Legal matters involved in buying in Turkey
Why is it so important to hire an independent lawyer when purchasing property in Turkey?
When buying in Turkey, you will need to enlist the services of an independent, English-speaking lawyer to assist you with the purchase. Buying a property in your home country is tricky enough, and you wouldn’t dream of doing that without a lawyer – this need is only amplified when buying overseas, as you’re operating within a whole new system. You need someone who knows the ropes to guide you through the process.
Your lawyer will be able to help you with the following:
• Guiding you through the entire purchase process, whilst ensuring both the property and your contract are exactly as you wish.
• Protecting you from charges left behind by the previous owner of the property, i.e. taxes, mortgage costs, and any other claims.
• Visa status.
• Tax matters.
• Inheritance tax – You will need to draw up a will with your Turkish lawyer to clearly outline your beneficiaries and to protect your assets.
Can you legally buy in Turkey?
If you hail from the UK, USA, Canada, or the vast majority of the European Union, you can buy property in Turkey legally. There are a couple of additional restrictions imposed on foreign buyers, including:
• Foreigners are only able to purchase a maximum of 30 hectares of land. Should you wish to buy something larger, you’ll need to obtain a special permit from Turkish authorities
• Foreigners are forbidden from purchasing property in a military zone
• There are restrictions on what foreigners are allowed to purchase in municipal areas with less than 2,000 inhabitants
There are over 20 different permits available to meet the needs of foreigners in Turkey, including permits for tourism, for those with a Turkish spouse, or for those looking to buy property
Will you require a visa or permit?
There are over 20 different permits available to meet the needs of foreigners wishing to spend time in Turkey, including permits for tourism, for those with a Turkish spouse, or for those looking to buy property. If you wish to stay in the country for more than three months, you’ll have to apply for a Residence Permit, which is issued at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. These Residence Permits can be granted for anywhere from one to five years, and to apply you will need to complete a Declaration of Intent and submit it alongside the following:
• Four passport photos
• Passport and photocopy
• Bank statement, pension document or currency slip demonstrating you have enough funds to support you for the duration of the permit
If you’re buying property, you’ll need to supply the above documents, as well as information detailing the property you’re going to buy, or in the case that you’ve already bought it, a copy of the title deeds. If you’re looking to work in Turkey, you will need to find a company to sponsor your Work Permit. This application needs to be made by the employer, prior to your arrival.
As you can see, the steps you need to take to remain in Turkey on a long-term basis will depend upon your specific circumstances and needs. For this reason, we always recommend speaking to an independent solicitor with experience of dealing with expats. They will be able to guide you through the process and ensure you complete all the right paperwork to be able to remain in Turkey on a long-term basis.
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The Turkey Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to: