Buying Land in Turkey: discover what only the top, expert property lawyer in Turkey know about buying land in turkey
For the purposes of Turkish law – and similar to other jurisdictions – there are two main categories of land:
- Agricultural land
- Zoned land
What are the required documents to purchase land in Turkey?
To be able to buy land in Turkey for investment or other purposes you need to arrange the documentation listed below;
- A notarized translation of your passport’s ID page
- Your passport
- Your Turkish potential tax number
- Expert evaluation report (obligatory)
Do I have to be resident in Turkey to be able to purchase land in Turkey?
No, you do not have to be resident to purchase land in Turkey. A valid passport, your Turkish tax number (this type of tax number will not make you a tax resident in Turkey) and a bank account in Turkey are enough to complete the process of buying land in turkey.
What are the restrictions for foreigners that want to invest via buying land in Turkey?
Foreign nationals can buy houses, shops, offices, factories, hotels and so on in Turkey. They can buy real estate as well as land. However, a few very important points here are overlooked by many foreign investors. Those important issues are
- Obligation to develop the land within 2 years of purchase
- Land size restriction throughout the country (30 hectares -30.000 square meters- and 10% rule)
- Military zoning restrictions
- Nationality restrictions
Foreign individuals are obliged to submit the project they will develop on the unstructured property they purchase (land, field) for the approval by the relevant ministry (municipality, Provincial Directorate of Agriculture) within two years.
Otherwise, the state has the right to take/claim back this property free of charge from the foreign national. Many foreign nationals have no idea about this very important detail. After the foreign national decides to buy the land/plot/field, an annotation is made to the title deed record of the property, stating that they will develop a project on the land within 2 years.
There are some other restrictions on land purchases by foreigners as well. One of them is that a foreign national person can buy a real estate up to 30 hectares at most throughout the country and acquire limited in rem rights related to it. A foreign national’s land in a Turkish town cannot exceed 10% of the town’s land area and a foreign national cannot purchase more than 300,000sqm of land in Turkey without the approval from the ministry of interior.
Another restrictive issue is that the Land Registry Directorate should ask the competent military command whether it is outside the military prohibition and security zones, and a positive answer must be obtained for acquisition.
It is necessary to obtain permission from the military authorities in the region before foreigners can purchase real estate. It is important to clarify this issue before the payment is made, since it will not be possible to make sales to foreigners if the aforementioned property is located within a security zone.
The last restriction is based on the nationality of the foreign national. The nationals of the below listed countries are prohibited from purchasing property in Turkey;
- North Korea
Some restricted countries based on region:
- Russian and Ukrainian nationals cannot buy land or property on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.
- Nationals of Greece cannot buy land or property in the Black Sea coast and in some of the Aegean towns of Turkey.
What does a lawyer do when purchasing land in Turkey?
Purchasing land is a big decision to make and most of the time it can be a stressful time for foreign nationals. To avoid this – and other issues that may come-up regarding the title of the seller etc., lawyers will typically take the following steps on your behalf:
- Initial consultation meetings and following up meetings
- Meetings with the property seller to confirm the terms and conditions as requested by the client
- Assisting with obtaining tax number for the client
- Assisting with opening bank account for the client
- Completing full legal review of the property
- Arrange a property report/survey prepared by mapping engineer/property expert
- Translating the survey report to English
- Obtaining official property valuation by registered property evaluator
- Handling the total money exchange between the client and the seller
- Making payments to the government for the sales tax
- Arranging the sale contract on behalf of the client (both in English and Turkish)
- Representing the client at the closing via Power of Attorney
- Altering sale contract upon request
- Obtaining DASK (obligatory earthquake insurance) for the subject property
- Finalising the sale at the title deeds office
- Signing the official sale document at the title deed office on behalf of the client
- Finalising the real estate dealers payment and obtaining payment receipt (both in English and Turkish)
What are the main costs of purchasing land in Turkey?
- Notarisation costs
- The sales tax
- Property evaluation costs and property survey report costs
As can be seen, there are so many considerations when purchasing land in Turkey.
Based on the restrictions detailed above, a foreign national must develop a project on the land within 2 years of the purchase. So, the foreign national will definitely need a survey before they make their purchase – note that a survey report is not obligatory in Turkey.
It is also worth noting that the survey that the lawyer offers is different from the valuation report. The survey that the lawyer will obtain on behalf of the purchaser will determine the borders and the municipal/agricultural building/development rules of the property so the client knows the exact border and the existence and extent of any planning restrictions on the land that they are purchasing