What Foreigners Looking to Acquire Real Estate in Turkey Need to Know
- In Turkey, acquisition of property ownership titles may only be approved upon registration at the land registry directorates.
- Preliminary real estate contracts, issued by notaries or entered into by natural persons in writing, do not confer transfer of property per se. They only serve as a commitment for the transfer of ownership; the property in question does not change hands by means of such instruments.
- Burdens such as mortgages, liens, and similar types of restrictions that may exist with regard to the said property that would prevent the sale thereof should be checked prior to the initiation of procedures at the respective land registry directorate.
- Inquiries about properties may be made online at parselsorgu.tkgm.gov.tr, where specific details of the city, district, quarter/village, map section, and plot may be used to look up the property. Basic information on the real estate property, including its current status, is thus accessible online from anywhere in the world. Personal information of the owner remains inaccessible, however.
- Foreign nationals do not need to have a residence permit as a pre-condition to acquire real estate in Turkey. In addition, foreigners who acquire property in Turkey are granted renewable short-term residence permits under Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection.
- A natural or legal person intending to acquire real estate in Turkey is required to apply to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre together with the owner of the property. In addition, they may call the Alo 181 Call Center, offering service around the clock, or visit randevu.tkgm.gov.tr to make an appointment without having to visit the directorates’ offices in person.
- Turkish companies with foreign capital, on the other hand, should first file an application at the Provincial Directorate of Planning and Coordination (PDPC) at the local governor’s office where the real estate is located. Once granted a positive response from PDPC, they should then apply to the Land Registry Directorate. These companies may apply in person, via post, or e-mail.
In Turkey, the term “foreigner” is defined under three categories with respect to the acquisition of real estate:
- Foreign natural persons
- Foreign legal persons
- Turkish companies with foreign capital
Article 35 of Law No. 2644 on Land Registry sets out provisions on the acquisition of real estate by foreign natural and legal persons. Article 36 sets out provisions on companies with foreign capital.
Countries whose nationals are eligible to acquire real estate in Turkey are determined by the Cabinet of Ministers, who may also stipulate special conditions for acquisitions if deemed necessary.
Exceptional Acquisition of Citizenship
With (b) prepended to the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Law No. 5901 promulgated on July 28, 2016;
- Those who obtain a residence permit further to (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31 of the Law No. 6458, by investing within the scope and amount determined by the President
- Foreigners holding the Turquoise Card
- may acquire Turkish citizenship based on the resolution of the President of the Republic of Turkey.
Scope and amounts determined as per the new regulations published in the Official Gazette on September 18, 2018 are defined below. Foreigners who meet any of the following criteria may be eligible for Turkish citizenship, subject to the decision of the President of the Republic of Turkey:
- Made a minimum fixed capital investment of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira, as attested by the Ministry of Industry and Technology
- Acquired a property worth a minimum of USD 250,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira with a title deed restriction on its resale for at least three years, as attested by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
- Created jobs for at least 50 people, as attested by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services
- Deposited at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira in banks operating in Turkey with the condition not to withdraw the same for at least three years, as attested by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency
- Bought at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira worth of government bonds with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years, as attested by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance
- Bought at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira worth of real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years, as attested by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey