Buying In Turkey? Beware Of These 5 Property Laws

Buying Property In TurkeySo you’re thinking of buying a property in Turkey? In my own and most investors’ experience the process is straightforward, however before taking the plunge, make sure you make a note of these five property laws which you really don’t want to get caught out on…

1. Reciprocity Principle

Put simply, any foreigner is eligible to purchase property in Turkey as long as they come from a country which returns the favour and allows Turkish citizens to purchase their land. It’s a bit like being back in the playground, they won’t share if your country doesn’t.

Currently, there are eighty four countries including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, France and Germany who have full reciprocity with Turkey.

So remember before even beginning your Turkish property search, check that you are a citizen from a country that has this kind of relationship with Turkey, otherwise you may not be eligible to invest.

If you are from a country outside the reciprocity principle, you are still able to invest in property for sale in Turkey, however, you will need to form a company in Turkey. This is also relatively easy to do.

2. Obtaining Military Permission

Getting down to the small print… If you’re an investor who wants to invest in Turkish land or property, you must ensure that the land is not located in either a military, strategic or security zone.

There are also the ‘specially preserved zones’, as defined by the Council of Ministers, that are also ineligible to non-Turkish investors. These include areas important to Turkish history, energy and agriculture.

If you’re stuck on where to even begin, then it is worth heading down to the local Tapu (Title Deed) Office in Turkey and they will find out whether the property lies on any of these zones.

Military clearance can take a substantial amount of time – just think of paint drying and you’ll pretty much get the picture. Ensure you get the contact information for the Tapu (Title Deed) Office you use so that you can check up on the status of your application.

3. Buying Within A Specific Land Allocation

Just like the baggage allowance on your flight over, a maximum of 2.5 hectares (25m²) of land is all that is eligible to foreign nationals wanting to invest in Turkey. Any larger, and you will need to seek approval from the Council of Ministers.

However, there are limitations to how much the Council can extend the threshold to, as they only have the power to allow foreign investors a maximum of 30 hectares. Even this depends on an area of land being no more than 0.5% of the total area of the province.

4. Tapu-Title Deeds

Paperwork… It may be a bit of a bore, but you definitely need to make sure all the T’s are crossed and the I’s dotted to ensure the safe keeping of your investment.

It may seem obvious to go over all bases to ensure that the person you are buying the property from is the official and legal owner of it in the first place. Even the coordinates of the property on the Tapu should be checked with the civil engineering office.

Also, with the finish line in sight you don’t want your investment to end up being, sold or transferred to any third parties. Prevent this by asking a Tapu official to make a note on the document making any unauthorised ownership transactions illegal.

5. Inheritance

It might sound a bit morbid, but if you’ve protected your investment by following these steps so far then you don’t want to lose it all should the worst happen.
Regardless of the fact that you might have written a will already, if it doesn’t comply with the Turkish Civil Code, then it will not be valid should you die.

If that should happen and the property was jointly signed with your spouse, then they would only be eligible to 50% of the property – with the other half being split multiple ways.
So to ensure your hard earned investment is protected for now and later, have a will written in the form as defined by the Turkish Civil Code and witnessed by either a public notary or a Justice of the Peace.

Colordarcy can introduce you to Turkey property lawyer, who will ensure that your investment is safe and secure.

What are your own experiences with Turkish property laws? Please leave your comments below.

Kind regards

Loxley McKenzie
Managing Director

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Categories: Property Invest / Turkey Property


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