Dormitory construction boom continues in Turkey despite construction sector downturn

The number of dormitory construction projects has boomed in Turkey in 2018 despite a downturn in the construction sector as a whole, Turkish news site Gazete Duvar said on Friday.

Rampant construction has been the engine for economic prosperity and electoral success for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party since it came to power in 2002.

However, the construction boom was fed by cheap credit from foreign lenders, and the Turkish lira’s weak performance in 2018 brought many projects to a standstill.

Despite the stagnation in the real estate sector, dormitory construction projects by the Credit and Dormitories Institution (KYK) within Turkey’s Ministry of Education seem untouched, according to data from the institution reported by Turkish independent outlet Gazete Duvar.

As of 2017, KYK has been providing dormitory services to 625 thousand students through a total of 175 tenders. 138 of these were construction projects made since 2010, Gazete Duvar said.

A record number of construction tenders, a total of 60, were lodged in 2018, while the KYK has put in 16 tenders in 2019 so far, the news site said.

Dormitory construction made headlines this month when students of a leading university in the Turkish capital of Ankara protested a planned construction of a dormitory in a forested area around the campus over environmental concerns.