Turkish Fine Art Auction Markets Summary First Half of 2021

Turkish art market auction sales turnover increased up to 198 Million TL by 136.87 % in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2020. Almost all art markets turned into digital platforms to buy and sell art pieces and all auction sales were realized by online sales. This great percentage increase indicates that the art auction market in Turkey boomed with online auctions which were organized mostly after the pandemic circumstances and made it possible to reach new customers all around Country. 

The online sales caused two important results; first one is, auction sales included mostly the middle and lower-priced segment art pieces. The middle price of painting was 3.750 TL and the most often sold lot price was 1000 TL in the data set of the sold lots prices in online auction sales (without commission and tax, minimum lot price was 1000 TL in data set). This sold lot price formation indicates how the Turkish auction art market is composed of cheap and mostly with no artistic and collection value beyond decorative value of art pieces.


Second is, higher-priced segments of the art pieces are affected by the same situation in a negative way, in other word, “masterpieces” did not come to the auction market or even if it came on sale, they went through unsold and as a result, there were no sold lots for over 600.000 TL (without commission and tax) in the auction market at that time of the  year.


zaferozdem Art Indexes also indicates that price soar, Turkish Modern Art Price Index increased to 1406.40 by 42 % while the Turkish Contemporary Art Price Index increased to 2356.37 by 23 %, Turkish Art Price Index, which is constructed by 38 top Contemporary and Modern Turkish Artists, increased to 1060.88 by 37 % from the beginning of the year to the end of June 2021.


Turkish Contemporary Art Price Index indicates that investment on Contemporary  Art had the highest Average Annual Return by 20.27 % between the beginning of 2000 and the end of June 2021, while showing volatile market structure and higher risk (standard deviation is 35) than the Modern Art Market.




Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu artworks sold at auctions with the greatest volume by 5.331.800 TL and number by 398 in the First Half of the Year.


Abidin Dino artworks sold at auctions with the highest buyer demand by average number of bids 39 per artwork.


The most high-priced artwork sold at auctions was Omer Uluc, 600.000 TL (73.500 USD) with tax and commission 757.560 TL on 11 April 2021 by Artam Antik A.S.


The most high-priced per square Turkish Artist is Nuri İyem in the Contemporary & Modern Artists Group.


The highest price increase of the Artists was Mubin Orhon by 128.86 % at the auction market in the first 6 months of 2021.


The highest price Increase of Artist at auction market was Nuri Abaç by 5359.46 % from the beginning of 2000 to the end of June 2021.


The Highest Average Annual Return of Artist in terms of investment is Alaettin Aksoy by 52.18 % from the beginning of 2001 to the end of June 2021.


The Turkish Action Art Market buyer demand in terms of  “Average Bids Number Per Artwork of Bidders” weakened from 20.10 to 8.87 bids on average per lot from January to June in 6 months. This buyer demand decrease is also confirmed by the Auction Market liquidity ratio in terms of unsold lots of the percentage of total lots on sale increased from 4.07 % to 16.56 % in the same period. 


TURKISH ART MARKET CONFIDENCE INDEX ® (by Dr. Zafer OZDEM) also indicates low level confidence at 60 % of the buyer confidence about appropriate time to buy artworks with goes parallel with decrease of the 2 major indicators of the art market buyer demand “Average Bids Number Per Artwork of Bidders” and “Auction Market Liquidity Ratio” .

Turkish Art Market Players' expectation about art prices to be in the next 3 months will rise by 30 %; will fall by 20 % and will be stable by 50 %. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                Dr. Zafer Ozdem