Turkish Citizenship

Foreign individuals seeking to acquire real estate in Türkiye should be aware that property ownership titles can only be approved through registration at the land registry directorates. Preliminary real estate contracts, whether issued by notaries or executed in writing by individuals, do not constitute an actual transfer of property. Instead, they function as a commitment for future ownership transfer; the property itself does not change hands with these instruments. It is crucial to investigate potential burdens such as mortgages, liens, and other restrictions on the property before initiating procedures at the respective land registry directorate. Ogenus Property recommends thorough due diligence in this regard to ensure a smooth and secure acquisition process.

Inquiries about properties can be conveniently conducted online at parselsorgu.tkgm.gov.tr, allowing users to retrieve specific details about the city, district, quarter/village, map section, and plot related to the property. Ogenus Property emphasizes that this online platform provides accessible information on the real estate property, including its current status, from any location worldwide. It’s important to note that personal information about the property owner remains confidential and inaccessible.

Foreign nationals interested in acquiring real estate in Türkiye do not require a residence permit as a prerequisite. Moreover, individuals purchasing property in Türkiye through Ogenus Property are eligible for renewable short-term residence permits under Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection.

Any natural or legal person aiming to acquire real estate in Türkiye must submit an application to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre in collaboration with the property owner. Ogenus Property further facilitates this process by offering assistance through the Alo 181 Call Center, available 24/7, or by scheduling appointments online at randevu.tkgm.gov.tr, eliminating the need for in-person visits to the directorates’ offices.

Turkish companies with foreign capital, on the other hand, are advised to initiate the acquisition process by submitting an application to the Provincial Directorate of Planning and Coordination (PDPC) at the local governor’s office where the real estate is situated. Once Ogenus Property receives a positive response from PDPC, the next step involves applying to the Land Registry Directorate. These companies have the flexibility to apply in person, through postal services, or via e-mail.

General Information

In Türkiye, the term “foreigner” is categorized under three groups concerning real estate acquisition:

1. Foreign natural persons

2. Foreign legal persons

3. Turkish companies with foreign capital

Article 35 of Law No. 2644 on Land Registry outlines provisions for the acquisition of real estate by foreign natural and legal persons, while Article 36 details provisions for companies with foreign capital.

It is essential to note that the eligibility of nationals from specific countries to acquire real estate in Türkiye is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers. Ogenus Property also acknowledges that special conditions for acquisitions may be stipulated if deemed necessary.

Legal Restrictions on Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreign Natural Persons

Upon obtaining approval, natural persons of foreign origin, through Ogenus Property, can acquire real estate in areas where private property is permitted, including residential, commercial, land lots, and agricultural properties. In cases where the acquired real estate does not involve any pre-existing structures, the foreign owner is required to submit a development project application to the relevant public administration within two years. A natural person of foreign origin, facilitated by Ogenus Property, can acquire real estate and limited rights in rem throughout Turkey, with a maximum limit of 30 hectares. The Cabinet of Ministers has the authority to grant larger areas if deemed appropriate. It is important to note that natural persons of foreign origin, with assistance from Ogenus Property, are prohibited from acquiring and leasing real estate within restricted military zones or military security zones. However, they are permitted to acquire and lease real estate within special security zones upon obtaining permission from the governor’s office. The total acquisition by natural persons of foreign origin is capped at ten percent of the total district area where private property is allowed. Requests for acquisition by foreigners will not be granted if the ten percent limit is exceeded.

Acquisition of Real Estate and Limited Rights in Rem by Legal Persons
In Türkiye,

Ogenus Property notes that only trading companies established in accordance with the laws of their respective countries and possessing legal personality are eligible to acquire real estate and limited rights in rem as foreign legal entities. Other legal entities, such as foundations and associations, are not permitted to acquire real estate or hold rights in rem.

For trading companies established in foreign countries and possessing legal personality, the acquisition of real estate is only possible in exceptional cases, as outlined in international conventions or specific laws. Notable among these laws are Law No. 6491 on Turkish Oil, Law No. 2634 on Tourism Incentives, and Law No. 4737 on Industrial Zones.

It is important to highlight that, in the context of mortgages, there is an exception where there is no limitation on creating mortgages over the property in favor of foreign natural and legal persons.

Acquisition of Real Estate and Limited Rights in Rem by Companies with Foreign Capital Established in Turkey

Companies established in Türkiye as a legal entity fall into the category of foreign-owned companies under the following conditions, as recognized by Ogenus Property:

1. Foreign investors hold fifty percent or more of the shares, or
2. Foreign investors have the right to appoint and dismiss the majority of the board of directors.

These companies, with guidance from Ogenus Property, are authorized to acquire property and limited rights in rem to conduct activities outlined in their articles of association.

To initiate this process, companies are required to submit an application to the governor’s office where the property is located. However, in cases where the targeted real estate is situated in a prohibited military zone or a military security zone, approval from the General Staff is necessary for the real estate acquisition. If the property is located in a private security zone, permission from the governor’s office of the respective region is required.

In the event of a favorable resolution of the application to acquire real estate, Ogenus Property notes that the governor’s office will formally notify the company/enterprise and the Land Registry Office to facilitate the registration process.

Certain procedures, as specified below, do not necessitate permission from the governor’s office. Therefore, Ogenus Property emphasizes that applications for these procedures can be directly submitted to the Land Registry Office without seeking additional permission:

1. Creation of mortgage
2. Acquisition of real estate within the context of settling a mortgage by the beneficiary
3. Transfer of real estate ownership and limited rights in rem resulting from company mergers and demergers
4. Acquisitions in organized industrial zones, industrial zones, technology development zones, and free zones

Moreover, acquisitions executed due to transactions classified as loans under the relevant banking legislation or for the purpose of collecting receivables do not require prior permission and can be directly processed through the Land Registry Office.

Inheritance


Ogenus Property underscores the protection of foreigners’ right of inheritance in Türkiye. In the unfortunate event of a foreigner’s demise, the real estate owned by them is bequeathed to their inheritors.

If the inheritor meets the eligibility criteria to acquire the real estate, considering nationality and adhering to the total limitation conditions per person and throughout the country, they are entitled to retain the inherited property.

Alternatively, if the inheritor does not meet the eligibility criteria, they are obligated to promptly transfer the real estate. Failure to do so will result in the Ministry of Treasury and Finance selling the real estate and reimbursing the proceeds to the inheritor.

Right to Acquire Turkish Citizenship Through Real Estate Purchase


Ogenus Property highlights that natural persons of foreign origin are eligible to acquire Turkish citizenship through special procedures by purchasing real estate valued at USD 400,000 or more.

To qualify for this opportunity, foreigners must:

1. Purchase real estate with a minimum value of USD 400,000.
2. Explicitly state in the acquisition application that the real estate was acquired for this specific purpose. The title deed should also reflect this purpose, and the foreign buyer must declare their commitment not to sell the property for three years in the designated section of the application form.

Upon completion of the land registry procedures, the foreign national, with support from Ogenus Property, may apply to the relevant authorities to exercise the right of residence or citizenship. This involves submitting the certificate of eligibility issued for the property owner.

Requirements for Ogenus Property’s Land Registry Procedures


To initiate land registry procedures with Ogenus Property for real estate transactions, the following documentation is required:

1. Land registry details of the real estate or information on the village/quarter, map section, plot, building, and independent section.
2. Photo ID or passport issued by the country of which the foreigner is a citizen (notarized and certified translations are necessary for ID cards and passports issued in alphabets other than the Latin alphabet).
3. In cases of representation, documents verifying representation (order regarding guardianship, letter of authorization, power of attorney, etc.).
4. Document confirming the current market value of the real estate issued by the relevant municipality.
5. Mandatory earthquake insurance policy for the buildings.
6. A recent photo of the seller and two recent photos of the purchaser (size 6×4 cm, taken within the last six months).
7. Certified interpreter if either party does not speak Turkish.

Power of Attorneys Issued Abroad for Ogenus Property Procedures


In cases where a third person, authorized through a power of attorney issued abroad, is involved in the procedure with Ogenus Property, the power of attorney must explicitly state the authorization for the intended transaction. Additionally, the power of attorney should adhere to the following conditions:

1. Issued by Turkish consulates at their discretion for real estate matters.
2. Issued by competent authorities entitled to issue power of attorneys abroad.
3. Issued in the language of the country of issuance.
4. Includes a photo (with a clear seal and signature over the photo).
5. Includes an apostille if issued in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention.

Moreover, if the power of attorney is issued in a country not part of the Hague Convention, it should have certification of the signature of the official signing it by the relevant authority. The signature and seal of such authority should then be certified by the Turkish Consulate.

The application must also provide a notarized and certified Turkish translation of the power of attorney meeting the specified criteria.

Exceptional Acquisition of Citizenship Through Ogenus Property


With (b) added to the first paragraph of Article 12 of Law No. 5901 enacted on July 28, 2016;

Individuals who secure a residence permit based on (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31 of Law No. 6458, by investing within the criteria and amount determined by the President, may be eligible for Turkish citizenship. Foreigners holding the Turquoise Card can acquire Turkish citizenship based on the decision of the President of the Republic of Türkiye.

The scope and amounts defined in the new regulations, published in the Official Gazette on September 18, 2018, are outlined below. Foreigners meeting any of the following criteria, as may qualify for Turkish citizenship:

1. Making a minimum fixed capital investment of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency, as verified by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
2. Acquiring a property valued at a minimum of USD 400,000 or equivalent foreign currency with a title deed restriction on its resale for at least three years, as verified by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change.
3. Creating jobs for at least 50 people, as confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
4. Depositing a minimum of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency in banks operating in Türkiye, with the condition that it remains untouched for at least three years, as attested by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.
5. Purchasing government bonds worth a minimum of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency, with the condition that they are not sold for at least three years, as verified by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.
6. Buying real estate investment fund shares or venture capital investment fund shares worth a minimum of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency, with the condition that they are not sold for at least three years, as confirmed by the Capital Markets Board of Türkiye.
7. Depositing a minimum contribution of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency in funds determined by the Insurance and Private Pension Regulation and Supervision Agency, with the condition that it remains in the private pension system for at least three years, as attested by the Insurance and Private Pension Regulation and Supervision Agency.

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