Foreign Citizens Advice Centre  -  Free, Independent and Confidential Advice

FAQ's

Important Note:


Do the Public Notaries carry out the sale procedure?

Do I need to obtain a visa to go to Turkey for a short visit?

What is the weather like?

How do the locals treat foreigners who purchase there?

Is it necessary to learn the language?

How many British people live in Mediterranean region?

Are double taxation treaties in place?

What additional costs are there in relation to the purchase?

Is there a good range of banks and are they English-speaking?

After I have received the necessary permission to purchase, what happens next?

What should I expect to pay in community fees?

As in the UK are solicitors involved in property purchases?

Are there ongoing taxes?

What documents are required?

What is the general buying process in Turkey?

How much should I plan to spend for a resale (new or old) property?

How much should I expect to pay as a deposit for a resale property and when is the balance expected?

On a new development, what is the average deposit required and can I pay in stage payments?

Will the property be Freehold?

Are there any restrictions for foreigners purchasing in Turkey?

Can I work in Turkey?

Can I reside in Turkey as a British National?

Are there many English speaking lawyers in Turkey?

What about healthcare in terms of the standard and costs?

Where is the Turkish Embassy?

Can I as a foreign National buy or establish a company in Turkey?

Can I bring my household items to Turkey?

What is the government system in the country?

How much money can I take with me when I leave Turkey?

Can I bring a car to Turkey?

If I move to Turkey, can I take my dog/cat with me?

What about eating out?

How does the general cost of living compare to the UK?

What facilities are there on a typical development?

Is social insurance coverage compulsory for foreign nationals in Turkey?

Turkish Consulate General:

What if I would like to renovate my property?

Are families/children welcome?

How safe is the country?

What about furnishing my property?

Will I have to pay tax for the money I could earn from the rentals?

Can I rent out my property?

What about paying for energy and water supplies if my main home is not in Turkey?

Can I find properties with swimming pools, Turkish baths, saunas and other facilities in Turkey?

Will I pay Capital gains Tax if I decide to sell my property?

What about schools and colleges?

Important Note:

 

Q: Do the Public Notaries carry out the sale procedure?

A: Notaries are the lawyers most Turkish people use for such transactions. They are cheaper than the solicitors you can hire in
Turkey and they have set procedures for property purchases which are completely legal and secure. One thing you should know about the Notaries is there is 1.5% stamp duty to pay for whatever value you have put on the contract. For example, if you have made a contract for a £100,000 worth of property, you would pay £1,500 as stamp duty. Notaries normally charge around £100-£250 for their own fee. Public notaries are the official witnesses who are the lawyers for both parties. Therefore, using The Advice Centre may be a better (and cheaper) option for you.

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Q: Do I need to obtain visa to go to Turkey for a short visit?


A: British nationals are required to obtain a visa for visiting
Turkey. You don't have to apply for visa for short visits to the Turkish Embassy in UK. You’ll be able to obtain a “Multiple entry visa” at the Airport or borders valid for 3 months. There is a £10 fee payable per person for this visa.

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Q: What is the weather like?

A:
Turkey has seasons similar to the UK but with much better temperatures. In winter, you’ll find the temperatures on the south coast ranging between 5 and 15 degrees, in spring it warms up to 25 degrees. The summer is usually dry and hot from May through to September peaking at 40 degrees, cooling again as we move into autumn back down from 25 to 15 degrees.

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Q: How do the locals treat foreigners who purchase there?

A: You will find Turkish people extremely hospitable and friendly.
Turkey has been a destination for British & Irish holiday makers since the early eighties. Most people in the holiday resorts speak English and are very welcoming whether you make business with them or not.

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Q: Is it necessary to learn the language?

A: No but, as with anywhere in the world, it always brings advantages.

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Q: How many British people live in Mediterranean region?

A: In 2010, there were about 12,500 British people living around the Coastal areas and with sales continuing at a steady pace, this figure should increase substantially throughout 2011. Away from the coastal areas, there are plenty of ex-pats in the main cities too.

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Q: Are double taxation treaties in place?

