Following the war between Russia and Ukraine, the Turkish city of Antalya experienced a significant influx of immigrants from both countries.
However, recent developments have led to a reverse migration trend, with the number of foreign residents in the city decreasing by 40,000 over the past year. Factors contributing to this decline include non-renewal and denial of residence permits for new arrivals, as well as soaring rental prices.
Russians and Ukrainians leaving Antalya have increasingly turned to Serbia and Dubai as their new destinations. This shift has resulted in a 15% to 25% decrease in housing and rental prices in Antalya.
The sharp increase in housing costs in Antalya, particularly in coastal districts, led to significant changes, including local professionals such as police officers and teachers seeking transfers due to unaffordable rents. Landlords seeking to capitalize on the demand by renting their properties at high rates have faced legal disputes and evictions.
In an effort to stabilize the housing market, Antalya authorities restricted residence permits in 10 neighborhoods and ceased renewing permits in others, prompting many Russians to move to other countries. This policy, combined with the high cost of living, has significantly reduced the foreign population in Antalya by 40,000 within a year.
The situation has also impacted education, with schools like the one run by Viktor Bikkenev in Konyaaltı, which caters to Russian children, experiencing a significant decrease in enrollment.
Antalya is particularly popular among Russian tourists. Almost 3.5 million Russian tourists visited Antalya resorts in 2023, which is 14% higher than the same figure in 2022, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported on Tuesday.
"From January 1 to December 31, 2023, the largest number of foreign tourists arrived in Antalya resorts from Russia - 3,461,762 people. The tourist flow from Russia increased by 14.1% compared to 2022," ATOR said.
Often regarded as Türkiye's “tourism capital," Antalya has always been a center of interest for tourists looking to enjoy pristine Mediterranean beaches as well as the rich history of the region that has been home to countless civilizations.