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 29.12.200 and Law numbered 5782 dated 03.07.2008.
Foreign real persons may acquire real estate in Turkey as long as two conditions are fulfilled: firstly, there must be reciprocity between the country of the foreign real and Turkey with respect to the legal requirements about real estate acquisition and secondly, the legal restrictions provided in the Turkish regulations must be fulfilled.
Reciprocity principle means that the foreign state has to apply exactly the same rules to the Turkish citizens with respect to real estate acquisition as applied to its citizens. In order that the reciprocity principle is fulfilled, de jure and de facto reciprocity must exist. This means that if in practice the laws are not applied, reciprocity principle is not fulfilled.
Foreign companies (i.e. companies that are incorporated in accordance with the laws of a foreign state) may acquire real estate in Turkey provided that the acquisition is allowed as per the provisions of a special Act in Turkey. The relevant special Acts are: Law for Encouragement of Tourism numbered 2634, Petroleum Law numbered 6326 and Industry Regions Law numbered 4737.
To acquire real estate in Turkey, foreign real persons or foreign companies have 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.
According to the Article 35 of the Land Registry Law, the Council of Ministers shall determine areas where the foreign persons and foreign companies may not acquire real estate in sensitive areas that need to be protected due their natural, historical, cultural and similar specialties or due to security or military reasons. This restriction shall also apply to the real estate acquisition of foreign capital companies incorporated in Turkey in accordance with Turkish laws.
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.
This Newsletter 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 Update should seek specific advice on the matters which concern them.