What Foreigners Looking to Acquire Real Estate in Turkey Need to Know
In Turkey, the term “foreigner” is defined under three categories with respect to the acquisition of real estate:
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.
Legal Restrictions on Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreign Natural Persons
Acquisition of Real Estate and Limited Rights in Rem by Legal Persons
In Turkey, only trading companies established according to the laws of their respective countries and having legal personality may acquire real estate and limited rights in rem as foreign legal persons. Legal persons other than such trading companies (foundations, associations etc.), on the other hand, may not acquire real estate and may not have rights in rem.
Acquisition of real estate by trading companies established in foreign countries according to the laws of their respective countries and having legal personality, on the other hand, may be granted in exceptional cases and is deemed possible only when stipulated under the provisions of international conventions or special laws. Among the specific codes inclusive of provisions on this matter are Law No. 6491 on Turkish Oil, Law No. 2634 on Tourism Incentive, and Law No. 4737 on Industrial Zones.
NOTE: With respect to mortgages, an exception is stipulated whereby there is no limitation as to the mortgages to be created over the property in favor of foreign natural and legal persons.
Acquisition of Real Estate and Limited Rights in Rem by Companies with Foreign Capital Established in Turkey
Companies established in Turkey as a legal entity are considered under the category of foreign-owned companies in accordance with the following conditions:
These companies may acquire property and limited rights in rem in order to engage in activities set forth in their articles of association.
For this purpose, companies are required to apply first to the governor’s office where the property is located.
On the other hand, if the real estate intended for acquisition is located in a prohibited military zone or a military security zone, the real estate acquisition shall be subject to the permission of the General Staff; and if the property is situated in the private security zone, it shall be subject to the permission of the governor’s office of the respective region.
In the event of positive settlement of the application to acquire real estate, the governor’s office shall inform the company/enterprise and the Land Registry Office in writing so that the registration may be fulfilled.
The following procedures do not require permission from the governor’s office, therefore the application to the Land Registry Office may be directly made without seeking permission.
In Turkey, foreigners’ right of inheritance is protected. In the event of a foreigner's death, the real estate owned by them shall pass to their inheritors. If the inheritor is eligible to acquire the real estate (if they are eligible in terms of nationality and if the total limitation conditions per person and throughout the country allow), the inheritor may then keep the inherited property. Otherwise, such person is to transfer the real estate immediately. Otherwise, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance shall sell the real estate and reimburse the price to the inheritor.
Right to Acquire Turkish Citizenship Through Real Estate Purchase
Natural persons of foreign origin are granted the right to acquire Turkish citizenship by means of exceptional procedures upon purchase of real estate worth USD 250,000 and more.
For this purpose, foreigners:
Once the land registry procedures are complete, the foreign national may apply to the relevant administrations to claim the right of residence or citizenship by submitting the certificate of eligibility to be issued for the owner.
Requirements for Land Registry Procedures
Power of Attorneys Issued Abroad
If the procedure is to be conducted by a third person authorized by means of a power of attorney issued abroad, the power of attorney must include the authorization relating to the procedure to take place. Besides, the power of attorney shall meet the following conditions:
The application should also provide notarized and certified Turkish translation of the power of attorney that meets the required criteria.
For detailed information the acquisition of real estate by foreigners in Turkey: https://www.tkgm.gov.tr/tr/icerik/foreigners-0