Things to Know About Acquisition of Immovable Property by Foreigners in Turkey

Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644 was replaced with Law No. 6302, which entered into force on 18 May 2012. Accordingly, the requirement of reciprocity in respect of acquisition of real estate by foreigners in Turkey has been removed. With this amendment, the Law granted citizens of 183 countries the right to acquire immovable property “without reciprocity conditions”. The most important reason is for the changes made due to the great interest shown by foreign investors in the real estate sector.

Concordantly, the conditions required for foreigners who want to purchase immovable property in Turkey are determined by President. These countries are Turkey Embassy or Consulate with information about available from the Land Registry and Cadastre General Directorate. In this context, the Arab and Islamic countries except Syria, including citizens of 183 nationalities are expressed can purchase real estate in Turkey.

Foreigners can purchase any immovable property (residence, workplace, land, farm) subject to relevant legal restrictions. Foreigners who purchase immovable property such as vacant land, farm or field must submit the construction projects they will build on this property to the relevant Ministry within 2 years. Otherwise, these immovable properties are subject to liquidation provisions.

According to the Turkish laws and regulations in force, the transfer of ownership of immovable property is possible only with an official deed and registry signed before the Land Registry Directorates. It is also possible to sign a “preliminary agreement for sale” before the notice. However, it is not possible to obtain the ownership of the immovable property by entering into force of this preliminary agreement before applying to the notary public.

What are the Legal Restrictions for Purchasing Immovable by Foreigners in Turkey ?

  • Foreigners can purchase maximum 30 hectare (300 thousand decare) immovable properties and get real right. This numerical limit on immovable property can be doubled at most with the decision of the President.
  • It is forbidden for foreigners to acquire and rent property within the borders of military prohibited areas and security zones.
  • Foreigners can acquire immovable property and have the same rights in an area up to 10% of the total area of the region where they will purchase the property.                            

Which Documents are Required for Foreigners while Purchasing an Immovable ?

  • Information about the deed of the relaterd real estate or village / district, block, parcel, building, independent section (Land registry transactions are made in the relevant Land Registry Directorate),
  • ID Card or passport (If required, translations of the document must be provided),
  • “Real Estate Value Statement Document” should be provided from relevant municipality (In general, there are branches established specially for the purpose by the municipalities near to the relevant Land Registry.),
  • Compulsory earthquake insurance for buildings (residence, office etc.)
  • 1 photo of the seller, 2 photos of the buyer (photos must have been taken in the past 6 months in 6×4 size),
  • If there is a party who does not speak Turkish, sworn translator with 2 witnesses,
  • If the transaction is made with a power of attorney prepared abroad, original or certified copy with the translation of the power of attorney.

What are the Fees and Expenses During Immovable Properties by Foreigners ?

  • Both purchaser and seller, must pay “Real Estate Value Statement” that was calculated with title deed fees. (The title deed fee is calculated as 4% for 2020).
  • The determined circulating capital fee must be paid (circulating capital service fee for 2020 has been determined as 157.00 TL).
  • In addition, an additional service fee is charged by the Land Registry Directorate regarding the transfer of ownership agreements signed in accordance with Article 35 of the Land Registry Law (additional service fee for 2020 was determined as 21.50 TL).

What are the Other Issues should be considered by foreigners who want to purchase immovable property in Turkey ?

  • Foreigners should find out if there are any obligations on the property, such as mortgages, foreclosures or any other restrictions that would prevent the sale of immovable property, by contacting the Land Registry.
  • Foreigners can appeal to the relevant Regional Office of the Land Registry Office if their application is refused to purchase property.
  • Foreigners should only work with expert and reliable companies in the field of real estate acquisition.
  • For the concept of real estate acquisition by foreigners in Turkey, having a valid residence permit is not a necessary condition.
  • In case of any dispute between the parties regarding the sale of immovable property, a lawsuit should be filed in Turkish courts by applying to the judicial authorities.