The Turkish building industry: 5 trends for 2018

2017 was a strong year for the Turkish building industry, maintaining its position as the country’s leading economic sector.

Having benefited from government incentives, support, and ongoing housing campaigns, the sector’s strength was a major contributor to overall economic growth of 6.5% over the year, surpassing government forecasts of 5.5%.  

With new projects commencing and existing projects continuing, the construction sector looks set to remain one of the leading sectors shaping the Turkish economy in 2018.

So what does the year ahead have in store for Turkey’s largest industry?

Urban transformation

The urban transformation process, initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, is expected to replace large swathes of housing stock in every Turkish city.

Having started in 13 city blocks in the Fikirtepe neighbourhood of the Kadıköy district in Istanbul in February 2017, the transformation process will spread across every city in Turkey and is considered one of the most important private-public partnerships in the sector in decades.

The urban transformation process is estimated to last around a decade and create a market of about $500bn in volume. 2018 will see the continuation of the Fikirtepe project, while many others are due to begin.


The rise of megaprojects in the Turkish construction sector is set to continue in 2018 with ambitious infrastructure projects such as Kanal Istanbul, airports, tunnels, and railways.

In terms of air transportation, the extensive Istanbul New Airport – one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world – is expected to open in October 2018. Construction of the Rize-Artvin airport is underway, and work will begin on the Karaman, Yozgat, Bayburt-Gümüşhane and Tokat new airports throughout the year.

Bidding for other megaprojects such as the Kanal Istanbul, an additional connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara set to ease traffic in the Istanbul Strait, and the 3-level Grand Istanbul Tunnel, connecting the Marmaray and Eurasia Tunnels, will also take place this year.

Staying green

Green building is set to maintain its steady growth in Turkey over 2018 as investors continue to consider social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns.

Thanks to government incentives and demand for energy-efficiency, green building has taken a firm hold in Turkey and there’s no signs of it abating anytime soon. The government’s aim to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 30% by 2023, huge demand for new housing, and the continuous development of new and innovative energy-efficient products will help drive more growth for green building over the next few years.

3D printing and drone usage

Just a few years ago innovative technologies such as 3D printing and drones were considered novelties, but today both of these technologies are making headway in the construction industry.

While still far from standard or even common practice, 3D printing’s use in the industry is expected to increase in 2018. This is no surprise, given that it both speeds up production and reduces costs.

Similarly, drone technology is gaining traction as more construction companies adopt it as a way of producing digital data throughout the construction process in a quick, safe and cost-effective way.

Modular buildings / prefabs

Modular and prefabricated buildings have long been on the market, but the increase in use is expected to continue in 2018.

Prefabricated buildings have developed massively in recent years and no longer mean cheap and flimsy structures. They are now a viable option for project managers looking to lower construction costs while maintaining a certain level of quality.