A:
Turkey is a signatory to a treaty for the prevention of double taxation with many countries of the world.

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Q: What additional costs are there in relation to the purchase?

A: You will pay stamp duty, legal fees and property transfer tax. The latter is just 3.3% of the declared value at the time of deeds transfer but sometimes split 50/50 with the purchaser, so that you pay 1.65% of the amount shown on the title deeds. Traditionally though it is the purchaser who pays the 3.3% for both parties.

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Q: Is there a good range of banks and are they English speaking?

A: There are many banks where English is widely spoken, so no worries there. It is easy to open a bank account and you can have a mixture of Turkish Lira, British Pound and Euro accounts – your choice. You can transfer unlimited amounts freely from your
UK account to the Turkish one and vice versa.

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Q: After I have received the necessary permission to purchase, what happens next?

A: Your representative should carry out pre-completion checks. Following this, you (or your Power of Attorney) will sign a deed of transfer in front of an officer at the Land Registry, who then records you as the official owner of the property. The property tax is paid at this stage ( 3.3% of declared purchase value). We should remind you that most vendors will want to complete within a month for resale properties.

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Q: What should I expect to pay in community fees?

A: This can vary from development to development. Your adviser should look into this for you. Usually though, In developments with around 50-80 houses with no pools, you can expect to pay around £150 per year for maintenance of shared areas and gardeners, lighting, security etc. You should double this figure for the developments with shared pools.

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Q: As in the UK are the solicitors involved in property purchases?

A: Yes. As well as the Public Notaries, Solicitors can handle the purchase of property in Turkey. Although most Turkish people will choose Notaries, we recommend that you hire a solicitor for a secure purchase. Solicitors will direct you in the right way for each individual property.

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Q: Are there any ongoing taxes?

A: State property tax (at 0.1% declared value) , environmental tax and wealth tax. However, these are relatively low and again your adviser should be able to inform you of the details.

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Q: What documents are required?

A: Your passport(s) which will be copied and translated into Turkish and 6 passport sized photographs. The notary’s office works in conjunction with the title deeds office and the Aegean Army. The translated documents will be checked by the army to ensure there is no record of criminal intent or activity against
Turkey and that any property being purchased by a foreigner is not in proximity to or intended to be used for any military purposes. This is currently taking around 1-2 months.

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Q: What is the general buying process in Turkey?

A: After paying the reservation fee, your representative should carry out the title deeds checks. A contract will be drawn up between the seller and purchaser. This will give details of the completion date, payment schedule and terms and conditions. When this is signed by all parties, the appropriate deposit is paid. The seller will then apply for a security clearance to allow you to own a property in
Turkey – this will often be applied for on your behalf by the developer or your representative. You can sign a Power of Attorney to allow your representative to conclude the necessary paperwork, if your circumstances require it.

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Q: How much should I plan to spend for a resale (new or old) property?

A: Whether it's a new or a resale property you are buying, we suggest that you hire a Lawyer in
Turkey. Cost of this starts from £250. Most solicitors will have to use an authorised translator to prepare these documents in your language. Cost of a translator is £60-£100. At the first stage these are the only extra moneys you’ll have to spend. The purchase tax will become due when your military permission arrives from the authorities. This might take around 1-2 months these days. This tax amount is 3.3% of the declared value of your property. There will be other small fees to be paid to the local council and this is around £100.

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Q: How much I should expect to pay as deposit for a resale property and when is the balance expected?

A: At the time of “reservation contract” the “Deposit Amount” is usually 10%. In some cases this might have to go up to 20%. Vendors, usually, will understand that it will take few weeks for a foreign national to arrange the finances back in their country and therefore usually allow around 4 weeks for completion.

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Q: On a new development, what is the average deposit required and can I pay in stage payments?

A: You will normally pay a £2,000 reservation fee and 30-35% as a deposit within four weeks. Most developers offer stage payments with a degree of flexibility towards your own personal circumstances. This will be agreed at the time of purchase.

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Q: Will the property be freehold?

A: Mostl properties that are sold in
Turkey are what we in the UK would refer to as 'freehold'. There are some properties sold on “Lease Hold” but you should be made aware of that if ever you are offered one.

