Property in Turkey

Useful Information

After you have chosen a property in Turkey, the process of its registration of ownership begins. This requires:

Conclude a sales contract between the seller and the buyer in two languages (Turkish and English). The contract specifies the data of the buyer and seller, information about the selected property in Turkey, the value of the property, the size of the deposit and the subsequent payment schedule, the terms of the transaction, the timing of registration of the property in Turkey and other conditions.

Obtain a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number). TIN is required for registering a property in Turkey, paying taxes on real estate, state fees, using banking services. The procedure for obtaining a TIN is very simple and takes only 5-10 minutes. Issued free of charge.

Submit documents to the Cadastral Office for registration of ownership (TAPU) for the acquired property in Turkey. The procedure for registration of real estate from the moment of submission of documents to receipt of TAPU under the new rules takes 3-5 working days

When registering real estate in Turkey, the following expenses are provided for:

  • a one-time tax on real estate upon purchase in the amount of 4% of the cadastral value, which in practice is always below market value;
  • state duty for registration of TAPU, municipal and cartographic tax, according to the tariffs established by local government bodies;
  • translation services.

Get the TAPU

After receiving permits from state authorities in the Cadastral Office, a TAPU (certificate of ownership) is issued in the presence of the seller, buyer and a sworn translator. By this time, a full settlement must be made between the buyer and the seller, all taxes and state duties must be paid.
TAPU is the only legal document certifying the ownership of a property in Turkey, implying full and untimely ownership of a particular property. This right cannot be challenged even in court.

TAPU contains:

  • Address of the land on which your property in Turkey is located;
  • Color photograph of the holder;
  • The data of land registration in the Cadastral Office;
  • Description of land according the information of Cadastral Office;
  • The area of the land of the new owner of the property;
  • Condition of property of the new owner;
  • Cadastral value of the acquired property;
  • Information about the previous owner (or owners);
  • Information about new owner (or owners);
  • Date of acquisition of this property by the previous owner;
  • Number of TAPU of the previous owner of the object;
  • Details of new TAPU;
  • Date of acquisition of this property by the new owner;
  • Signature of the authorized person of Cadastral Office and Stamp.

The cost of maintaining a property in Turkey
After purchasing property in Turkey, probably, all of you are wondering about maintenance cost of apartments or villas in Turkey.
There are several types of expenses:
• One-time tax on real estate upon purchase in the amount of 4% of the cadastral value, which in practice is always below the market value;
• State duty for registration of TAPU, municipal and cartographic tax, in accordance with the tariffs established by local government bodies;
• Translation services;
• After registration of the apartment in ownership and receipt of the TAPU, it is necessary to issue subscribers for water and electricity. If it is second hand property, subscribers need only be re-registered in the name of the new owner;
• Property insurance in Turkey against earthquakes and natural disasters. The owner is obliged to insure property in Turkey against damage caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters. Insurance costs are around 40 euros per year (+ – 20 euros) (more for villas).
There are several types of expenses for housing maintenance:
1. Annual insurance of the property in Turkey against earthquakes and natural disasters.
2. Annual property tax, which is calculated from the value declared in the TAPU:

• 1% – a tax on non-commercial (residential) property in Turkey;
• 2% – a tax on commercial property in Turkey;
• 1% – a tax on land in Turkey without a building permit;
• 3% – a tax on land with building permit.

3. Payment for maintenance and servicing of residential complex (“Aidat”).
When purchasing an apartment or a villa in Turkey in a residential complex with developed infrastructure (swimming pool, playground, garden, parking, sauna, fitness room, tennis court, security, elevator, etc.), you must pay monthly fee for the maintenance of this complex and providing the above services. Basically, people who provide the service live directly in the same complex and keep order.
The size of the Aidat depends on the infrastructure of the complex and the volume of services provided. This is done by the management company, or by the residents of the complex themselves, who create an HOA (homeowners’ association) at a general meeting, headed by the chairman, who takes on the above functions.
4. Utilities.
Water and electricity are paid for by counters that are in all houses.
Water costs on average 0.8 EUR / m3, including taxes.
Electricity on average 0.15 EUR / kW, including taxes.
The gas in the region is imported – the cost of a 12 liter cylinder is about 15 euros (For a family of 3 people, it usually lasts for 2-4 months).
Garbage tax – the cost is determined by the location and size of the property and can range from 5 to 40 euros per year. The final value is set by the local administration.
Usually, the cost of utilities does not exceed 30 euros per month.
Also, you can connect a landline phone, the subscription fee for which is about 10 euros per month, and the Internet (about 15 euros per month).

