Purchasing property in Turkey has become more popular with holiday home owners and investors around the world. Several factors have contributed to the popularity. The issue is especially notable given Turkey’s potential EU membership and the related economic integration processes.
In accordance with the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644, amended by Law No. 6302, which entered into force on 18 May 2012, the condition of reciprocity for foreigners who wish to buy property in Turkey is abolished. Information on countries whose citizens can buy property and limited property right in Turkey can be provided from the Turkish Embassies/Consulates abroad and the General Directorate for Land Registry and Cadastre. However, citizens of Armenia, Syria, North Korea, Nigeria, Cuba and Yemen cannot buy any property in Turkey.
People with foreign nationality can buy any kind of property such as house, business place, land or field, within the legal restrictions. People with foreign nationality who buy property without construction (land or field etc.) have to submit the project which they will construct on the property to the relevant ministry within 2 years.
According to the Turkish laws and regulations in force, transfer of ownership of a property is possible with an official sales agreement 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 to the property does not pass with a sales commitment agreement or other kind of sales agreements to be signed before the notary.
Moreover, there are some legal restrictions for foreigners to buy property in Turkey. Firstly, foreigners can buy maximum 30 hectares of property in Turkey in total and can acquire limited property right. In this regard, according to the Circular Letter No.2206-1 of January 20, 2006 issued by the General Office of Cadastre of Turkey, when purchasing land, when purchasing documents at the land registry, a foreigner must sign a statement in which he/she certifies that the total area of real estate assigned to him/her all over the entire Turkey (including this property) does not exceed 30 hectares and agrees that otherwise he/she undertakes to free the excessive areas which will be sold and the amount received will be transferred into his/her account. Secondly, foreigners cannot acquire or rent property within military forbidden zones and security zones. And thirdly, foreigners can acquire property or limited property right in a district/town up to 10% of the total area of the mentioned district/town. Also, legal restrictions do not apply in setting mortgage for real people and commercial companies having legal personality which are established in foreign countries.
The other necessary thing about buying a property is application. For this issue, the owner of the property or his/her authorized representative should make a preliminary application to the Land Registry Directorates. If the preliminary application is incomplete, the file will be kept waiting.
Necessary documents for the application are;
• Title deed of the property or information on village/district, block, building plot, detachment
(Title deed is an absolute right of ownership. It proves that the land has been officially recorded at Land Registry and ownership cannot be contested.)
• Identification document or passport (together with its translation)
• Property Value Statement Document to be provided from the relevant municipality
• Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for the building (house, office etc.)
• 1 photo of the seller and 2 photos of the buyer (photos to be taken within last 6 months, 6×4 size)
• Certified translator and 2 witnesses (if one of the sides cannot speak Turkish)
• The original or certified copy of the power of attorney and its approved translation (if the power of attorney is prepared abroad)
According to financial aspects of procedure, both seller and buyer have to pay the title deed fee calculated as regards the selling price which cannot be less than the Property Statement Value to be issued by the relevant municipality. Then, circulating capital fee which is determined locally has to be paid. When the Land Registry Directorates inquires 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.
Besides, the foreigner has to inquire with the Land Registry Directorate if there is any limitation on the property, such as mortgage, arrestment or any obstacle which prevents the sale of the property. If the application by the foreigner for purchasing the property is rejected, the act can be appealed to the relevant Regional Office of the Land Registry Directorate.
Also, the easiest way to purchase a property in Turkey is by granting power of attorney to a solicitor in Turkey to conclude the deal on your behalf because this issue saves your time and ensures that your purchase will be smooth.