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House Hunting in Turkey: A Spruced-Up Olive-Oil Factory for $1.8 Million

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This restored, 19th-century olive-oil factory is in a rural section of Milas, an ancient city in Mugla Province, on the southwestern coast of Turkey. Rescued from disrepair by its current owners in 2015, it’s now a residential compound on 2.5 acres of active gardens and farmland. Its sleek interiors contrast with original stone walls and rough-hewn timber.

A hulking, 100-year-old mechanical olive press, restored by the owners with parts sourced from its original British manufacturer, anchors an airy, modern great room. “These old factories are mostly broken down and in disuse, so this is definitely an unusual property,” said Heike Tanbay, managing director of Engel & Völkers Bodrum and the listing agent. “This is a very rural area, so it’s a real surprise when you come in.”

Built in 1850, the eight-bedroom, 10-bathroom residence sprawls across 8,255 square feet, including an attached two-bedroom guesthouse. Original stone walls surround the property and demarcate the grounds. The stone-inlaid driveway leads to the home’s covered front patio and main entrance. Inside, the original olive-oil production room has been transformed into a high-ceilinged great room with concrete slab floors. A 750-square-foot commercial kitchen, equipped to serve as many as 150 guests, connects to the great room.

The roof, floors and mechanicals have been replaced throughout the home. “Whatever they changed, they chose good quality,” Ms. Tanbay said. Sirio Pellegrini, one of two business partners who restored the property and live there now, said the restoration cost more than $600,000. “We kept everything as original as possible, including the walls and old woods,” he said. “But the infrastructure of the house is new,” including a generator that carries the home through the region’s occasional power outages.

The home’s warren of living spaces extends in an “L” shape from two sides of the great room, ensuring privacy even when guests fill the home, Ms. Tanbay said. Two small rooms behind the great room function as private living rooms. A gallery has a library and reading lounge, and another room is equipped as a recording studio; Bulent Tercanli, an artist and producer known as DJ Tutan, is Mr. Pellegrini’s business partner and co-resident. The owners have separate bedrooms, with en suite bathrooms and kitchenettes, on opposite sides of the property. “There are eight bedrooms listed, but you could make 13 in total if you convert these additional rooms,” Ms. Tanbay said.

Toward the rear of the property, a large room with a fireplace has been converted to an office, with built-in bookshelves and original wood ceilings reinforced with steel beams. The office opens to a large wood deck and swimming pool. The owners also built an enclosed sunroom that overlooks the pool, with a retractable ceiling and sliding glass doors.

Two guests suites, one with a kitchenette, have a separate entrance at the front of the property, “almost like a little hotel,” Ms. Tanbay said.

The grounds produce summer vegetables, herbs such as rosemary and thyme, and pine nuts, which the owners package and sell. Mr. Pellegrini also wholesales bottled olive oil and tomato sauce produced on site. “We’re calling this ‘sustainable living,’ which has become very appealing for people from cities during the pandemic,” Ms. Tanbay said. “It’s suitable to run as a professional organic farm, alternative business space, or a holiday home.”

The ancient city of Milas “is a very prominent summer holiday destination,” Ms. Tanbay said, though this home is in a quieter area. The Aegean coast city of Iassos, with 4,000-year-old historic sites in its ancient quarter, is a 30-minute drive, and Milas-Bodrum Airport is about 20 minutes. The Aegean port city of Bodrum, with about 30,000 residents, is 30 miles southwest.

While there is no centralized database for real estate transactions in Turkey, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s Residential Property Price Index reported impressive growth in September 2020, with a monthly increase of 1.6 percent and a year-over-year gain of 27.3 percent. In the region that includes Mugla province, prices increased 36.3 percent year over year, making it one of Turkey’s better performers.

But the higher prices belie some depreciation tied to the poor performance of the Turkish lira, the world’s worst-performing currency in 2020. “After a huge boom that lasted until about 2013, the real estate market has been in decline for five or six years, and transactions are down dramatically in the last two years,” said Ali Onuk, managing partner of Aon Invest, a real estate advisory company in Istanbul. At the same time, the sagging lira has made real estate “more affordable for foreign buyers, and there’s greater demand in the A+, $3 million and up segment.”

