Notaries are the lawyers some Turkish people use for such transactions. They are more expensive than the solicitors you can hire in Turkey but they have set standard 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.
British, Irish and other EU nationals are required to obtain a visa for visiting Turkey. You don’t have to apply for a visa for short visits at the Turkish Embassy in UK. You’ll be able to obtain a ‘Multiple entry e-visa’ online valid for multiple visits totaling up to 90 days in any 180 period. There is a $20 fee payable per person for this visa. You can still obtain a ‘visa on arrival’ at the airport or borders although the cost rises to $30 per person. You should be aware that the authorities have indicated that ‘visa on arrival’ is due to be phased out and can be withdrawn at any time without notice. You are advised to apply for the e-visa online at least 24 hours before you are due to arrive.
The Turkish e-Visa replaced the ‘sticker visa’ in 2013. Visitors arriving to Turkey without visas may also obtain their e-Visas via interactive kiosks placed in Turkish airports however they are phasing these out. The Turkish online visa procedure is quick and saves you time since you no longer have to stand in line to get your ‘sticker visa’. The cost is approx $20. For more information contact the Foreign Citizens Advice Centre about your own individual circumstances.
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.
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.
A: No but, as with anywhere in the world, it always brings advantages.
In 2017, there were about 15,000 British people living around the Coastal areas and with sales continuing at a steady pace, this figure should increase substantially throughout 2018. Away from the coastal areas, there are plenty of ex-pats in the main cities too. Additionally there are thousands of other EU nationals who have chosen to reside permanently in Western Turkey.
A: Turkey is a signatory to a treaty for the prevention of double taxation with many countries of the world.
You will pay stamp duty, legal fees and property transfer tax. The latter is 4% of the declared value at the time of deeds transfer but sometimes split 50/50 with the purchaser, so that you pay 2% of the amount shown on the title deeds. Traditionally, though, it is the purchaser who pays the 4% for both parties.
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.
Your representative should carry out pre-completion checks. Following this, you (or officially appointed legal representative) 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 (4% of the declared purchase value). Unfortunately, checks are not always carried out and you should therefore consider using a service such as The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre to carry out independent checks for you. You should be aware that most vendors will want to complete within a week for resale properties and therefore having ready funds in place is recommended.
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.
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. The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre can help you to choose a solicitor with the right experience and with a proven track record of handling sales to foreign citizens.
State property tax (at 0.1% of the ratable value), environmental tax and wealth tax (if applicable). However, these are relatively low and again your adviser should be able to inform you of the details.
Your passport(s) which will be copied and translated into Turkish and 2 passport sized photographs. The notary’s office works in conjunction with the title deeds office and the Army headquarters of the area you are purchasing in. 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 can take 1-2 months but in a lot of cases military clearance can be granted in a single day. You can ask The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre to check for you whether your own purchase can be cleared in a day or take longer.
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. However, you are strongly advised to only give power of attorney to a truly independent representative and not the estate agent or lawyer provided by them as they have a serious financial conflict of interest and may not always act in your own best interests. The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre can give you confidential advice on the best way to appoint a representative and stay safe.
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 but these days it is more common for clearances to be given in a single day. This tax amount is 4% of the declared value of your property. There will be other small fees to be paid to the local authority and this is around £100.
At the time of “reservation contract” the “Deposit Amount” is usually 10%. In some cases this might be 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. You are strongly advised not to pay deposits to the vendors or their agents directly. The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre can act as a third party intermediary to hold deposits to ensure that in the event that a purchase cannot be completed due to the fault of the seller the deposit can easily be returned.
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. You should, however, take independent advice on how to ensure that any payments that you do make are secure and that your legal interest in any property is properly registered.
A: Most 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.
There are restrictions for some countries. Great Britain & 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 cannot 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.
You can apply to the Turkish Consulate in your home country 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 can take up to 2 months to arrive but more often is being granted in a single day.
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 two years at a time. After residing in Turkey for 8 years you can then, with certain terms and conditions, apply for a permanent residence. 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 yourself in Turkey without needing to work. You can complete all the necessary paperwork at The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre during normal working hours.
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.
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. After being a resident for a year you can apply to be registered for Turkish National Insurance.
A: 43 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PA Tel: 020 7393 0202 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
Each time you are leaving Turkey, you cannot take out more than 10,000 EURO 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.
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 resident’s 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. There are other rules that apply and you should ask for further advice before driving to Turkey.
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, one cat, one dog, one 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.
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.
Fresh produce is great value for money. You’ll find most daily items up to 60% cheaper than in the UK with electronic items being the most expensive. Energy costs are similar to the UK.
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.
