Turkey’s largest mall in southeast opened
The largest shopping mall of southeastern Turkey, Prime Mall, has opened its doors to customers in Gaziantep by a ceremony attended by officials.The largest shopping mall of southeastern Turkey, Prime Mall, has opened its doors to customers in Gaziantep amid the investment breeze blowing over the city.
Prime Mall, which has been built with $150 million of investment, is the largest of its type but not the first in the city, which has been facing a boom in industry and trade in recent years, especially thanks to its stronger links with the Northern Iraqi market.
There are also two other big malls operating in the city, while another one, the latest investment of the shopping mall chain Forum, is on the way, waiting to be opened on Sept. 20.
The Germany-based developers of Prime Mall, Prime Development, are seeking to distinguish the mall through its size and the range of brands it offers – including the first branches of global giants like Starbucks and Rolex as well as bazaars selling local products.
“We’re aware of the importance the malls hold in this region other than just being a shopping center, it also becomes home for a type of living, cultural activities, educational seminars and etc.,” the CEO of Prime Development Turkey Artuğ Çetin has said.
Gaziantep also neighbors civil war-torn Syria, which put the province within the influence orbit of the political developments in the country as well as of Turkey-Syria relations.
“When the borders [between Syria and Turkey] opened three years ago, everybody thought we were very far-sighted. But the latest incidents would prove the contrary. But the Syria issue didn’t change our plans,” Çetin noted.
Plans to be immune to changes in region
He asserted that the group’s plans in the province were not short-term, therefore they were immune to these kind of temporary changes.
“Even if would exit the country by selling our stakes, this investment would stay, as a value of Gaziantep and as an employment source. We can’t carry it on our shoulders,” he said.
Prime Mall Gaziantep marks the third investment of the German giant after two other malls in Iskenderun and Antakya districts of another province in the region, Hatay.
The group’s investments in the country have already totaled $500 million, accounting for one-fifth of its global investments in 17 countries, as Çetin has said.
He also announced that the group’s next investment was planned for one of the metropolitan cities, without specifying the name.