The purchasing process

Paperwork and contracts

The purchasing process

Buying property is straightforward and well-regulated in Turkey. In the end, the new real estate owner receives a deed document (tapu) from the District Land Registry Office that confirms he or she is the new owner of that property.

You should prepare the sales contracts with the help of a lawyer. That´s right, contracts: In Turkey, property sales involve three contracts: the reservation contract, which is essentially a signal that the seller can take the property off the market, the preliminary contract, which serves as the basis for price negotiations, and the full contract, which outlines the actual transaction.

Your property lawyer will be able to draft contracts that satisfy all the finer points of Turkish property law. This, perhaps more than any other step, is the reason you want to make sure to find a capable property lawyer to represent you. The last thing you want when purchasing property is to draft an illegal contract!

Make sure that the contract is properly legalized before it is signed. Also, have it translated so that both the buying and selling party have copies in their native language.

Military permission

After signing the preliminary contract you will need to get military permission for your purchase. Since you will not be issued a tapu without this permission, make sure that you get it before agreeing to any kind of payment.

The seller will make the application on your behalf.

A department of the Aegean Army High Command processes these applications, and they involve two major considerations: your criminal record and the property location.

Your criminal record only poses problems if you have been convicted of a major offense such as murder or drug-trafficking.

Propery location is evaluated based on its military significance. Most property on the coast is considered “militarily significant,” though many foreigners purchase coastal land without problems (extremely large land purchases are another matter). As a general rule: the smaller the plot of land, the more likely permission will be granted.

Getting permission usually takes between 2 and 4 months, but it can take longer if the military is overwhelmed with applications. It is rumored that as Turkey moves closer to EU membership this requirement will be eliminated for EU citizens.

Obtaining a tapu

The tapu (deed document for the property) is finalized after you sign the full contract, and can only be issued by the District Land Registry Office. The sections in the bottom of the tapu are only for official use, and in order for the document to be valid they need to be stamped and signed by a tapu officer.

To complete the application for property transfer at the tapu office you will need the tapu from the previous owner, as well as the registration papers for electricity, water, gas and telephone services (if they are installed). You also need at least 4 passport photographs.

Special requirements for foreigners help make the transaction more secure. An example of an “extra” requirement is an officially appointed translator. The deeds department provides such servics, but (unsurprisingly) it charges fees for them.

After buying a property in Turkey, you are allowed to rent and to re-sell your property like any other Turkish owner. You are also allowed to transfer profits to foreign bank accounts or accounts in your home country.

Further reading

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