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Q: Are there any restrictions for foreigners purchasing in Turkey?

A: There are restrictions for some countries.
Great Britain and Republic of Ireland nationals can purchase property in Turkey within the limits of a city. Only in rural areas and military zones are there places where you can not purchase. In the developments on estate agent's books and their websites, there should not be any restrictions imposed but you should check with The Advice Centre first.

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Q: Can I work in Turkey?

A: You can apply to the Turkish Consulate in
London for a work permit in Turkey. Your work permit will depend on your circumstances. Although you are allowed to purchase property in Turkey, there is a “Security Investigation” to be carried out for every single foreign national. The Security investigation is a step after you decide on a property. Land Registry officials will send this to the authorities involved and we or your representative will need to chase the arrival. At the time of this application, they will need to see your passport as your identification and will keep a copy. One thing about the permission these days is that it might take up to 2 months to arrive.

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Q: Can I reside in Turkey as a British national ?

A: If you would like to relocate to
Turkey, you travel first as a visitor and then apply locally for extensions of your stay for periods of up to five years at a time. Consulate and immigration authorities in Turkey will check whether you have enough funds in your Bank or you are receiving monthly income (such as your pension) to support yourselves in Turkey without needing to work. You can complete all the necessary paperwork at The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre during normal working hours.

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Q: Are there many English speaking lawyers in Turkey?

A: For Turkey, as in other emerging markets, you can find more English speaking lawyers in large areas such as Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara and in the costal resorts such as Kusadasi, Bodrum, Altinkum and Fethiye.

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Q: What about healthcare in terms of the standard and costs?

A: The standard is generally very good. All foreigners have to pay for medical treatment and there are reciprocal private health plans available from the
UK which will be accepted in the private hospitals. You can purchase a health insurance plan in Turkey at very good rates.

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Q: Where is the Turkish Embassy?


A:
43 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PA Tel: 020 7393 0202 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Q: Can I as a foreign national buy or establish a company in Turkey?

A: According to the foreign Direct Investment law, unless stipulated by international agreements and other special laws, foreign investors are free to make investments in
Turkey and shall be subject to equal treatment with the local investors. The Turkish Commerce Law No 6762 determines the basics of establishment of companies and other commercial issues such as definition of company types capital requirements, registry etc. We can prepare more information on this issue if you are interested in making business in Turkey and direct you to other useful authorities.

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Q: Can I bring my household items to Turkey?

A: Household items can be brought to turkey through a system called “Temporary Imports” provided that the validity of the residence permit is no shorter than one year. In this case you pay a deposit and take them back if you decide to return back to your country.

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Q: What is the government system in the country?

A: It is democratically elected as in the
UK. Turkey is also one of the five permanent members of NATO, and part of the G20 group of the world's richest nations.

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Q: How much money can I take with me when I leave Turkey?

A: Each time you are leaving
Turkey, you can not take out more than 5,000 US Dollars in cash or equivalent amount of other foreign currencies or Turkish Lira. However there is no limit on the monies you can transfer through a Bank.

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Q: Can I bring a car to Turkey?

A: If you are a tourist visa holder, then you can bring a car to Turkey for a maximum period of six months. If you are a residents visa holder and want to bring your car then you will be treated as if you are importing a car and you’ll have to pay relevant taxes.

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Q: If I move to Turkey, can I take my dog/cat with me?

A: You can bring your pets to Turkey with you as long as you carry “live animals health/vaccination certificates” with you. However there is a legal limitation on the number of the live animals you can bring to Turkey. A person can bring, 1 Cat, 1 Dog, 1 poultry animal and 10 aquarium animals ( such as fish) at the most. If you’d like to bring more than the allowed number then you are advised to have someone else traveling with you.

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Q: What about eating out?

A: Again, you will benefit from the relatively low prices. Being a Muslim country, you will often find Pork and its associated products excluded from the menu, however, there is a wide choice of other meats, seafood and vegetables. As well as Turkish cuisine, you will find English, Italian and Indian restaurants quite commonplace. Eating out should normally cost you half what you would pay in
the UK. There are some English restaurants in most holiday resorts which offer some pork related food should you wish to have any.

