperate, probably up to their eyes in debt with overheads to pay and they they cannot compete with over a 1,000 other business in their little area, plus all the commission touts. We dont discourage our customers from speaking to other Emlaks, but we do advise them about what could happen if they go shopping around. It is always possible they will be taken in by a rogue and sometimes they do. How do I know? Because I’ve read about them in the paper when it’s all gone horribly wrong. Therefore, while your advice may be good in the country you live in, it just adds to the problem here. It is of course, the customers prerogative but a lot of the time they end up in a mess because of it. It causes us grief sometimes and that is another aspect of the job. If you have no history in this Town, you need to be careful about doing business.

We are very lucky. Our business has not suffered, we do the job properly, we have a network in place and deal with reputable builders and other reputable Emlaks, check all the paperwork before we take the property on our books and genuinely find the right property for the customer, not sell them something that earns us more money. We are able to do all this because the family have been here over 20 years, the contacts are all in place and our reputation among the professionals and authorities is very good. And yes we also do pro bono work and help out people where we can. Not charge by the hour for advice like some others.

Altinkum is not just a tourist area for Brits, we also sell to Turks, German Turks, Russians etc.. Business will continue as normal and we have our hands full doing our own jobs properly.

Nothing wrong with people complaining, or warning others about their experiences and with whom. But if you are going to continually post and start new threads on the same subject over and over again, then you must ensure you get your facts straight.

If you are not an Emlak, you do not do the job day in day out, you do not understand how it all works, you only think you do and you are definitely not qualified to give advice on it. A lot of what is said on here is wrong. It’s not my job to police it and it’s not my job to explain every little detail of how it all works to you, if you want to know that, come and learn the job properly yourself and make sure you learn Turkish too. You will find that Turkey is like an onion, just when you think you understand things, there is another layer beneath it. People are here for a year or so and think they know it all. I’ve been here over 4 years and I live and breathe Turkey but I don’t know it all.

There is definitely a DIY attitude to somethings on here.i.e. ‘Dont bother consulting the professional, they all tell lies so why not take my advice instead even though I am not trained in it nor experienced in it but hey, I have an opinion and I live in the country, surely that’s all I need? ‘. People need to start taking responsibility for their own actions as sometimes they are adding to the problems that lead to the current situation.

They system is wrong undoubtedly but selling property to foreigners here is in its infancy. It has and has to, go through a huge period of trial and error, one that is going to take time to sort out. For those that have lost their life savings, hope or dignity, I am truly sorry for. There but for the grace of God...

I know some people have suffered greatly but this is not just due to the system or the ‘Turks’, it’s a combination of a lot of factors as stated above and is not something that will be resolved quickly no matter how many petitions you send, how many derogarogatory posts you put on forums or letters you write the the newspapers. This is not the UK.
 

Guz1

Member
The other side of the coin.
With all due respects to you, Kym, don't you think that it's time for people involved in the real estate market to stop whining and start trying to change the system from within? You're in a better position than us to effect change. You might start by reporting the competitor who harrassed you to the proper authorities. If the authorities can do nothing about him, then maybe you should also be seeking change on that front. In the long term, that might do more good than reporting threads started by someone trying to warn others of the pitfalls, however ill-informed his advice.
 

Ms Who

aka Kym Ciftci
The other side of the coin.
Hi Maria,

What I think doesnt really come into it. What I've learned is Turkey is a law unto itself and it will change these things in its own way and in its own time. The best thing us Emlaks can do is keep doing the job properly for our own customers, that is the only way we can effect change.

As for 'whining' wasnt aware that I was - The post was intended to give people the other side of the story.

Reporting people to the authorities? Thats not how its handled Turk to Turk and Im in their country Maria.

I would love to see any one of you to come here and use the English way of thinking to effect changes in this country. Ive been here long enough and am involved enough to know it wont work. Even for such an innocent thing as raising money for good causes with WIT, you have to give in in the end and do it their way or not at all. Thats how it is.

Weve been members of this forum a long time Maria, you must see that it has changed from a site for good information, friend making and support into a site that is being whipped up into a frenzy of disrespect and distrust based on negative opinion and continual stirring.
 

Lyndsey

Kalın deriliyimdir
The other side of the coin.
And again, couldn't agree with Ms Who more. The current "slate all" mentality of some people on Turkish forums is quite frankly depressing.
 

bickern

Member
The other side of the coin.
as long as Emlaks take comms from the buyer and the seller then they can not give impartial advice to anyone in my opinion.

How can someone advise me honestly as the seller then advise the buyer and vice versa when if the said advise hits in the pocket of the Emlak if the sale falls through.

I do not have an issue with Emlaks but they need to sort themselves out.

Act for the seller and only charge the seller in which case I as the buyer know where you are coming from or act for the buyer and charge the buyer, but not both.

Good post though Ms Who
 
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stevecarol

Member
The other side of the coin.
A cracking post Kym, Its a shame there are not more people like you around, I for one cant wait to leave the UK and head to Turkey and live full time in my villa, I get cheesed off with all the knockers of Turkey, if the place and things are as bad as some say, they should come back to the UK, then they would really have something to complain, about as the main bandits over here are paid by the tax payer, maybe they have forgotten just how much we are robbed and scammed by our own government.
 

