Deniz Aydın posted 12 months ago

Historical Properties and Cultural Heritage in Turkey

ottoman houses

Turkey’s historical and cultural riches have long been celebrated by historians, archeologists, and travelers from across the globe. The country is a captivating tapestry of diverse civilizations, each leaving its unique imprint on the landscape and the architectural fabric. This impressive blend of ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman influences contributes to Turkey’s diverse range of historical properties and a deeply ingrained cultural heritage. In this article, we delve deeper into Turkey’s historical properties, explore its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and discuss the opportunities and challenges they present to investors.

Types of Historical Properties in Turkey

Historical properties in Turkey are as diverse as the civilizations that have flourished here. They include, but are not limited to:

Ottoman Houses

One of the most distinctive types of historical properties, Ottoman houses, showcase the architectural style of the Ottoman era, which lasted from the 14th to the early 20th century. These houses often feature multi-story timber constructions, intricately designed interiors, and exteriors adorned with beautifully carved decorations. Safranbolu, a town in northern Turkey, is renowned for its well-preserved collection of Ottoman houses. The old parts of Istanbul also offer Ottoman-era properties, especially in neighborhoods like Balat and Fener.

Greek Houses

Reflecting the influence of Greek occupation, Greek houses are prevalent in Turkey’s Aegean region. These charming houses are typically painted in bright white, complemented by vivid blue details — a style reminiscent of the Aegean Sea. The towns of Bozcaada and Gökçeada are particularly renowned for their Greek houses.

Roman and Byzantine Structures

Roman and Byzantine structures span a broad spectrum, from individual houses to entire cities, such as Ephesus and Hierapolis. These structures offer a fascinating insight into Turkey’s ancient past and represent significant archeological and historical value.

Seljuk Architecture

Predominantly found in cities like Konya and Antalya, Seljuk architecture represents the Middle Ages’ architectural style when the Seljuks ruled parts of Turkey. These buildings, mostly made of stone, are adorned with intricate carvings and feature distinct Islamic motifs.

Investing in Historical Properties in Turkey

Historical properties in Turkey offer unique investment opportunities for those interested in owning a piece of history. However, they also present specific considerations:

  1. Preservation and Maintenance: Many historical properties are protected under cultural heritage laws, which can impose restrictions on renovations and alterations. Maintenance of these properties might be more costly and challenging due to the need to preserve their original characteristics and historical authenticity.
  2. Location: Historical properties are often situated in prime locations — city centers, picturesque towns, or popular tourist destinations. This strategic placement can significantly contribute to their value and potential rental income.
  3. Uniqueness and Appeal: Due to their unique charm and cultural significance, historical properties can attract a niche market, often fetching a premium price.

Cultural Heritage in Turkey

Beyond individual properties, Turkey boasts numerous cultural heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. These sites bear testimony to Turkey’s rich historical past and offer invaluable insights into the civilizations that once thrived here.

  1. Historic Areas of Istanbul: This UNESCO World Heritage site includes several landmarks of monumental significance, such as the Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), and the Topkapi Palace.
  2. Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia: Known for its unique rock formations and ancient cave dwellings, Cappadocia is a living testament to the region’s historical and cultural evolution.
  3. Hierapolis-Pamukkale: Renowned for its mineral-rich thermal waters that have formed stunning white terraces, this site also houses the ancient city of Hierapolis, a crucial center during Roman times.
  4. Ephesus: Once a critical city in the Roman Empire, Ephesus houses several preserved structures, including the Library of Celsus and the remnants of the Temple of Artemis.
  5. Hattusha: The Hittite Capital: This archaeological site was the center of the Hittite Empire during the second millennium B.C. The site offers a rich collection of Lion’s Gate, Royal Gate, and the Yazilikaya sanctuary.
  6. Safranbolu: This small Anatolian town is a UNESCO site for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.
  7. Xanthos-Letoon: This site was the former capital of the Lycian Federation and comprises ruins spanning centuries of history, including the Nereid Monument, Tomb of Payava, and many Lycian sarcophagi.

Each of these sites presents a unique glimpse into the various epochs that have shaped Turkey into the country it is today.


Historical properties and cultural heritage sites in Turkey provide a rich tapestry of the country’s past. For those who appreciate history and architecture, these properties represent not just investment opportunities but also a chance to own a piece of history. It’s crucial, however, to understand and respect the responsibilities that come with owning such properties. Companies like ours can provide professional guidance to those interested in exploring these opportunities, helping them navigate the intricacies of Turkey’s historical real estate market.



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