Multi Upbeat on Turkey Mall Prospects, Despite Ruling
30 Haziran 2008 Pazartesi
When the Turkish high court ruled in April that allowing foreign companies to buy real estate in Turkey was unconstitutional, some feared that the countrys retail development would suffer.
When the Turkish high court ruled in April that allowing foreign companies to buy real estate in Turkey was unconstitutional, some feared that the countrys retail development would suffer. But Glenn H. Aaronson, CEO of Netherlands-based Multi Corp., does not see that happening. I am very positive about Turkey, and Multis future in it, said Aaronson, whose company owns Multi Turkmall, the countrys largest retail developer. We will see a new law, because no one wants to get in the way of progress. At issue is the wording of Turkeys Foreign Direct Investment Law, which the ruling Justice and Development Party has used in its push to privatize public holdings, though challenged in court by the opposition Republican Peoples Party. The Constitutional Court held that a portion of the law was ambiguous and allowed property to be acquired without restrictions. The ruling takes effect in October, which gives the National Assembly time to rewrite the law, a process that has already begun. The Justice Commission supports a version that would require sales in military zones and areas with security and strategic importance to be approved by military authorities, addressing a key concern of opponents. Aaronson says he believes the law will be changed and that retail development by foreign companies will continue. Multi Turkmall has 25 shopping centers either completed or in its pipeline, the most recent one being a 527,000-square-foot center in the Black Sea city of Trabzon. Its opening in June was attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who pledged his support for foreign investment. In no way do I feel that this is the Turkish government or either of the two parties saying, We dont want you coming here, said Aaronson. We plan to be involved in Turkey for a long time. ICSC SCTWeek