Prices vary wildly across Turkey depending on the type and location of property, said Neli Devidas, a Realtor with Keller Williams Platin in Istanbul. Homes and apartments can range from about $140 a square foot in central Istanbul to more than $750 a square foot for units in high-end branded developments, which are popular in Turkey, she said. In the popular coastal resort city of Bodrum, branded residences range from about $370 to $560 a square foot, with homes in surrounding areas starting around $185 a square foot.

Bodrum has long been the costliest property market on Turkey’s coast, and “prices in these areas are still rising because of Covid-19,” Ms. Devidas added. “Turks want to move out of cities into homes or mansions with stand-alone gardens. That’s the trend right now.”

The migration has helped jump-start other segments of the market. “For three years, we had difficulty selling a development of luxury townhouses and villas about 20 minutes outside Istanbul,” Ms. Devidas said. “Now, because of Covid, they’ve sold quickly, and prices have already gone up more than 10 percent.”

Bodrum in particular has seen “much bigger sales numbers this year, very strongly from Turkish buyers,” Ms. Tanbay said. “Bodrum has benefited from this terrible crisis. There’s a big surplus of buyers and visitors.”

As of Nov. 17, Turkey had reported 417,594 cases of Covid-19 and 11,601 deaths, according to the New York Times’s Coronavirus world map.

The Turkish government has made several moves to entice outside buyers, said Mr. Onuk of Aon Invest, calling real estate “one of the key sectors in Turkey as part of the macroeconomic condition, especially in recent years.” The most significant move came in 2018, when the government lowered the purchase-price threshold for foreign buyers to gain Turkish citizenship, from $1 million to $250,000.

The campaign has been a success, though the pandemic has curbed residential sales to foreigners, according to an October report from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Only Iranians, the largest foreign market for Turkish property, increased in number, along with Chinese buyers, who are relatively new to the market.

North Americans make up a “negligible” segment of the market, Mr. Onuk said: “They might buy not for citizenship, but for true value, investment and utilization of a vacation home.”

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, remained the most popular city for foreign buyers, followed by the resort town of Anatolia, and Ankara, the Turkish capital, according to TurkStat.

For U.S. citizens, there are few restrictions to buying property in Turkey, according to Melih Sisa, partner attorney at the Saban Law Office in Istanbul. They include prohibitions on purchasing property near “strategic places involving national security,” or land exceeding about 75 acres, Mr. Sisa said. While cash transactions prevail, foreign buyers can obtain mortgages from Turkish banks, with no added requirements for down payments.

Most transactions in Turkey take place without a lawyer or notary. A buyer and seller may simply sign a purchase agreement, which is validated by a local title-deed registry office. “It’s a continuation of an interesting Ottoman system,” Mr. Sisa said. Still, he recommended that foreign buyers work with a lawyer who can perform due diligence on a property.

Foreign buyers must also obtain a report from a property-evaluation company attesting to a home’s true value.

  • Turkey Tourism: goturkey.com

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: mfa.gov.tr

Turkish; Turkish lira (1 lira = $0.13)

Broker commissions total around 4 percent; buyers and sellers each pay 2 percent of the total transaction value, Ms. Tanbay said. Likewise, Mr. Onuk said, buyers and sellers both pay a 2 percent stamp-duty tax based on the value of the transaction.

Annual property taxes on this home are about $500. “Since it’s a rural area, taxes are low,” Ms. Tanbay said.

Heike Tanbay, Engel & Völkers Bodrum, 011-90-532-243-73-47, evbodrum.com

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

By: Michael Kaminer
Title: House Hunting in Turkey: A Spruced-Up Olive-Oil Factory for $1.8 Million
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/realestate/turkey-house-hunting.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 14:30:19 +0000

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What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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