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Q: How does the general cost of living compare to the UK?

A: Fresh produce is great value for money. You’ll find most items up to 60% cheaper than in the
UK with electronic items being the most expensive.

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Q: What facilities are there on a typical development?

A: Owing to the very pleasant summer weather, which can get rather hot at its height, a swimming pool – communal, private or both – is the main pre-requisite. You will find some offering tennis courts, Turkish baths, spa rooms and easy access to golf.

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Q: Is social insurance coverage compulsory for foreign nationals in Turkey ?

A: Short-term risk coverage (Health, maternity, occupational diseases) by the associated scheme is compulsory for all foreign nationals working in
Turkey. On the other hand foreign nationals can voluntarily register with social insurance institutions for their long-term risk coverage (Old age, invalidity, mortality). However, citizens of some of the countries with reciprocity agreements in the power of law are covered by the relevant social insurance scheme. These countries are United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Libya, Denmark, Norway and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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Q: Turkish Consulate General:

A: Rutland Lodge,
Rutland Gardens, Knights Bridge, LONDON 020 7591 6900 e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Q: What if I would like to renovate my property?

A: We have the contact details of builders with competitive prices for renovating, painting and decorating your property. They have many happy customers and we will happily provide you with their contact numbers as references.

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Q: Are families/children welcome?

A: Most definitely. There is a family orientated culture in
Turkey and children are welcome almost everywhere.

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Q: How safe is the country?

A:
Turkey is a very safe country with a relatively low crime rate.

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Q: What about furnishing my property?

A: There is a wide range of furniture shops for you to explore. You should allow anything from £3,000-£7,000 to furnish an average sized property up to show house standard.

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Q: Will I have to pay tax for the money I could earn from the rentals?

A: Yes. As in the UK, the Turkish government will expect you pay some tax from your earnings from the property you rent. You should register with the tax office at the time of title transfer. You will have to find an accountant who can manage your yearly accounts and do your tax returns. To avoid this some people choose to charge their clients in
UK. As there is a treaty for preventing double taxation between the two countries you will only pay the tax once. You should consult your accountant for this issue.

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Q: Can I rent out my property?

A: Yes. The main season is from April to October but you will still be able to rent it out over the winter at lower rates. At the height of the summer, you can expect a more than reasonable return. We can recommend certain Villa Rental services who will offer you the best packages and put the maximum effort in to advertising and renting your holiday property to generally European
holiday makers.

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Q: What about paying for energy and water supplies if my main home is not in Turkey?

A: The easiest way to pay for your electricity is by direct debit via a bank in
Turkey, similar to the UK. Currently all water bills are paid direct to the local Council office, however, arrangements can often be made with us regarding payment of all of your utility bills.

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Q: Can I find properties with swimming pools, Turkish baths, saunas and other facilities in Turkey?

A: Owing to the very pleasant summer weather, which can get rather hot at its height, a swimming pool – communal, private or both – is the main pre-requisite. There are many properties offering tennis courts, Turkish baths, spa rooms and easy access to golf courses.

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Q: Will I pay “Capital Gains Tax if I decide to sell my property?


A: If you decide to sell your property any time in first five years (four years if you acquired the property before 1st January 2007), you will have to pay “Capital Gains Tax” in Turkey. You will be exempt from this tax after the first 5 (or 4) years. The amount of the tax will be calculated as a percentage of the profit you make between the cost (What you declared when you first bought your property) and the sale price (What you declare at the Land Registry Office when you sell your property).

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Q: What about schools and colleges?

A: As a resident, you can send your children free of charge to local government schools. You can opt to pay for your child's education at one of the many private schools. Both offer a good standard of education. The private schools are international and accommodate pupils from all over the world.

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Important Note: All the information supplied has been gathered from different sources. We condense such information to help our clients in planning their visits or purchases in Turkey.

The Turkish Embassy in
London and Turkish Consulate General in London are the authorities you should get in touch with for more detailed information.

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