Сitizenship and residence permit

Benefits of Turkish Citizenship

  • Your wife/husband and children under 18 years old can acquire citizenship together with you at the same time.
  • When you apply for citizenship, you are not required to declare your assets or income that you currently have in other countries.
  • You can travel to many countries without the need to follow a cumbersome visa application process.
  • Many of these countries allow Turkish citizens to stay 30 to 90 days without any visa requirement and also some countries grant visas upon arrival or issue electronic visas upon online application.
  • The Visa Liberalization Dialogue, the aim of which is to grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel right to Schengen countries, between Turkey and the EU, was launched in 2013. Once achieved, further 26 European countries will be added to the list of more than 100 countries where Turkish citizens can already travel freely. (Read more about the Benefits of Turkish Passport here).

The ways for obtaining Turkish citizenship

  • Citizenship by Investment: In 2018, the Turkish government introduced the possibility of obtaining Turkish citizenship in the shortest possible time. Anyone who has bought property worth $ 250,000 or deposited $ 500,000 in Turkish banks can apply. At the same time, the applicant is not entitled to either sell this property or withdraw money from the account for 3 years. Also, those who have made investments in the Turkish economy in the amount of at least US $ 500,000 and those who have created 50 jobs for Turkish citizens can apply for citizenship in an accelerated mode.
  • Turquoise Card System: Since 2017, the Turquoise Card System allows people with outstanding achievements in the field of technology, science, economy, sports, culture and art, to apply for a special type of citizenship, which guarantees almost the same rights as ordinary Turkish citizenship. Entrepreneurs and investors can also apply for the Turquoise Card.
  • Property and Residence Permit Holders: Any owner of property in Turkey after 5 years of permanent residence may apply for citizenship on condition that he remained in Turkey for at least 5 years during this period. Article 11 of Law No. 5901 lists the requirements for a permanent residence permit. In this case, there are no restrictions on the minimum value of the property.
  • Birth: The easiest way to obtain Turkish citizenship is to be born into a Turkish family. According to Article 1 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship # 403, a child born to a Turkish family or in a family where the mother or father is a citizen of Turkey, gets citizenship automatically. Alternatively, if any of the parents receives the status of a Turkish citizen, then their child will also be subject to this right. Anyone who has lost Turkish citizenship can reapply for it.
  • Marriage: Many foreigners obtain citizenship after three years of marriage to a citizen of Turkey. But it is necessary to fulfill several conditions: to live together, not put their marriage in question and does not pose a threat to national security and public order.

Owning real estate in Turkey (in any proportion) is the basis for obtaining a residence permit in Turkey.

To obtain a residence permit, you must own or owned by your spouse (s) real estate. Parents in the care of children and minor children can also take advantage of this opportunity after obtaining a residence permit by the owner of the property.

Since April 2014, changes have come into force in the procedure for obtaining a residence permit, according to which real estate owners, on the basis of TAPU, will be able to issue a residence permit for a period of 1 year without leaving Turkey. A request for a residence permit is applied to the local Police Department for Foreigners.

For registration of residence permit you must provide the following documents:

  1. International passport (original).
  2. International passport (a copy of the page with photo and the page with the date of the last entry).
  3. Tax Number (issued free of charge in the local tax office for 5-10 minutes).
  4. Color photos 3×4 – 4 pcs.
  5. Health insurance for the whole stay in Turkey (cost depends on age).
  6. The completed application form for a residence permit (issued by the local Police Department for Foreigners).
  7. A copy of the Title Deed (the original must be in possession).
  8. Certificate of the Cadastral Office confirming the relevance of TAPU.
  9. Proof of address:
  • if a foreigner renting an apartment, need to provide notarized rent contract,
  • if a foreigner lives in a hotel, need to provide document of hotel reservation,
  • if a foreigner lives with a Turkish citizen, need to provide a notarized guarantee from the Turkish citizen.

    10. Receipt for payment of state duties and registration card.

For today the process of obtaining the residence permit takes from one to three months. Ready documents will be sent to you by registered letter to the postal address specified in the application form.

If a foreigner has a property in Turkey and residence permit, his family members can also get a residence permit: wife (husband) if the marriage is officially registred, parents under the tutelage and children under the age of 18 years. All other relatives older than 18 years, sisters, brothers can get a residence permit only if the owner is a Turkish citizen.

Foreign citizens may become owners of property in Turkey by inheritance. A will can be done in Turkey from a local notary in the presence of a sworn translator.

