Purchase process in Turkey and related legal procedure: The information below is provided as a guide during a standard real estate purchase in Turkey. Buying a property in Turkey is no more difficult than buying a property in any other European country. Provided that you have appointed a recommended English speaking Turkish lawyer from the start, then your purchase should proceed smoothly. Here is a breakdown of what is involved in buying a property in Turkey.
1. Reservation agreement & deposit:
A reservation agreement is made and a deposit taken of €/USD 2000 or more. This takes the property off the market in your name and freezes the price of the property.
2. Appointing an independent lawyer:
If you have friends or family who have all ready bought in Turkey, they could recommend a lawyer to you. If this is not possible, you could find one through the internet or consulate. Alternatively, we can recommend independent English speaking Turkish lawyers in Istanbul, Izmir, Bodrum or anywhere in Turkey.
3. Power of Attorney (POA):
Many clients prefer to give POA to their chosen legal firm which enables the lawyer to complete various administrative tasks on behalf of the client, most importantly representing the client at the exchange of deeds, therefore allowing the client to travel back to his/her country of residence, confident in the knowledge that the purchase process is continuing efficiently in their absence. The POA document is a standard document, the format of which is specified by the notary and then drawn up at the notary office before being translated by an authorised translator. Indications of the authorisation usually given in the case of a property purchase process are shown below. Please note, the lawyer will always ask for your permission before acting on your behalf.
• Applications for the purchase of property in Turkey.
• Signing of private purchase contracts.
• Opening bank accounts in Turkey.
• Obtaining tax number on behalf of client(s).
• Obtaining title deeds on behalf of client(s).
• Connection and registration of water and electricity utilities (where necessary).
Details for Executing Power Of Attorney Documents:
Power of Attorney given whilst client present in Turkey:
• This can only be done on weekdays (Monday to Friday)
• Client’s passport details are translated into Turkish and the POA document is drawn up
• The original POA document is in Turkish so an official translator will be present to translate the document into the client’s official language Power of Attorney given when client is not present in Turkey
• POA document will be sent to client via e-mail in required language by the client’s solicitor.
• After completion of document the client needs to arrange for the details to be authorised by a solicitor or magistrate.
• For all foreign citizens the POA then needs to be apostilled by the Commonwealth Office (necessary details are provided with POA document).
• The document is then returned to the lawyers’ office in Turkey where it will be translated into Turkish and certified at the notary public.
4. Purchase contract:
A standard sales contract shall include the following details:
• Full property details, including current official description and location, according to details on the deeds.
• Payment terms as agreed between the client and the vendor.
• If the property is being purchased ‘Off Plan’ or during construction, completion and delivery dates.
• If the property is already complete, handover dates.
• Penalties clauses for both buyer and seller.
• Where applicable, details of agreed changes or upgrades to standard technical specifications, and / or agreed additional details.
• Standard technical specifications regarding the development and the property. The lawyer will also check the following details;
• That the current title deed of property is free of debts and any other charges.
• That the property is freehold and is located in an area where there are no restrictions for foreigners purchasing real estate.
• Current ownership of the property at the land registry offices.
• That the developer has all the required planning permissions and building licences. Only when the lawyer is satisfied that the above are complete and in order and that all parties are in full agreement to the terms, shall the contract be drawn up.
Draft contract: If the client does not have time to visit the lawyers office before returning to their country of residence, a draft contract is prepared in both in Turkish, German and English then forwarded to the client. After reviewing and approving the contract the client will print out and sign the required number of copies of the contract before returning them, by courier to the lawyer’s office where countersigning by the vendor shall be arranged and supervised.
There are several payment options for clients transferring funds to the developer or the lawyer as follows:
• Clients who already have a bank account in Turkey, or who have given POA to the lawyer to open one, can send payments directly to their own account. These can then be transferred to the developer, with clients’ permission, on the appropriate dates.
• Clients who do not have a bank account in Turkey can make payments direct to the lawyer’s client account whichever method chosen, the lawyer will ensure that funds are transferred to the vendor on the exact dates stated on the purchase contract. The lawyer will also make certain that the client is kept fully up to date at all times of all payments received and forwarded to the vendor.
6. Procedure for Military Clearance:
A new law was passed in October 2013 making it easier for foreigners to purchase property in Turkey. Previously all foreign purchasers were obliged to acquire military clearance from the Aegean Army Headquarters before title deeds can be transferred to an individuals’ name. However this process has now been simplified. If any foreign owned property has already been military approved, new foreign buyers do not need to reapply. If purchasing on a complex and one property has received military clearance it will automatically approve all other properties on the site. This applies to all properties obtaining their previous clearance after 5th May 2011. This new legislation allows a large percentage of foreign buyers to obtain their title deeds within a few days. These military checks control that the real estate to be purchased is not in a:
• Military Zone (military sensitive /protected area).
• Registered Forest area.
• Village area without cadastral division. The procedure for completing this application is the responsibility of the vendor and can take between 2-8 weeks. However, the lawyer assists the vendor in the collection of the relevant documents required and, where applicable, collection of costs from the purchaser before supervising and controlling the actual application and tracking the response. The new legislation has also lifted other restrictions. Purchasers from any country are now permitted to buy within Turkey. Previous restrictions on Danish purchasers have also been lifted, Danish citizens are now permitted to make multiple purchases within Turkey.
7. Transfer & Registration of Title Deeds:
After obtaining military clearance (described above) and when the last payment / full amount (according to the purchase contract) has been received in preparation for payment to the developer, the title deed transfer takes place at the Land Registry Department. At the same time, the final payment is transferred to the vendor. Both the buyer and the vendor (or legal representatives with POA) must be physically present for this process.
8. Property Purchase Tax:
Taxes of 4% of the declared value of the property, is payable to the government on completion. This is the responsibility of the purchaser to pay.
9. Residence Permits:
Foreigners who purchases a property in Turkey are eligible to apply for a Turkish Residence Permit. A residence permit is required to purchase a car or motorbike in your own name and to import personal goods through Turkish customs. Anyone intending to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days in a 180 day period will require a residence permit. This is calculated back from your intended departure date of leaving Turkey. It is also a requirement in some areas, Istanbul to have a residence permit to transfer utilities in to a foreigners name.
10. Foreigners Identity Number:
If the property purchaser does not hold a residence permit a Foreigners Identity Number must be applied for from the Foreigners Police Department prior to property purchase. The application process involves completing a form at the TNP Foreigners’ Department, providing a handwritten letter in Turkish (dilekçe) stating the reason you need the Foreigner Identity number (Kimlik number) i.e. for property purchase. You also need to provide a copy of your passport. emlaks consulting group will assist in this short procedure.