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About Buying A Property In Turkey

Foreigners may purchase land and property in Turkey in their own names provided that properties are located in towns (i.e. there must be municipality in the area where the property is and the property must be situated within the boundaries of that municipality or borough), not in villages or rural areas and outside of military zones.

In order to acquire the title of a property, an application has to be submitted to the local Land Registry Office in which the property is situated.

After carrying out necessary searches and checks for the above mentioned requirements, the transfer of the title is done by the Land Registry Office.

During the transaction, the proofs or the documents concerning the transfer of the full purchase price into Turkey must be presented to the Land Registry Office.

Also a one per cent duty (i.e. tax) both for the purchaser and seller is due and collected during the transaction. There exists an annual property tax, collected by the municipalities (i.e. local governments) at the rate of 0.3 per cent for private buildings. The newly built properties are exempt from the annual property tax for 5 years. All properties are subject to revaluation every five years for tax purposes. The acquired property may be resold or rented out and the proceeds may be transferred out of Turkey. Different regulations apply when a property is purchased for business related purposes.

Property Purchasing Laws and Procedures in Turkey

Turkey is becoming a popular holiday destination with its immense unspoilt coastline and Mediterranean climate which offers all-year-round sunshine. Buying property in Turkey is now seen as a good future investment considering the fact that Turkey is on the verge of becoming a member of the EU and has one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world.

Turkish Property Legislation

Ownership is defined in article 35 of the Turkish Constitution. This article stipulates that anyone is entitled to ownership and that these rights can only be restricted by other legal stipulations. The restrictions may consist, for instance, of zoning schemes, restrictions applicable to foreigners, etc.

The ownership regulations are elaborated in the Turkish Civil Code, article 633. This mainly explains how ownership is acquired. For the purchase of property by a foreign person, the registration of the land is especially important. In Turkey there are regional directorates of the Land Registry Department, which are subdivided in provincial or district offices and they are all controlled by the state.

Property Registration and Delivery

In most European countries the buyer and seller go to a public notary to have the property put in the name of the new owner. The public notary is responsible for the correct settlement of this procedure. The public notary is also responsible for the delivery, which often takes place in the form of a ‘deed of transfer’ and the entry in the property register.

In contrast to this, the entry in the property register in Turkey is not performed by a public notary, but by an official of the Property Registry Department. It is legally compulsory for both sides (the seller and the buyer) to be present at the entry. It is possible to authorize another person to do so but the authorization requires a notorial deed. As a security measure, it is also advisable to authorize the sale through an official notary.

The delivery of the deed of transfer does not require the intervention of a public notary in Turkey. The only applicable stipulation concerning the delivery is that it takes place in writing. After the entry and delivery the property register issues a proof of ownership, which is called ‘Tapu’. The ownership is only obtained at the moment that the building(s), if under construction, has been completed and the full amount has been paid.

Mainly there are no legal restrictions against foreigners regarding the acquisition of property ownership. However, the Village Act and the Military Prohibited and Security Areas play an important role; Article 87 of the Village Act denies the right to foreigners to ownership of property that is outside the centre of a village in case the cadastral division of this area had not been arranged yet or it may belong to the Ministry of Forest. Also, the act regarding Military Prohibited and Security Areas can be an impediment and therefore restrict the acquisition of property by foreigners if the property is located within a particular distance of military sites or strategically important areas.

The major legal restrictions mentioned above may in turn change or even be (partly) cancelled by more recent legislation which is closely related to the promotion of the economic position of Turkey or the adjustment of regulations and laws to EU or tourism promotions for foreigners etc.

Finally

Buying real estate in Turkey involves many regulations. Not only must formal regulations be taken into account, but foreigners must also heed the various legal exceptions to acquire real estate.

The zoning schemes, the antecedents of the selling party and the legal restrictions imposed by Turkish property legislation are some important aspects that must be approached objectively, reliably and professionally.

Reciprocity - Foreign Citizens Who Can
Legally Buy Property in Turkey

All citizens of the countries listed below can legally own a real estate in Turkey due to reciprocity principle and are liable with the same rights / procedures as all the Turkish citizens. Presently a new law is pending which may allow this list to open up to other countries in the near future. We will update the list if/when this happens.

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece (providing that some restrictions are reserved), Guatemala, Holland, UK, Ireland, Italy, Malawi, Norway, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Luxembourg, Panama, Somali, Central African Republic, Chile, Spain, Tanzania, USA, Venezuela, legal immigrants and World Citizens.

Optional step

Opening a bank account. In order to open a Turkish bank account you will need to have a Turkish tax number this we can obtain from the tax office in Ortaca. (Passports and personal details needed.) Once we have obtained your tax number we can then take you to a bank and they will help you to open your account. (Passports, Tax number and personal details needed.)

 


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