Legal Issues in Purchasing Property for Foreign Investors in Turkey
Prepared by: Ali Guden, Berfin Karasu
The Turkish property market is growing day by day and every year, many foreign investors are buying property in Turkey. In accordance with the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law No. 2644, amended by Law No. 6302, which entered into force on 18 May 2012, the condition of reciprocity for foreigners who wish to buy property in Turkey is abolished.

Further information on which countries foreign investors may buy property and estate in Turkey could ascertain from the Turkish Embassies/Consulates abroad and the General Directorate for Land Registry and Cadastre.

A person in who is a foreign nationality, may purchase all kind of property such as house, business place, land etc. within the legal restrictions. In addition, obtaining a residence permit would not be necessary to buy a property in Turkey. And also, purchasing a property does not grant foreign investors to obtain a residence or work permit in Turkey. According to the legislation and regulations in Turkish law, the transfer of ownership of a property would only be allegeable by the possession of an official deed and registry of the property at the Land Registry Directorates.

It is possible to sign a "promissory sales agreement" before a notary. However, legal ownership of a property would not pass with a "promissory sales agreement" or other kind of sales agreements to be signed before the notary. Furthermore, promissory sales agreements between foreign investors and real estate companies could cause legal issues in Turkey.

Investors who are mostly a part of a real estate purchase agreement in Turkey often cannot get the possession of a title deed. Furthermore, in some cases the timeline of the construction of the property would not have been started. This problem can occur due to the liquidation of real estate construction companies or as a result of not complying with contractual obligations of Turkish law system.

On the other hand, mediation is one of the methods that can be a dispute resolution method to solve a conflict between the parties even before starting a legal proceeding. However, there is a chance that the mediation process could give impotent results in which real estate companies may show reluctancy to compromise. If a foreign investor would like to proceed with legal action, the local consumer court would settle upon on condemning real estate construction companies to hand in the property or the value of the property or the damages. The approximate time frame for above cases could take 2 or 3 years.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

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