Tips for buying property in Turkey
A little bit about Life in Turkey
Tips for buying property in Turkey
is a wonderful country and many foreigners have chosen to buy a home
here for any number of good reasons. The Turkish Riviera has almost
300 days of sunshine each year, the food is fresh, delicious, the people
are friendly, and the cost of living is much lower than many countries.
Whatever the motivation or the time you want to enjoy in Turkey, it may
still be an unfamiliar country, quite possibly a foreign language, and
the idea of going through the process of buying property in a place
where you are unsure of the legalities and customs can be quite
intimidating. The combatant for any fear is knowledge.
To help inform you, evbazar.com has compiled a list of issues that may
be of importance, and certainly of interest to foreigner buying homes in
For detailed information please see the
Process of Buying
Property in Turkey,
where there is a step by step guide, covering all legal and technical
Have a plan before you get on the plane. Have a number of properties
picked out that you want to look at, and arrange to view them soon
after you arrive.
Organise your mortgage before you go. Many banks will not give
credit on the value of the foreign property, but will give a second
mortgage on your existing property at home. Make sure the deposit
is accessible , so you can start proceedings straight away. If you
are using escrow, have the details of the service and information
ready for the seller to read. (If they dont speak your language,
you may have to find a translator. Please see our
Trades and Services Page).
Speak to a lawyer in your own country before you get to Turkey.
Tell them your plans and ask for any advice. It is also good to ask
whose name to put the property in (in relation to taxation).
are able to employ your own lawyer in Turkey, or provided by the
seller or Emlak (Real Estate Agent). There are many multi-lingual
lawyers in Turkey, (Please see listings in our
Trades and Services Page), and also
firms that specialise in international real estate law. These
lawyers can do many things for you, such as
Identify whether any contract is fair and legal,
Find out if the property is outside the Military Zones,
Find out if all building permissions have been granted,
Find out if the seller has the rights to sell,
Find out if the property is under any mortgage or has any debt
attached, and arrange to have them paid off,
If you are buying property that is under construction, find out
if you are protected against the construction company going
bankrupt or not completing your property. Your lawyer can
arrange insurances or verify the construction companies
Advise you of the correct insurances you need to take out,
remembering that insurances on a holiday property are different
to those of a permanent residence.
If you decide to rent out the property, what is the process and
Make out a local will. In Turkey, you have the right to will
your property to whomever you choose, but it is best to have it
legally set down.
Arrange to have the phone and water connected (you will need a
residency visa for this).
our site to
check the Emlak (Real
Estate Agents) around the area you want to buy in. Find out
average prices for properties of the same size and kind to ensure
you are getting a fair deal.
If you know any Turkish, talk to the locals about prices. Also ask
about any issues they are having with their properties, or with the
Talk to the ex-pat locals
who have already bought in your area.
They will usually tell you about their experiences, and you may
just get invaluable information. To find ex-pats online, please
see our 'Local Knowledge' links at the bottom of the
Have an Expertize Report done on a property if you are really serious
about it. It is a comprehensive report on the propertys condition,
from materials used to chips in the paintwork, and details all legal
permissions obtained. They can cost a few thousand (YTL), but it can be
worth it for piece of mind. In a sale in Turkey, these Expertize
Reports are not mandatory unless the property is under mortgage. You
can find Expertize companies on the
Is your property part of a
In Turkey the Mortgage system is very new. Before the system came
in, (and still a continuing practice), the average person who wanted to
build a place, commonly summer houses, went into a co-operative. With
the financial power of a group of people, land could be bought and a
construction company hired. It meant that the individual could pay
monthly instalments while land was developed, and at the end have their
You will find many areas, particularly coastal areas, where communities
are comprised of co-operative built developments, often marked by having
a suburb of almost identical homes. As with any project dependant on
the financial circumstances of many individuals, you may find half
finished houses and places in disrepair. This may be because the
financial situation of the co-operative member who was paying for that
property changed, and they could no longer keep up the commitment.
It is important to know that foreigners are not allowed to join in a
co-operative, ie, they cannot pay monthly as the house is being built.
However, once the home is finished, with all documentation and Tapu
(Title Deed), they are welcome to buy the completed house. (For more
information on documentation etc, please see
Process of Buying
Property in Turkey)
· Apply for a Taxation Number. These are necessary for purchasing a
property and opening a bank account and is applied for at the Local Ministers Office. You will need
proof of identification, and your Fathers full name. You may incur a
· Open a bank account at a local bank. Most banks can open either a
foreign currency account, or a Yeni (new) Turkish Lira account. Many
banks also have internet banking, and many services now accept payments
over the internet.
Residence Visas for Turkey.
You dont need to have residency visa to go through the legal process of
buying a property in Turkey. You will require a residency visa if you
wish to remain in Turkey for more than 3 consecutive months, obtain a
phone (cellular or land-line) or buy a car.
A Notary Public is a person licensed by the government to act as the
governments witness in official matters. It is their duty to witness
and officiate on things like sighting documents, and taking statuary
declarations, such as two parties declaring that money has changed hands
in the process of selling/buying a property. Any documentation that
needs to be witnessed by a notary Public must be in Turkish. (see below
for information on Translator Services). The Notary Public will charge
for his/her services, with a minimum charge of YTL 20, depending on the
time consumed, and the complexity of the matter. (They are known as
Notary Public in Turkish language). For a list of Notary Public, please
Trades and Services page.
Official Translators can be easily found almost anywhere in Turkey.
They are licensed and officially recognized by the government as being
true and accurate in their work. Any documentation you take to an
official translator will be translated, then stapled to a copy of the
original, and signed and stamped by the Translator. The stamp will go
over the staple, in effect stamping both (all) pages. Once stamped, it
is recommended not to pull the pages apart, as it now an official
For anything needing translation that must go before a Notary Public,
the Land Registry Office (to transfer the title deed [Tapu]), banks, or
official organizations the translation must be done in this way. Quite
often, official organisations requiring you to have something translated
will ask for the translation to also have the stamp of a Notary Public.
Translators are also needed to accompany you to official appointments,
for example the exchange of Tapu, because the laws of Turkey state that
any person signing official governmental documents must be fully aware
of what they are signing.
Many Translators will also translate other information, at their office,
or via email. However, anything needed for official purposes must be
signed and stamped.
In an effort to prevent corruption and avoidance of payment of taxation,
the Turkish Government has brought in a scheme whereby citizens must
produce receipts to prove expenditure, and thereby income.
What this means is that if a commercial enterprise (for example the
local shop, a painter, a taxi driver, any organisation to whom you pay
for a product or service), must give you a receipt. If they dont it
usually means that they are avoiding paying the taxes. It can also mean
that the goods or services purchased by you are under no warranty
because legally they dont exist.
If you are a non-Turkish citizen and are not working in Turkey, you do
not need to keep the receipts for income taxation purposes. You may,
however need them for proof of purchase or warranty.
By law in Turkey, any trade service provider (painter, plumber, builder
etc) must be qualified to carry out work on any property. In most cases
they are, but it is good to be aware that it is your responsibility to
ask to see qualification papers for any trades person you employ. If
the person carrying out the work is not qualified, they are uninsured,
and the work they do has no warranty under the Turkish Legal System.
Modifications to your Property.
Once a house is complete it is given a permission to live. This means
that the property has been sighted, checked against original
construction documents to verify that what was originally proposed has
been completed, and can legally be lived in.
If you choose to modify the property after this permission has been
obtained, you must have permission from the Local Minister, and employ a
qualified trades person for the job, which ensures warranty and
insurances. This includes things like adding a balcony shade, a roof
shade, changing the layout of rooms (knocking down walls) or anything
which changes the structure of the building.
Money and Money Exchange
It is legal for any service or product to be paid for in foreign
currency. Often it is asked that you should pay in a foreign currency,
which, of course, you are under no obligation to consent to. If you do
pay in foreign currency, the receipt is legal, and any warranties stand.
If you need to change money in an area where there is no currency
exchange office, your other options are banks, post offices, hotels and
jewellery shops. The latter, if it falls into the category of gold and
silver dealer, is licensed by the government to perform the role of
currency exchange. As always, look around for the best rates.
A little bit about Life in Turkey
Electricity and Water
It is not uncommon for electricity and water supplies to be cut off for
short periods from time to time. Ask your Emlak if this is a frequent
occurrence in the area in which you want to buy, and also how you will
be notified if there is to be a planned outage. It is always wise to
keep a couple of candles around the house in case of evening outages.
This may be of importance when choosing kitchen appliances. It may not
be the best idea to have a totally electric stove top, particularly as
gas is readily available.
Electricity is 220 volts and takes the standard European plugs.
Most neighbourhoods have one or more small local shops, which supply the
basic necessities, as well as things like fresh bread, 20 litre bottles
of drinking water and gas bottles. Many shops are happy to deliver
almost anything, most commonly the heavier things like water and gas.
Sometimes a delivery fee may be payable, or if not, it is polite to tip
a lira or two.
With the gas bottles, there is a system whereby you buy the first bottle
and also buy the gas to fill it. After that, you can buy more gas, and
they will take the empty one and just replace it with a full one.
Usually, if you no longer want the gas bottle, you sell it back for the
The big 20 litre water bottles are recycled. You should take back the
empty bottle when you go to buy a new one, or give the empty one when
the new one is delivered.
The Dolmuş is a cross between a taxi and a bus. They are mini-vans or
small busses which travel along a set route, picking up and dropping off
people whenever and wherever is needed. They usually have a small sign
on the right of the windshield stating the destination. Anyone is
welcome to use these services although if you have large packages or
suitcases, they may be a problem.
Dolmuş etiquette is fairly standard, and sometimes a little different to
what other countries are used to. Firstly, when you get into the Dolmuş,
find a seat, so the driver can keep going. Once moving again, you can
hand the money to him, or to the person in front of you, who will hand
it on until it gets to the driver. If you are paying for more than one
person, tell the person you hand the money to, and they will pass it on
to the driver. If change is required, it will be handed back in the
When you want the driver to stop, say dur, inecek var (door, injeck
vaar), or Dur, lutfen (door lootfen).
As with any public transport, it is polite to offer your seat to elderly
people, or to a lady with a small child.