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Can a foreigner own property in Turkey?

Registration Date: 21-07-2018 No Of Times Visited: 1655

Can a foreigner own property in Turkey?

Yes. However, Turkish law makes a distinction between the rights of a foreigner and the rights of a local person when it comes to owning property. It does not matter from which part of the world the foreigner comes. The same restrictions will apply.

Certain areas of Turkey are designated as military zones. A foreigner will, generally, not be permitted to own property within a military zone.

For many years, the process of establishing whether a piece of land was located within a military zone – and so whether you would be able to buy it – was time-consuming. You had to make an application to the Army of the Aegean, who would then issue a certificate confirming that the land was (or was not) in such a zone. This could take months.

Recently, the position has become a lot simpler. The Army of the Aegean has deposited a map showing the location of all military zones at the Cadastral (Land Registry) Office. A check can be made there. It typically takes 4-6 weeks and costs TRY200.

There is one further restriction on the rights of foreigners to own land in Turkey. That is that no foreigner may own a piece of land in excess of 30 hectares (74 acres). That is quite a lot of land! If this is not enough for you, you can make an application to the Council of Ministers, and the limit can be increased to 60 hectares. Whether this application will succeed will depend upon where the land is located and the commercial rationale behind what you’re doing. This rule was put in place, basically, to protect Turkish agriculture from foreign intrusion.

One other matter that may cause you concern is that, for many years, the only foreigners who were allowed to buy land in Turkey were people who came from countries that gave Turkish people the reciprocal right to buy land in their country. This was not a problem for people from most European countries or the US, but it was an issue if you came from some Middle Eastern or Far Eastern countries. We mention this ‘problem’ only because people are likely to mention it to you but, in fact, it isn’t a problem at all any more.

When the financial crash came in the late 2000s, Turkey wanted to sell land to people from the Middle East to replace the buyers from the UK and Germany who had dried up. As a result, this rule was cancelled. It now doesn’t matter which country you come from; you will be able to buy land in Turkey unless it is in a military area.

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