The process of registration of a will:

  1. After the lawyer receives reliable information about your will, he submit an application to the notary to acquire an official character of your will. You will get from notary number and registration date of a will, and a certified copy of it.
  2. The notary, in his turn, must keep the original wills and report about it to the Chamber of Notaries of Turkey.
  3. A lawyer reports that the will was drawn up to the Turkish Embassy in your country.
  4. The Turkish Embassy in your country sends relevant information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the registry offices of your country.
  5. A lawyer submit an application to the local court for the registration of a will.
  6. In case of death, the lawyer asks for a death certificate from the rightful heir (heirs).
  7. After receiving the death certificate, a lawyer goes to court to obtain the right to execute the will. And, after this, application is submitted to the appropriate authority, registering property rights, to transfer the rights to the name of the heir.

Wills, which were compiled by foreign citizens in their country, can be executed in the Republic of Turkey. To do this, the heir (heiress) must present a letter from the court of their country, certified by the Turkish Consulate. After, this letter must be submitted to the court at the location of the property. The court will issue an official document that authorizes the transfer of ownership. Then a letter together with all documents must be presented in corresponding office for registration of Tapu. This transfer of ownership does not require permission from the Military Department. Other restrictions are not applied also.

If the will has not been compiled, then Turkish law of inheritance comes into force.

The main provisions of the Turkish law of inheritance.

  1. Article 495. Heirs of the acquired property, in the absence of a wife (husband), are children of the deceased, who have the right to division of property equally. In case of death of one of the children, grandchildren are getting the inheritance right.
  2. Article 496. In the absence of wife (husband), children and grandchildren, heirs of the property are father and mother of the deceased, property is divided equally between them.
  3. Article 497. In the absence of wife (husband), children, grandchildren, and also parents, other relatives get the inheritance right according to the degree of kinship (grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, nephew).
  4. Article 498. Children born out of marriage, in the event that they are recognized by parents or are those by the court, they receive the legal right for part of the inheritance equally with legitimate children.
  5. Article 499. In the event that the deceased have a wife (husband), but no other relatives, all property goes to her (him). If there are other relatives, the inheritance is distributed among them in equal parts by the approved scheme. Note. If the wife (husband) was not living together with the deceased, she (he) may be deprived of inheritance. Divorced spouses are among the relatives who can claim an inheritance.
  6. Article 500. Adoptive kids get the legal right to claim an inheritance, but the adoptive parents can not claim the property of their children.
  7. Article 501. In the case, if the deceased has no relatives, all property is transferred to state ownership.
  8. Article 514. Every person has the right to make a will in favor this or that person. A will can be changed or liquidated at any time.
  9. Article 584. Missing persons can be declared dead at confident suspicion of death after 5 years, in the absence of news – after 15 years. In that case, if the missing person has no relatives, the property is protected by the state during 10 years, and then goes into the coffers of the country.
  10. Article 593. A judge who runs the case of the inheritance:
  • describe all the property of the deceased,
  • to take appropriate measures for its preservation,
  • if necessary to sell the property (divide between the legitimate heirs, payment of debts)
  • ensure that the debts of the deceased have been paid by his relatives,
  • ensure proper operation of enterprises owned by the deceased. In the event that the control of their work is not possible, take steps to freeze their activities.
  1. Article 594. If the heirs of the deceased have not appeared within a year, the judge is obliged to submit a press announcement about the inheritance 2 times a month. If during one year an inheritance claims are not received, it goes to the state.
  2. Article 598. Certificate of inheritance, which is issued for a month, can be challenged in court.
  3. Article 604. Each heir may renounce his part of the inheritance in favor of another heir or state.

In the case of transfer of property by inheritance, must be paid tax on the inheritance, but if heir (heirs) will sell the property, he (they) is free from tax. The tax is generally calculated on the basis of the declaration, which gives the taxpayer. This declaration must be filed within 4 months from the date of death of the owner. If deceased died in Turkey, and the taxpayer is outside of Turkey, period of filling of such a declaration is increased to 6 months. But if the death occurred outside the Republic of Turkey, and the taxpayer is also outside of Turkey, the period of filling of a declaration again becomes 4 months.

In the case of donation of property, the declaration must be filed within 1 month after the transfer of ownership.

Tax rate changes almost every year. There are some features and discounts in the case of inheritance property by spouses and children.

The new owner of the property need to pay a fee in the Cadastral Office 0.9% of the value of the property.

*Taxes and fees are calculated from the value declared in the TAPU.

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