Guz1

Member
The other side of the coin.
Kym: All very well saying that the Turks will change things in their own way and in their own time. Meanwhile people are investing their life savings in a grossly under-regulated market. Who will caution these people that they are taking a gamble if not members of forums such as this?

All very well saying that the Turkish property market is in its infancy. That infant is taking grown up money, so maybe it's time for the infant to turn into at least an adolescent if not an adult. Foreign buyers are investors and should be treated with a little more respect and consideration than the usual This Is Turkey response. Their money isn't Turkish money.

While I accept that you as an individual can do little to bring about change, I don't accept that your company, being a member of the Emlak's Association, is powerless. Even the smallest pebble can cause a big ripple.

Yes, there is a lot of negativity on the forum in recent times. I put that down to more and more cases of fraud coming to light. TLF members didn't defraud anyone but they have done more than most to save others from being defrauded.

Your own business is always, rightfully, highly recommended on the forum and no doubt you benefit from that. Unfortunately, the downside of being part of an industry with a tarnished reputation is just a cross you'll have to bear until your industry cleans up its act.
 

Mushtaq

Founding Member
The other side of the coin.
as long as Emlaks take comms from the buyer and the seller then they can not give impartial advice to anyone in my opinion.

How can someone advise me honestly as the seller then advise the buyer and vice versa when if the said advise hits in the pocket of the Emlak if the sale falls through.

I do not have an issue with Emlaks but they need to sort themselves out.

Act for the seller and only charge the seller in which case I as the buyer know where you are coming from or act for the buyer and charge the buyer, but not both.

Good post though Ms Who

The commission is sometimes split between the buyer and the seller, sometimes only the seller pays and others the buyer, there is no hard and fast rules about charging both sides.

We (CrescentHoms) and I think I can speak for Kym too, act for the buyer AND the seller, our task as I see it is to negotiate for both sides a deal that works for both parties (that's what an agent does) after bringing the two together.

Yes there are agents (Emlaks) that think 1st of their own benefit and then anyone else, but not all of them are the same.

This is what has been the problem of late on the forum, people are highlighting the bad experiences and painting a gloomy picture for anyone who might be thinking of buying a property in Turkey.

I can understand members giving advice based on their knowledge and experience when the opportunity arises, like when someone asks a specific question but turning the forum into 'how not to get ripped off in Turkey' at regular intervals was not what the idea behind TurkishLiving.
 

bickern

Member
The other side of the coin.
Good post Guz1

The only problem I have when people post sweeping statements aimed at all Emlaks or all builders etc is they distort the truth.

If I had just lost 100k plus to someone then in honesty I would be shouting from the rooftops to all who will listen and in my state of mind I would probably not care who got in the way, honest or dishonest.

When people feel they have been ripped off they tend to get upset, and rightly so and upset people do not always think rationally.

This is a forum which means "a place for open discussion" so it is natural that conflicting views are going to be aired and some will agree or disagree with a post and add to the thread.

If there is no discussion and debate then where is the forum, the forum has rules about how you behave etc that keeps a certain level of order and moderators to enforce those rules; a risk is where the moderator uses that position to favour their own opinion but I have not really experienced this on TLF and find the moderators to leave quite a long gap and looked at where the thread has been going before intervening.

If a post is insulting or damaging then the moderator has a duty to protect TLF and will no doubt edit a post or as a last resort remove it.

So whilst I hate the negativity that has crept in to TLF it is also what goes to make TLF so varied in comment and I read both sides.
 

Ms Who

aka Kym Ciftci
The other side of the coin.
Hi Maria,

I agree, people should be cautioned on this forum. BUT it is the resposibility of the person issuing the caution to ensure they are in receipt of the facts and know what they are talking about, Sadly that is very rarely the case. This is a bloody great forum but its being dragged down by all the negativity.

I'm not arguing with you Maria, youve been a cyber associate for a long time and I know you have had your own share of woes. As much as I would like to, there is nothing I can do about it and just because you belong to an association makes not a jot of difference. You only have to look online at how many attempted associations well meaning people have set up here in the last year or so and see where they are now. Im sorry, It just does not work like that.

The only thing the Emlaks that give a damn can keep doing is doing their job well and make sure they deal with other reputables and professionals here. Like we do, like Crescent does and like a few others.
 

bickern

Member
The other side of the coin.
"The commission is sometimes split between the buyer and the seller, sometimes only the seller pays and others the buyer, there is no hard and fast rules about charging both sides."

But the system is both, obviously any deal is subject to negotiation but that is not the system as I see it, every Emlak I have ever visited says both.

How do most Emlaks answer the question "is this a good deal" or "is this a good price" TRUTHFULLY I hope, as I am sure a lot do, but it is a loaded question to a guy who has to pay rent and feed his family (probably because of his shady past deals).

"Yes there are agents (Emlaks) that think 1st of their own benefit and then anyone else, but not all of them are the same."

I would agree 100% and that is what has caused the problem, hopefully the remaining Emlaks will fight for change.

