Buying Property in Turkey

Introduction

As per Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644, amended by Law No. 6302 which entered into force on 18th May 2012, persons with foreign nationality buying property in Turkey (of any type: house, business place, land, field) in Turkey, may do so, as long as they abide by the legal restrictions.

Persons with foreign nationality who buy a plot of land without any buildings constructed should submit the plans to the relevant Ministry within a period of 2 years.

According to the Turkish laws and regulations in force, the transfer of ownership of a property is only possible with an official deed and registry which is signed at the Land Registry Directorates.

It is possible to sign a “sales commitment agreement” before a notary. However, legal ownership of the property does not pass with a “sales commitment agreement” or other kind of sales agreement signed before a notary.

Legal Restrictions on Buying Property in Turkey

    • Persons with foreign nationality can buy a maximum of 30 hectares of property in Turkey in total and can acquire limited in rem rights.
    • Foreign nationals cannot acquire or rent property within military or designated security zones. Persons with foreign nationality can acquire property or limited in rem rights in a district/town up to a maximum of 10 % of the total area of said district/town.
    • Legal restrictions do not apply in setting mortgages for real persons and commercial companies having legal personality which are established in foreign countries.
    • The properties are subject to winding up provisions in the following cases: (i) if the properties are acquired in violation of laws; ii) if the relevant Ministries and administrations identify that the properties are used in violation of the purpose of purchase; iii) if the foreigner does not apply to the relevant Ministry within time in case the property is acquired with a project commitment to build; iv) if the projects do not materialize within time.

Property Purchase Process

The purchaser of the property or their authorized representative should make a preliminary application to the Land Registry Directorate. If the preliminary application is incomplete, the file will be kept pending.

The following documentation is required:

      1. Title deeds of the property or information on village/district, block, building plot, detachment.
      2. Identification document or passport (Together with its translation).
      3. “Property Value Statement Document” to be provided from the relevant municipality.
      4. Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for the buildings (house, office, etc.)
      5. 1 photo of the seller, 2 photos of the buyer (photos to be taken within last 6 months, 6×4 size)
      6. (If one of the parties cannot speak Turkish) certified translator and 2 witnesses.
      7. (If the power of attorney is prepared abroad) The original or certified copy of the power of attorney and its approved translation.

Powers of Attorney Issued Outside Turkey

      1. Powers of attorney are issued by the Turkish Embassies or Consulates.
      2. If the power of attorney which is issued by a notary of a foreign country is certified according to The Hague Convention dated 5 October 1961 and if it bears “Apostille (Convention de La Haye du Octobre 1961)” in French, there is no need for an additional certification of the said power of attorney by the relevant Turkish Consulate.
      3. If the power of attorney is issued by a notary of a foreign country which is not party to The Hague Convention dated 5 October 1961, the signature of the said notary has to be certified by the relevant authority of the foreign country and then the signature and seal of said foreign authority must be certified by the Turkish Consulate in that country.

Financial Aspects of the Property Purchase Process

      1. Both vendor and purchaser have to pay the title deed fees, calculated according to the selling price which cannot be less than the “Property Statement Value” to be issued by the relevant municipality. (According to the Charges Law No: 492, the title deed fee percentage for 2013 is 2%. )
      2. Circulating capital fee which is determined locally must be paid.
      3. At the stage when the Land Registry Directorate enquires with the relevant military authorities whether the property is located within a military or special zone, circulating capital fee for the map prepared by the Cadastre Directorate has to be paid.

Other Issues to Bear in Mind

      1. The foreign national should check with the Land Registry Directorate if there is any limitation on the property, such as a mortgage, charge or impediment or any obstacle which prevents the sale of the property.
      2. If the application by the foreigner for buying a property is rejected, this may be appealed to the relevant Regional Office of the Land Registry Directorate.
      3. For the above reasons it is advisable for foreigners to contract only registered and regulated professionals who can avoid problems with ownership arising in the future.
      4. Having a residence permit is not a condition for the foreign national who wishes to buy a property in Turkey. Likewise, buying a property does not grant the foreign national the right to obtain a residence permit in Turkey.
      5. If there is a disagreement between the parties to the sale of a property, the case has to be brought before the Turkish courts by referring to judicial authorities.

Property Acquisition by Companies with Foreign Capital

Where the foreign investors hold, individually or collectively, 50% or more shares of the a company, or where the foreign investors do not hold any share of such a company, but have a right to assign or remove the managers of said companies on the condition that the company has legal personality in Turkey, then the company may purchase property in Turkey in accordance with Article 36 of Land Registry Law No. 2644 and the “Decree on Acquisition of Property and Limited in Rem Rights by Companies and Corporations within the Context of Article 36 of Land Registry Law No. 2644”, dated 16.08.2012.

The Land Registry General Directorate has published a circular No. 2012/13 (1735) on “acquisition of property and limited in rem rights by companies with foreign capital”

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Property Purchase

Location

Available in the following locations: Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Bodrum, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli , Kusadasi, Manisa , Mersin, Mugla.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

1Who is this Service for?

Buying property abroad is a very popular activity but can be fraught with dangers.

Given that the purchase of a property is one of the most important investments that most people will make in their lifetime, it is crucial to be advised by an independent expert.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Review of the purchase contract.
  • Management of negotiations and counter-offers.
  • Verification that the seller is able to pass good title.
  • Registry search to ensure property free of any charges or other mortgages.
  • Ensure outstanding taxes on the property are up-to-date before transfer.
  • Make sure that all items included in the sale (fixtures and fittings etc.).
  • Attendance and assistance when signing the deeds of the property.
  • Management of negotiations and counter-offers
  • In depth information about schools, sports clubs, shops, cultural organisations, etc.
  • Payment of stamp duty.

3Free Support Services Included

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When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
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