Real estate acquisition of foreign real and legal persons is governed by the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law numbered 2644 amended by the Law numbered 5444 and dated 29 December, 2005.
Foreign real persons may acquire real estate in Turkey provided that two conditions be fulfilled: reciprocity and compatibility with legal restrictions. The same conditions are required in order to acquire limited real rights on real estates.
Reciprocity principle means that the country of the foreign acquirer has to let the Turkish citizens acquire real estate in that country under the same or similar conditions. In order that the reciprocity principle is fulfilled, de jure and de facto reciprocity must exist. This means that if the foreign state does not enable the Turkish citizens to acquire real estates in that state in practice even though the laws do not provide any restriction, de facto reciprocity condition is not fulfilled.
To acquire real estate in Turkey, a foreign real person has to comply also with the legal restrictions. The first legal restriction is provided in the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law. The total area of the real estates and limited real rights that a foreign person can acquire can not exceed two and a half hectares. The Council of Ministers has the right to increase this amount up to thirty hectares.
Foreign legal persons (companies having legal personality established in foreign countries according to the laws of these countries) may acquire real estate and limited real right in Turkey according to the provisions of special Laws. These Laws are the Law for Encouragement of Tourism numbered 2634,
the Petroleum Law numbered 6326 and the Industry Regions Law numbered 4737.
According to the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law, foreign persons can not acquire real estate or limited real rights on the areas within the development plan borders. The Council of Ministers has the right to determine
the proportion of the real estate on province basis provided that five per thousand regarding the surveys of the provinces is not exceeded.
According to the Law of Military Restricted Zones and Security Zones numbered 2565, foreign real and legal persons cannot acquire real estate on military prohibited zones and security zones.
Foreign real or legal persons can have mortgages on real estate without complying with any conditions.
Provided that the reciprocity exists, the transition of real estate by legal heritage is exempt of the restrictions listed above whereas the dispositions by will have to fulfill the conditions required.
This Article provides a short update on the recent developments on Turkish real estate law. The information provided is not intended to serve as a legal advice. Before taking any action or relying on the information given, addressees of this Article should seek specific advice on the matters which concern them.
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