An Overview of Architecture And House Styles in Turkey

overview of Architecture

Turkey is a captivating mixture of East and West and its awe-inspiring architecture is an unequivocal testimony to that. With a rich cultural heritage, the Turkish architectural style is a meticulous amalgamation of different civilizations and dynasties. It can further be segmented into three main categories in accordance with empires and styles at the simplest level. 

  • Original or Ottoman architecture is the first categorical influence that extended for hundreds of years until the early 1900s. 
  • The next period commenced with the fall of the Ottoman dynasty and persisted until the end of the last century.
  • The final and the most contemporary period is the existing metamorphosis in Turkish architecture. It is at this stage that construction companies constituted a major part of the overall economy in Turkey. The real estate developers and construction companies in the country became the largest contractors in the Middle East, Russia, and ex-Soviet Republics.

For instance, before the rise of the Ottoman Empire, Roman, Greek, and influences from several other civilizations can be clearly noticed. However, after the empire came to power, the Ottoman architectural style came into harmony with Seljuk, Arabic, Turkish, and Byzantine designs. In the last centuries, American and German styles took over the modern real estate’s architecture in Turkey.

To fully understand the existing style, we should look back at the artistic Turkish history. Today, pragmatic designs intertwined with spacious areas, open public spaces, and bright colors are preferred. The purpose of the current designs is to make residents feel a lot more connected with nature because, with the metropolitan lifestyle, people stand in need of intimate natural environments. Nevertheless, houses and apartments in Turkey are designed to cater to the everyday requirements of the residents.

Types of houses in Turkey

Considering that different civilizations have ruled the lands in Turkey, they have prominently left their mark throughout. From intricately detailed Ottoman townhouses to enchanting yalis, from ancient mansions to modern, European-style villas, Turkey has everything to offer. Let’s delve deeper into the types of houses and architectural designs that are prominent in this stunning Mediterranean country.

Ottoman Townhouses

Traditional Ottoman styled houses don’t often come up for sale in the suburbs of Istanbul, but you will definitely find them around historic towns such as Safranbolu and Antalya. These houses are usually two or three stories tall, with high-quality colored stone as well as wood constructions. The more opulent their original occupants, the more intricate the designs of the structures have been. 

Especially in Istanbul, you’ll see deeply complex carvings across each exterior wall, on the other hand, in the countryside, a whitewashed exterior is more common. The houses have a colorful ambiance with large wooden windows and wrought iron fence with classy designs. The upper windows are essentially overhanging with grills and bars and the interiors are constructed with mainly wooden materials. 


Sea mansions or Yalis are lavishly decorated structures, dating back to the Ottoman period. In Istanbul, they are abundantly located on the shores of the Bosphorus. Categorized as the most incredible and exclusive type of Turkish architecture, the prices for rent or temporary stay run very high. Most of the mansions are old and famous and the original residents were the elite citizens of the Ottoman Empire. 

Yalis have been an absolute symbol of wealth and status in society. Normally, they are extremely spacious with intricate woodwork detailing along the gables and are surrounded by beautiful gardens. 


Like Yalis, Konaks are ancient mansions with awe-inspiring and magnificent designs. The exterior facade has close similarities with ottoman Townhouses but the difference is that the owners hailed from noble families of the region. 

Another aspect that distinguishes Konaks from Yalis is that they are not situated by the sea. Mostly found in the inner parts of Anatolian areas, these are one-of-a-kind houses with distinct architectural floor plans. They have large columns with plenty of rooms, and additionally, a big courtyard that can be counted among its unique defining features. 

Seaside villas

Seaside villas dot the coast along the Aegean and Mediterranean shoreline. These detached structures have contemporary and modern designs in terms of landscaping, architecture, interior design, and layouts. The style is quite international and the overall feel and ambiance of these villas are mainly modern, intended to meet all the needs of the residents. 

Most villas in Turkey have a private garden, swimming pool, and high-quality home appliances. Stone constructions dominate and the floor plans generally include outdoor spaces such as balconies to relish the stunning views of the surrounding landscape and sea.


Apartments in Turkey are one of the best types of residential structures in the country for people looking for a low-maintenance holiday home or permanent residence. If you wish to own a turnkey property in Turkey, flats are among the most common units for making real estate investments. Apart from balconies, no outdoor spaces mean less effort for maintenance and if you are a foreigner, purchasing apartments offer you an added advantage to come, live, and go as you please. 

Buildings usually have shops, restaurants, workspaces, and other commercial facilities on the premises and high-end developments provide you with access to full on-site amenities available in the project. You can find an array of styles, from modern spaces with large balconies to grand early 20th-century edifices with distinctive floor plans. 

Is it the right time to buy a property in Turkey?

With the current rate of currency exchange against the dollar, euro, and pound, this is probably the best time to make real estate investments in Turkey. The country also offers Turkish citizenship to foreign nationals by purchasing a property worth a minimum of $250K.

At Extra Property, we have extensive experience in handling a wide base of clientele from different countries. Our team provides in-depth assistance and guidance to property buyers and investors for purchasing houses in strategic locations with high capital appreciation. For more details, connect with our real estate experts here.

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