REAL ESTATE PURCHASE IN TURKEY FOR FOREIGNERS
Foreigners can legally acquire real estate in Turkey subject to certain limitations. Land Registry Law Article 35 allows natural persons of foreign nationality, who are citizens of countries specified by the President of the Republic, to purchase real estate and limited real rights in Turkey. This is based on international bilateral relations and national interests.
In 2012, changes to the law made it easier for foreigners to acquire immovable property in Turkey, removing the reciprocity requirement for real estate acquisition. This change has made it simpler for foreigners to invest in the Turkish real estate market.
Legal Restrictions on Real Estate Purchase by Foreigners
Foreigners who wish to acquire real estate in Turkey must comply with certain conditions and legal restrictions. These conditions include:
- Real persons of foreign nationality and limited independent and permanent rights in rem cannot acquire immovable property that exceeds ten percent of the area of the district subject to private property.
- The sum of the acquired immovable and independent area cannot exceed thirty hectares per person throughout the country. However, the President has the authority to double the amount that can be obtained throughout the country per capita.
- Foreigners cannot acquire or rent immovable property in military forbidden zones and security zones.
- Foreigners can acquire any type of immovable property provided they comply with these restrictions.
Information on the relevant countries whose citizens are allowed to purchase property in Turkey can be obtained from the Embassies/Consulates of the Republic of Turkey and the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre. However, the list of relevant countries is not publicly available due to the confidentiality of the matter.
About Foreign Legal Entity Acquisitions In Turkey
According to the provision of Article 35, which took its final form by amending the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644 with the Law No. 6302 published in the Official Gazette dated 18.05.2012 and numbered 28296;
“Commercial companies with legal personality established in foreign countries according to the laws of their own countries, can acquire real estate and limited real rights only within the framework of the provisions of special laws. Those other than these trading companies cannot acquire real estate and limited real rights cannot be established in their favor. The restrictions in this article do not apply to the establishment of immovable pledges in favor of these trading companies and foreign real persons.”
Accordingly, the provisions of the special law mentioned above are;
- Tourism Encouragement Law No. 2634: Ministry of Culture and Tourism will be able to decide to allocate real estates in cultural and tourism protection and development zones and tourism centres to foreign tourism enterprises.
- Law No. 4737 on Industrial Zones: The Ministry of Science and Industry may grant easement or use permits to foreign companies in regions allocated as “Industrial Zones”.
- Petroleum Law No. 6326: Companies established in accordance with the legislation of foreign countries may have “Oil Rights” according to this Law and may rent the land required for oil processing from the Ministry of Finance, request an easement right or obtain a right of use. In addition, even if the relevant lands are subject to private ownership, these companies will be able to request easement / lease by agreeing with the private owner; If this agreement is not realized, it will be able to demand the expropriation of the relevant land.
Furthermore, even if companies established in accordance with the legislation of foreign countries cannot acquire real estate within the scope of any of the above Laws, they can overcome this obstacle by establishing a company in Turkey.
If you require further information on the legal requirements and restrictions for foreigners to acquire real estate in Turkey, please do not hesitate to contact Antalya Lawyer Ceren Topcu İncetaban. Our experienced legal team can provide detailed information and expert guidance on real estate transactions in Turkey.
Other Limitations on the Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreign Companies
There are limitations on the acquisition of real estate by foreign companies in Turkey. These limitations include:
- The size of the real estate acquired by a company cannot exceed 30 hectares and cannot exceed 10% of the privately owned areas in the district where it is located.
- If a foreign trading company has purchased land, it is required to carry out a project on that real estate and submit the relevant project to the Ministry for approval within two years.
- Foreign trade companies are required to obtain permission from the relevant authorities for the immovable to be purchased within military forbidden zones, military security zones, and special security zones.
- If foreign legal entities violate the conditions specified above or fail to fulfill their obligations, they will be required to liquidate the real estate within one year. If they fail to do so, the Ministry of Finance will liquidate the property, and the proceeds will be paid to the beneficiary.
What are the required documents for foreigners to obtain immovable property in Turkey?
✓ The title deed document of the immovable or the information of village/neighbourhood, island, parcel, building, and independent section.
✓ The person who wants to acquire the immovable must have a passport or identity document.
✓ The Real Estate Market Value Certificate of the real estate must be obtained from the relevant municipality.
✓ There must be a compulsory earthquake insurance policy for buildings (housing, workplace, etc.).
✓ Up-to-date photograph taken within the last 6 months, including 1 of the seller and 2 of the buyer.
✓ If there is a party who does not speak Turkish, a sworn translator and two witnesses.
✓ In case of transactions with a power of attorney issued abroad, the original or certified copy of the power of attorney together with its translation.
Matters to be Considered in Real Estate Purchases by Foreigners
When purchasing real estate in Turkey, it is important for foreigners to ensure that there are no restrictions on the property such as mortgages, foreclosures or any other obstacles to sale.
In addition, if the foreigner has acquired undeveloped property such as land or fields, they must submit a project related to the property to the relevant Ministry for approval within two years. The Ministry will determine the start and completion time of the project, and once approved, it will be recorded in the declarations section of the land registry where the property is located. The Ministry will monitor whether the approved project is carried out within the prescribed period.
If a foreigner acquires real estate illegally, uses it for purposes other than its intended use, fails to apply to the relevant Ministry in due time, or does not realize the approved project within the prescribed period, the property will be liquidated and converted into value if it is not liquidated by the owner within a period not exceeding one year.
Foreign nationals who comply with the legal conditions listed above should make a preliminary application with the necessary documents to the land registry office where the real estate is located. The land registry office examines whether the real estate and the foreigner who wants to buy it meet the necessary conditions for sale.
In case of deficiencies that can be corrected within the real estate purchase conditions of foreigners, the application shall be put on hold. If the appropriate conditions cannot be met, the application will be rejected.
In case of rejection of the application by foreigners during the purchase of real estate, an objection can be made to the Regional Directorate in the place where the title deed directorate is located.
In Brief, real estate acquisition by foreigners is possible within legal limitations. Although it may seem easy and clear, this procedure requires expertise and attention. For this reason, you can get support from our lawyers who are experts in real estate law in order to avoid loss of rights. Do not hesitate to contact Antalya Lawyer Ceren Topcu İncetaban and her Antalya Law Firm for legal assistance.