GUIDANCE FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS WHO WISH TO BUY IMMOVABLE PROPERTY (REAL ESTATE) IN TURKEY
This guidance was prepared with the purpose of assisting foreign nationals to avoid problems in buying immovable property (real estate) in Turkey. However, the guidance should not be considered a substitute to necessary professional consultancy service.
1. Legal Basis:
Real persons of foreign nationality may buy property in Turkey if reciprocity exists between Turkey and the country of which they are a citizen. Information on reciprocity lists can be obtained either from your country`s diplomatic missions in Turkey, or from the Turkish Embassy/Consulates General in your country. Real persons of foreign nationality are advised to take due notice of the following points in order to avoid incurring loss when buying immovable property.
2. Official drawing up of contracts:
According to effective Turkish legislation, official contracts transferring ownership of real estate must only be drawn up at the Land Title Registery Office where the immovable is located. It is possible also to sign, in the presence of a notary public, a “promise-to-sell” contract prior to the official sale.
Acquisition of ownership of the immovable, the sale contract of which is concluded, can take effect only after registration at the Land Title Registery Office.
3. Legal Restrictions on Sale of Real Estate to Foreign Nationals:
A. Foreign nationals may buy immovable property in Turkey, as a work place or private residence, provided reciprocity exists between Turkey and their country, and legal restrictions are observed. However, the total area of the immovables purchased by a foreign national may not exceed 25.000 (twenty five thousand) square meters, even if the immovables are in different localities.
B. Permission has to be obtained from the military authorities of the region, through the Land Title Registry Office, before the purchase of an immovable. Sale to foreign nationals of immovable property located in a military security area is prohibited by law, and it is important to clarify this matter before any payment is made.
4. Practical Information:
A. Real persons of foreign nationality should bring with them the following to Land Title Registry Offices when acquiring immovables;
- Identity document or passport,
- Foreign nationals whose acquisition of property is subject to a valid residence permit: Residence permit issued by the relevant police department,
- If they wish to act on the basis of a power of attorney issued abroad (i.e. outside Turkey), the original or certified copy of the power of attorney together with a certified Turkish translation.
B. Before a real estate sale contract is drawn up, an inquiry should be made at the relevant Land Title Registry Office as to whether such immovable is subject to restricted real rights, mortgaged, or any other situation exists which prohibits its sale.
C. Foreign nationals who wish to buy real estate in Turkey are advised,
- Not to sign legally binding sales contracts or make any payments before obtaining information at the correct Land Title Registry Office about the immovable involved
- Not to initiate procedures before investigating the sales persons or agencies involved, and to refrain from conducting business with persons or agencies who are not able to provide sufficient proof of their credibility.
In case of a disagreement concerning the sale or purchase, the matter has to be referred to the judiciary, and a lawsuit has to be filed with the Turkish courts. It is not possible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Turkish diplomatic missions to interfere in the judicial process.