1) General Overview
The requirement concerning acquisition of real estate in Turkey by foreign persons have been regulated under Land Registry Law numbered 2644. Besides this, the Law on Prohibited Military Zone and Security Areas numbered 2565 and the Law for the Encouragement of Tourism contain regulations hereof as well.
This article aims to provide you an overview for the general procedure and requirements for foreign purchasers who request to acquire a real estate in Turkey in accordance with the last amendments made in related law provisions.
2) Restrictions and Conditions
As per to the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law, it is stated that the foreign persons who are citizens of the countries determined by the Council of Ministers, may acquire real estate and limited real rights in Turkey. Provided that the Council of Ministers permits foreign nationality citizens of 129 countries, there are still some restrictions and conditions for 52 country citizens.
Since each Land Registry has a list of the country citizens which are permitted to purchase a real estate in Turkey, it will be advisable firstly to contact with the Land Registry for specific permits and requirements, if exist.
In accordance with the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law, the total area of real estate that a foreign person can acquire shall not exceed 10% of the area within the borders of the district where the real estate is located and cannot exceed 30 hectares in the country, for each person. The Council of Ministers has discretion to increase this limit up to 60 hectares for each person.
The Council of Ministers may determine a different percentage for the limits considering the importance of the city in terms of economy, energy, environment, culture and security.
Foreign real persons cannot acquire real estate in military or security zones. If the real estate falls within the limits of military and security zones, a notice is sent by related Land Registry to Presidency of General Staff (“Genelkurmay Başkanlığı”) in order to obtain information and permit. The response from the General Staff is obtained within 30 days approximately.
3) Acquisition Procedure and Required Documents
In order to purchase a real estate in Turkey, the seller and the foreign purchaser must submit an application to the Land Registry where the real estate is located. After obtainment of the permit mentioned above, the sale and transfer of the real estate is realized by the Land Registry.
With regard to the documents to be submitted by the foreign real person and the seller are as determined below:
a) Foreign real person’s identity card or passport and its translation notarized by a sworn translator in Turkey and two photos,
b) Identity card of the seller and two photos,
c) If the foreign real person purchaser or the seller make the application through representatives, the power of attorney of the representatives duly notarized and two photos of each representative,
d) Title deed of the real estate to be acquired or information on its bloc, plot, parcel number and address,
e) Earthquake insurance policy of the real property,
f) Value statement document obtained from the municipality where the real estate is located, (if there exist an unpaid property tax for the related real estate, this document shall not be submitted to the purchaser)
g) If the foreign real person has not a potential tax number of foreign identity number previously obtained from Turkey, a potential tax number must be obtained before application to the Land Registry. The potential tax number is obtained from the Tax offices by submitting identity card or passport and its translation notarized by a sworn translator in Turkey.
After obtainment of the permit from the Presidency of General Staff and submission of required documents, the Land registry shall fulfill the transfer operation of the real estate. If the Land Registry declines the foreigner’s application to purchase the real estate, this decision may be appealed to the relevant Regional Office of the Land Registry Directorate.
For sale of the real estate between the purchaser and the seller, it is obligatory that both parties or their representatives are present at the Land Registry during the sale operation. During the sale operation, the parties (or their representatives) shall sign a sale and purchase agreement in the required official form while they are at the Land Registry.
It must be noted that the sale price of the real estate may not be less than the value statement document obtained from the municipality where the real estate is located. The sale price is noted on the title deed to be issued and the title deed fee is calculated based on the sale price.
In addition to the sale price, the duties payable concerning the sale transaction are the title deeds fees which encumbers %0.2 of the sale price to each party. Therefore the seller and the purchaser are individually obliged to pay a fee amounting to %0.2 of the sale price provided that it isn’t lower than the officially announced price of the real estate by the relevant district municipality. Additionally circulating fees (Land Registry working capital) varying between 200.-TL and 300.-TL (for the year 2015) will be accrued.
After fulfillment of all operations and payment of the related fees, the title deed of the real estate subject to purchase shall be issued and submitted to the new owner.