Foreigners’ Acquisition of Real Estates and Limited Rights in Rem in Turkey

Natural persons of foreign origin can acquire real estates and limited rights in rem in Turkey. According to Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644:

“Provided that legal restrictions are observed, in terms of international bilateral relations and in cases required by the interests of the country, foreign natural persons who are nationals of the countries designated by the President may acquire real estate and limited rights in rem in Turkey.

The total area of the real estates acquired by foreign real persons and limited rights in rem of independent and permanent nature cannot exceed ten percent of the area of the district subject to private ownership and thirty hectares per person throughout the country.

The President is authorized to increase the amount that can be acquired nationwide per capita Turkey up to twice.”

In the old version of Law No. 2644, the reciprocity requirement was sought for foreigners to acquire immovable property in. This requirement was abolished with the law numbered 6302 in 2012. Foreigners can learn if they can obtain real estate and limited rights in rem in Turkey from Turkey Embassy in the country, Consulates General or representatives of their countries in Turkey.

In order for the contracts for the sale of real estate to be valid, they should be arranged in a formal way in Turkey. These contracts are made at the Land Registry Directorates where the real estate is located. (Before the sale, a “preliminary contract for sale” can also be made before a notary public.) After the contract is signed, the ownership of the real estate can be gained through the registration to be made at the Land Registry Directorates.

Foreigners are not required to have a residence permit in order to acquire real estate.

Legal restrictions:

Foreigners can use the property they have bought as a workplace or residence. However, the sum of the real estates purchased in the same district and limited rights in rem in an independent and permanent nature cannot exceed ten percent of the area of the district. In different districts, it cannot exceed thirty hectares in total per person.

When necessary for the interests of the country, the President can determine, limit, stop or prohibit partially or completely acquisitions of real estates and limited rights in rem by foreign natural persons and commercial companies with legal personality established in foreign countries according to the laws of their own countries acoording to country, person, geographical region, duration, number, ratio, type, quality, area and amount.

Foreign natural persons have to submit the project to be developed on the unstructured real estate they purchase to the relevant Ministry within two years. The project, which is approved by the relevant Ministry, is sent to the Land Registry Directorate where the real estate is located, to be recorded in the declarations section of the land registry. Whether the approved project is carried out in time or not is monitored by the relevant Ministry.

According to the Law No. 2565 on Military Forbidden Zones and Security Zones, foreigners cannot acquire property in military forbidden areas and security zones.

The President may decide that foreigners cannot acquire real estate in areas to be determined due to their proximity to military forbidden zones or for other strategic reasons, and that they cannot rent them unless permission is obtained.

Before the sale agreements are made, the issues such as whether the real estate is registered with limited rights in rem, whether there is any situation that prevents it from being mortgaged or sold, should be checked from the relevant Land Registry Directorate.

In case of any dispute regarding the purchase and sale, the situation must be brought to the judiciary and a lawsuit must be filed in Turkish courts. It is not possible for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its foreign representatives to be involved in the judicial process.

Foreigners who wish to buy real estate in Turkey should pay attention to the issues mentioned above. Muhami Law and Consulting provides its clients with the professional support required for the determination of the real estate in accordance with the above criteria, the conclusion of the sales contract, the registration of the property and the resolution of possible disputes.

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