Links between Turkey and the UK improved in December when the former’s flagship airline, Turkish Airlines, began a new route between Istanbul and London.

Adding a Gatwick service means Turkish Airlines now flies to five UK airports, including Heathrow and Stansted. This year Turkish Airlines was awarded the Best Airline in Europe prize by Skytrax, the world’s largest airline review site.

The new Gatwick route will help the Turkish Government in its bid to transform Istanbul into an economic hub, bridging countries in the East and West. Being within four hours’ flying time of Moscow, the Gulf cities of Doha and Dubai, and London is critical to the city’s efforts to attract future foreign investment.

Last year the government gave the green light to Istanbul’s third airport, which will be on the European side of the city in the Silivri district. Two equally ground-breaking infrastructure projects in the pipeline are a third – albeit still controversial – bridge across the Bosphorus and a canal linking the Marmara and Black Seas.

In recent years opportunities to invest in residential buy-to-let projects have sprung up in Istanbul. Rightmove Overseas recently reported a 177 per cent year-on-year rise in searches for property in the city.

“Advertisers are telling us that buyers can achieve up to 15 per cent capital growth year-on-year and rental yields of up to 10 per cent on new developments,” said Tom Whale, Turkish account manager for Rightmove Overseas. “We have heard anecdotally of a deficit of up to half a million homes in Istanbul, which alongside Turkey’s stable government, growing economy and the demand for both residential and student housing from the local market, makes Istanbul one of the worldwide investment hot spots for 2012.”

While many Brits buy property in Turkey in pounds, if you do purchase in euros or Turkish lira, using a currency specialist rather than a bank to transfer funds could save you money and. For more information, speak to currency exchange specialist Smart Currency Exchange.

To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in Turkey, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘Turkey Property Buying Guide