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Basic steps

4.1. Double checking the property

Once the sale and purchase conditions are agreed with the owner or with his/her agent, you are advised to ask for a copy of the TAPU (Title Deeds) and double check whether:

Moreover, in order to save time and not to be in a hurry later, you should;

4.2. Preparing a draft contract

Although these contracts are not compulsory according to current regulations and mutual declaration of both the buyer and seller to the TAPU (Title Deeds) Registry Office is enough to carry out the transfer of ownership, having a robust sales & acquisition contract will allow you to protect yourself from some potential risks which may stem from the seller or agents.

If you are using a real estate agent and/or solicitor, please ensure the contract refers to her/him and she/he also signs the contract.

Please make sure that a contract should, at least, include the following:

4.3 Having the draft contract translated

Before signing the contract, you ought to have it translated into Russian. In other words, you are advised to have both Russian and Turkish versions of the contract. You are strongly advised to use a Sworn-Translator if you do not use an Russian-speaking solicitor. Sworn-translators’ fees are quite appropriate.

Please note that relying on only an oral-translation may lead to unwanted situations in the future.

Instead of preparing two separate contracts in Turkish and Russian, having a bi-lingual contract may be of great use.

4.4 Having the contracts notarised

You are strongly advised to sign both the Russian and Turkish versions of the contract (or a bi-lingual contract) in the presence of a notary public and then have them notarised. This will ensure that

4.5 Payment terms of the contract

To take off the asset from the market, you may pay a deposit which is negotiable between the seller and you. In some situations, interim payments may be required.

Please note that real estate purchase deposits are averaged at 5-to-10% of the selling price. Interim payments should be as minimal as possible.

Real estate commissions may be charged on both the seller and you. For some cases, only one party may pay the commission. Total commission rate is around 3%.

4.6 Application to the TAPU Office

As a next step, both buyer and owner (or their legally authorised agents) apply to the TAPU Office for transferring the ownership.

4.7 Documents asked by the TAPU Office

4.7.1 Individuals

During the application, the buyers (individuals) are to provide the local TAPU Office with the following documents:

  1. Title Deed or a document indicating the property’s exact location (plot or parcel number etc.)
  2. Passport and/or ID Card of the buyer,
  3. Two recent passport photos of the buyer, sized 4cm x 6cm
  4. If any agent is being used;
    • Passport and/or ID Card of the agent
    • Two recent passport photos of the agent and
    • An acceptable Power of Attorney.

4.7.2 FDI companies (companies established in Turkey)

Companies established in Turkey in line with the Foreign Direct Investment Law have to issue an authorisation document to be prepared by the Commercial Registry Office on behalf of them. This document basically covers the

4.7.3 Companies established abroad

Commercial companies established in countries with which reciprocity exists have to submit an officially ratified authorisation document similar to the document described in the above sub-section. If any power of attorney is to take place, then two recent passport photos of the agent and an acceptable Power of Attorney are required.

4.8 How are FDI and foreign companies treated by TAPU Offices?

4.8.1 FDI Companies

Legal entities (companies) established or participated in Turkey by foreign investors can acquire real estate or limited rights in rem in Turkey in line with operational purposes set in company`s Articles of Association.

4.8.2 Foreign Companies

Foreign real persons and trading companies having legal personality established in foreign countries according to the laws of these countries can acquire real estate in Turkey on the conditions of being reciprocal and complying with legal restrictions. In implementation of reciprocity principle, it is essential that real estate acquisition rights given by a foreign country to its own citizens and to trading companies established in foreign countries according to the laws of these countries, are also given to the citizens and trading companies of the Republic of Turkey.

The real property purchase application of such company to local Land Registry Offices is forwarded to General Directorate of TAPU (The Land Registry and Cadastre Office) for reciprocity control. General Directorate double checks the application from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the existence of reciprocity between our country and a foreign country in terms of trading companies, is determined by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After the reciprocity confirmation of aforementioned Ministry and response of the military post stating the subject real estate is out of military forbidden zones and security zones the company then becomes eligible for buying the property.

Trading companies having legal personality established in foreign countries according to the laws of these countries have to submit an officially stamped authorization document during the registration.

Foreign commercial companies which are legal entities can buy property provided that they operate pursuant to the special laws such as the Tourism Encouragement Law, the Oil/Petroleum Law, the Industrial Zones Law, etc. In addition, foreign legal entities other than the above mentioned commercial companies, such as foreign charities, foreign foundations and foreign societies, etc. cannot buy property in Turkey.

4.9 Issuance of a new TAPU by the Office

Finally, after military clearance has been finished, you are given an official ownership document called the Title Deeds (TAPU), which is explained in Section (V).

Without having a TAPU, you are never considered to legally own the property even if you signed a legally acceptable purchase contract with seller.

You are advised to make the payments net of the deposit (plus interim payments, if any) to the seller at his stage.

4.10 Declaration of acquisition to the local government

You are supposed to apply to the Municipality for declaring the acquisition of the property by the end of the year of acquisition. You simply fill out a form and submit it to the municipality. Afterwards, the municipality officers will tell you when/how much ‘real estate tax’ (a tax similar to the Council Tax in the UK) you are going to pay.

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