Updated 31 October 2012: In May 2012, Turkish reciprocity law regulating who can buy property in Turkey and who can't was revised to allow an additional list of countries, whose citizens can buy land and property in Turkey. In addition, certain restrictions and conditions were applied to citizens of some countries and certain types of land and property in Turkey.
According to the new law of reciprocity, the number of countries, whose citizens can purchase property in Turkey was increased from 53 to 129. An additional list of 52 countries can purchase, however, special permissions are required.
Overall limitations and restrictions that apply to all countries’ citizens are as follows
Real estate (land and/or property of any class and/or type) that belong to foreign nationals in any one town can't exceed 10% of that town’s total area or be higher than 30 hectares throughout Turkey. This is to say, if a foreign national wishes to purchase in excess of 30 hectares (300,000sqm or 74 acres) of land in Turkey, then he/she will need to seek special permission from the relevant government authorities. Generally speaking for such large acquisitions, we recommend setting up a Turkish limited company in order to be able to acquire in excess of 30 hectares of land in Turkey.
If a foreign national, person or corporate, purchases land in Turkey with a view to developing it, then they are required by law to submit their project plans to the relevant authorities for approval within 2 years of purchase. This is to prevent foreign nationals from land-banking in Turkey without adding value to the land purchased.
In addition to the above, there are restrictions and special cases applicable to certain foreign nationals purchasing land and property in Turkey. We have summarised these as follows. For further information, please do not hesitate to call our head office on + 44 (0) 20 8371 0059 or email us on email@example.com
Countries whose citizens simply can't buy property in Turkey include
Countries whose citizens are allowed to purchase restricted number of properties include
Jordan (can buy up to 2 residences and 1 workplace)
Special area restrictions apply for citizens of the following countries
Russia and Ukraine can't purchase property on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.
Citizens of Greece can’t purchase in the Black Sea coast and in some of the Aegean towns of Turkey
Barriers to purchase have been totally removed for the following countries – they can purchase property without restrictions now
Turkic states in Central Asia, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
Some category restrictions apply to the citizens of 31 countries – for example their citizens below can't purchase agricultural land in Turkey
Some small African countries
Albania (can only purchase residences and workplaces but not agricultural or other type of land).
Citizens of 16 countries need to get special permission from Ministry of Interior before they can purchase land and property in Turkey, including
Iraq (they need to seek permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Citizens of countries, who can purchase properties in Turkey without conditions include
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Cote D’Ivoire
Northern Cyprus (TRNC)
For matters relevant to residence permits in Turkey and how to obtain permanent residence, please refer to the latest update to the Turkish foreign nationals residence laws published in April 2013. Accordingly if you buy real estate in Turkey, you will automatically be given one full year residence permit.
PRIOR TO MAY 2012
The general reciprocity law in place prior to May 2012 was as follows (the above reflect the revisions we amended on our web site in October 2012)
Title Deeds Law article 35 states that foreign nationals can buy property in Turkey on the condition it is reciprocal and complies with legal restrictions.
Turkey has a reciprocal agreement for the purchase of property and land with a number of countries. What this means is that individuals who live in countries where Turkish nationals can buy land can, in return, buy land and property in Turkey. These countries include: United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Holland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxemburg, Norway and Greece. As of May 2012, the reciprocality law was amended to include a wide range of formerly restricted countries, including Gulf State countries and most Middle Eastern countries with a few exceptions and former Soviet Republics such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Foreign companies (still applies after May 2012)
According to article 35 of the Title Deeds Law, commercial companies having legal personality in foreign countries in accordance with the laws of those countries can buy property in Turkey under condition that they adhere to its laws, for example, the Encouragement of Tourism Act, the Industrial Zones Act or the Oil Act. Foreign investors are subject to the same rights as domestic investors, and companies with foreign capital that establish in Turkey are considered in equal light to Turkish companies.
However, foreign charities, foundations or societies cannot buy property in Turkey.
Companies established by foreign investors (still applies after May 2012)
Legal companies established in Turkey by foreign investors can buy property or limited rights in rem in Turkey as long as they adhere to the operational intentions in the company’s Article of Association.
If the properties in question are then acquired by a Turkish company , or by foreign investors, the same rule applies.
Buying commercial Turkish property in military restricted zones, security and strategic zones by foreign legal companies established in Turkey is subject to the consent of the Turkish General Staff or military authority designated by General Staff. Buying Turkish property in special security zones is subject to the consent of the governor of the specific province.
Where and what type of property can foreigners buy?
Foreign nationals from countries where there exist reciprocities in relation to property purchase can buy property in Turkey in zones under an Implementary Development Plan or a Local Development Plan for use as a residential or commercial property.
Forbidden zones (this still applies after May 2012 same as before)
Foreign nationals and commercial companies cannot buy land or property in Turkeys military, strategic and security zones.
The Council of Ministers may determine additional zones where building is prohibited for preservation purposes, for example, lands that are strategically important for energy, agricultural, mining, historical, cultural, biological or environmental reasons.
The Land Registry Office (TAPU) will check whether a property that is desired for purchase by a foreign national is within one of these forbidden zones. If the military authorities confirm that the property is outside the security and military zones, your application will probably be processed.
Military clearance can take a long time, so plan ahead and take the details of the TAPU office so you can check back and find out how the clearance is progressing.
Size restriction (this has been revised by May 2012 revision see above)
The area of land that foreign nationals can own cannot exceed 2.5 hectares (25,000m²). However, this can be increased to 30 hectares with Cabinet approval.
Foreign nationals wanting to buy property in Turkey’s built up areas should bear in mind that the maximum area they can purchase cannot exceed 10 percent of the total area within the town’s Implementary Development Plan and Local Development Plan. The Council of Ministers has the authority to set a lower ratio, dependent on the town’s infrastructure, economy, environment, agriculture and security.
What is the legal framework for Turkey property ownership?
Prospective buyers of property in Turkey should check out Turkey’s Constitution, the relevant provisions of the Civil Code, the Title Deeds Act, the Foreign Direct Investment Act and legislation that enables foreign nationals or corporate bodies to buy property in Turkey.
Prior to May 2012 - List of countries, whose citizens could not purchase property in Turkey prior to the revision of reciprocity law in May 2012. Most of the countries are no longer on this list, please check with us for currently restricted countries.
United Arab Emirates
Belarus - through setting up a company, costs around 2000-3000Euro
State of Eritrea - Asmara
The Maldives and Maldives Islands
Union of Myanmar – Burma
Tonga – The Tonga Islands