The process of buying a property in Turkey is remarkably straightforward and, after all decisions have been finalised, the transaction can be completed in a few hours for domestic buyers. For a foreign buyer, however, the total time frame is extended due to the need to gain permission from military authorities. The military clearance process is a simple yet essential process, designed to ensure that foreign buyers are not purchasing land within a restricted military zone.
The procedure will take between 3 to 6 months. Cumberland Properties is able to offer you the service of appointing a lawyer on your behalf. The lawyer will oversee the entire procedure and ensure that everything is coordinated successfully.
It is customary for buyers to grant POA – Power Of Attorney – to their chosen law firm. POA gives the lawyer authority to act on your behalf in a legal or business matter; in this case relating to the purchase of real estate. Essentially, this facilitates the buying process, as POA will allow your lawyer to be your advocate. This will enable the purchase to be completed even in your absence. This is particularly useful if you do not have the time to return to Turkey during the buying process, and will save you money on travel and accommodation.
The following documents are required by the Notary Public when giving POA for each owner:
- Your passport
- Your parents' full names
- Your contact number(s) and address(es)
- Two photos of each person who will be named on the deeds
Once you have chosen your dream purchase, you will need to sign a reservation contract and pay a small holding deposit, usually £3000. This will hold the property for a limited period.
Your lawyer will need to check the TAPU (title deeds). This is simply to verify a few essentials; primarily, that the property belongs to the stated owner, that it complies with building standards and that there are no outstanding charges against the property. For both new and re-sale properties it is also vital to confirm that building permission was granted, and that the appropriate planning regulations were followed during construction.
If you have concerns about future development in neighbouring areas, it is possible to check on the status of adjoining land. These searches and checks should take 3-4 working days.
Finally, you will sign a preliminary contract of purchase and pay a deposit of around 30%. This will start to finalise the sale. The title deed transfer will take place at the land registry office.
Now, as the legal owner, your name and details will be on the title deed, a copy of which will be given to you. Additional copies of the title deed can be ordered from the registry office for a small fee.
If you are buying off plan, you will also receive a habitation certificate (an “İskan” in Turkish) once construction is completed. This document is indispensible for all new buildings, as it is required for residence within the property in question and subscription to the utility companies. The habitation certificate contains the following information:
- Certification that the construction of the building has been completed in line with the planning permission given by the local council (“Belediye”).
- construction authorisation
- completion date of the construction works
- the land registry office records on the property
- address and size of the property
- specifications of the independent parts in the property
- the owners
It is important to register with the local tax office. Cumberland or your lawyer can do this on your behalf following the exchange of title. The tax office will issue you with a tax identification number. It is also necessary to open a local bank account. This may require a translator and an independent accountant, so it is recommended that this is done without delay. The transfer of title deed will not usually take place until full payment is made. If you are doing a bank transfer, remember to transfer enough money to cover the costs involved in the purchase.
- Foreigners must have gained Military clearance from the Ministry of Defence.
- Ninety-nine year leases are no longer recognised by Turkish notaries.
- You can grant power of attorney to a solicitor to oversee the legal process while you are out of the country.
- You don't have to pay capital gains tax after you’ve owned the turkish property for five years.