"This is what has been the problem of late on the forum, people are highlighting the bad experiences and painting a gloomy picture for anyone who might be thinking of buying a property in Turkey."

To be honest this is what depresses me of late and is one of the reasons the market is being depressed in Turkey, but if you think on it how many newspapers would survive if they only printed good news, it is the nature of humans to look for bad news and scandal and for others to supply it.

I really hope that this negativity can reverse itself because the innocent suffer because of it, what really annoys me is the posters who do not live here, have not bought here and have no intention of living or buying here then proceeding to impart their c**p advise to all and sundry.

"I can understand members giving advice based on their knowledge and experience when the opportunity arises, like when someone asks a specific question but turning the forum into 'how not to get ripped off in Turkey' at regular intervals was not what the idea behind TurkishLiving."

Hear Hear. 100%
 
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PASH

Member
The other side of the coin.
Do Emlaks require a licence to operate or can anyone just open up as an Estate agent? Regretably in the Uk, anyone can open up without a licence which is why we have our fair share of problems to but they are certainly minor compared to the high financial costs involved in Turkey.
 

Guz1

Member
The other side of the coin.
Yes, Kym, we are indeed long term cyber associates and I'm sorry to see good businesses like yours bearing the brunt of a backlash that wasn't of your making. The trouble, as I see it, is that if the industry itself doesn't bring about change you will see more and more forums like Ripped Off in Altinkum springing up on the web and that's what potential buyers will see when they do a web search for Altinkum.

I had no trouble buying. My problems came later....the most recent being a fine and removal of a ground floor w/c which was in breach of planning permission. We chose that particular house because we needed a toilet with wheelchair access. When buying the house, we even had a few ramps installed (the ramps proved to be more dangerous than steps). It took six years for us to find out that the house doesn't suit our requirements. I signed a contract that was written in Turkish. I don't have a copy of the contract - just the translation the emlak gave me. I didn't buy in your area, but I did use a reputable emlak who was and probably still is a member of the local Emlaks Association. Now I warn people to be more careful and more suspicious than I was. If the Emlaks Associations imposed a few more rules and regulations on their members, maybe people like me wouldn't feel the need to issue warnings.
 

PASH

Member
The other side of the coin.
I agree Maria, the problem is its not just other forums going on about being ripped off, its fairly universal now in that you turn on the TV, theres a negative story about Turkey, you pick up a paper, theres more bad news about the property market in Turkey. I have friends in the Uk who ask me if i am mad having bought in Turkey, did i not watch such and such a program on TV. If this neagative press is going to continue, Emlaks, developers all need to get together for the common good or there will be more and more empty unsold developments littering the coast line!
 

bickern

Member
The other side of the coin.
I think some of the problems can be laid at the door of the judiciary here, because what we see as downright fraud and (unless you are an MP) would result in your arrest in the UK, (yes I know I am not in the UK) it is not so simple here and you see people that have committed fraud happily continuing, but people tend to think that Turkey will have a similar stance when it comes to fraud.

The Emlaks are being registered now into associations and having to sit exams after attending a course, so in some respects they are actually better at being informed than the UK, it is up to them to practice it though.


A shake up of the laws and a shake up of the judiciary will help but the fact that what has gone before is not going to die down any time soon it will take a while to work its way through.

It keeps being mentioned that New laws are to be established on the "Spanish Model" but I am not sure what that actually means or they are suggesting.

But if people want to permanently slag off Turkey at every opportunity then perhaps a different forum is where they want to be.
 
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Mushtaq

Founding Member
The other side of the coin.
Maria, unfortunately the Emlak Associations in most areas are no more then a marketing medium, meaning it does not offer any more protection to buyers, I think it's the same in UK, they are working on voluntary code or practice.
 

akbukowl

Member
The other side of the coin.
Its not the forum that is being dragged down by the negativity but the buying process in Turkey.Thats happening because nobody was prepared for the economic downturn we are all experiening many developers are in hock to the banks and its the banks who end up winning time after time and the poor guy who has bought his dream home in the sun is to lose out.I was some one who nearly lost the lot but managed to salvage the apartment we had purchased just in time.I have to admit i was one of the foolish ones who trusted what i was being told and thats my fualt.it is clear the building industry in turkey is unable to regulate itself and if the government can't be bothered then more horror stories will happen and Turkey's reputation will suffer.We should not just focus on Turkey because these problems are common place across Europe especially in Spain and Bulgaria ,I hope Turkey gets its act together because there is much to be gained by becoming the Mr clean of the holiday home development world
 

Guz1

Member
The other side of the coin.
Yes, Mushtaq, I realise that now. What I'm trying to say (very badly I'm afraid) that in the absence of Government regulation the emlaks will have to police themselves if they want to salvage their reputation. Likewise the builders and lawyers.

Believe it or not, I look on Turkey as my second country. No doubt many other members share my affection for Turkey. When I criticise Turkey it's not to do it down but rather because I want it to be the best it can be. I do the same in Ireland. Those of us who live in western democracies are used to being able to call for change without being accused of committing treason. I know that things are different in Turkey but if the Turks are going to take our money they'll just have to accept the attitudes that accompany the money.
 

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