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 Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Libya, Denmark, Norway and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
A: Rutland Lodge, Rutland Gardens, Knights Bridge, LONDON 020 7591 6900 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
A: Most definitely. There is a family orientated culture in Turkey and children are welcome almost everywhere.
Turkey is a very safe country with a relatively low crime rate.
There is a wide range of furniture shops for you to explore. You should allow anything from £3,000-£7,000 to fully furnish an average sized property up to show house standard.
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.
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 that will offer you the best packages and put the maximum effort in to advertising and renting your holiday property to generally European holiday makers.
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.
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.
If you decide to sell your property any time in first five years (first 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).
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.
Prepared by The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre
In Turkey, as in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere, non-profit Citizens Advice Centres are assuming an ever- increasing role in the area of consumer advice and protection. With that in mind and as a benefit of recent increases in local funding, we are now able to put together a series of fact sheets coupled with practical support on a wide range of important issues affecting foreign citizens who have acquired, or are planning to acquire, any kind of assets in Turkey.
Fact sheet on Inheritance in Turkey.
In very simple terms, Turkish inheritance laws are such that legal spouses and blood relatives have an automatic right to claim the assets of a deceased person according to a strict formula written into those laws.
As much as you may wish to choose the beneficiaries of your estate and the share of that estate that each one of them receives, it is not possible to do that currently with assets based within The Republic of Turkey except by following the potentially costly and time-consuming process given in greater detail below.
Some simple facts (current at the time of printing).
Once a Turkish institution of any kind becomes aware of the death of a person registered as an asset holder with them, that asset is frozen and placed under the guardianship of the state.
In the matter of immovable property, the Land Registry will make a note on the title documents indicating that the asset owner has passed away and transfer of that asset can then only take place with permission from the court.
In the case of financial assets, banks will take the same approach and block the use or transfer of assets until a court authorises their release. Where a deceased person is a joint account holder, the jointly held assets will be blocked proportionately. (i.e. 50% in the case of two names on the account, 33% in the case of three names on the account and so on). This is true even where only one signature is required to operate the account.
In Western Europe most joint assets are treated as wholly owned by both parties. In Turkey, the law clearly defines such assets as being owned individually in equal shares by each of the persons.
It has been widely claimed that making a will in Turkey will ensure that assets held within The Republic of Turkey will be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the asset holder on their death. That is often only true where the preferred distribution is the same as the way that the inheritance formula would have distributed them anyway. Therefore, if assets are going to be divided in that way anyway the will is not necessary and why the majority of Turkish Citizens do not have one. What a will does do is lay down in writing, witnessed officially, the preferred wishes of a person immediately prior to their death. That enables a Turkish lawyer to attempt to carry out those wishes. What he/she will do is attempt to contact all the rightful inheritants under the inheritance formula. If any of them are not included in the will, or the will offers them less than the formula provides, they will be asked to sign a legal waiver giving up some or all of their inheritance rights in favour of the beneficiaries and their allocations named in the will. They will also sign a document authorising the lawyer to transfer those assets from their name to the will’s beneficiaries. This is necessary because in the first instance the Turkish court will require that the assets are first transferred to their rightful inheritants under the formula. The lawyer will then, using the signed authorities, immediately transfer them in whole or in part according to the wishes of the deceased. If any of the rightful inheritants do not sign both the waiver and the transfer authority the asset will be given to them to do with as they please. It should be noted that for foreign citizens the whole value of the deceased persons estate is treated in this way but only for assets owned within the Republic of Turkey. It should be noted, though, that where a non-Turkish person is married to a Turkish citizen that all of the worldwide assets held individually or jointly by the deceased or his/her spouse may be subject to distribution according to the legal formula.
Step-children, foster children and some adopted children may not be recognised as children of an asset holder under the Turkish inheritance formula.
Finally, we come to the actual process of a potential beneficiary or their appointed representative approaching the court to have assets released. This process applies whether a will is in place or not. Although, technically, claimants can represent themselves, in most cases it would be advisable to use the services of an experienced lawyer to make the application to the court. Lawyer fees and court processing fees will be required. The required supporting documents that are requested will need to be officially translated. The total costs can reasonably be expected to be several thousand Turkish Lira and more if the case is not straightforward. Where there is a will, additional costs, again possibly several thousand Turkish Lira may be needed to obtain waivers and make the necessary re-distribution of assets. It should be noted that asset transfer taxes due will also need to be paid in each individual case. You can expect the whole process to take from 6-24 months to be concluded.
Several lawyers that have been asked to make recommendations on how to avoid the time cost and inconvenience of the above requirements have suggested the same solution.
They concluded that asset holders should give a legal authority (called a power of attorney) to at least one but preferably two third parties (family member, friend, legal representative) to enable either of those individuals to administer their assets at any time and in any way. The asset holder should keep this document safe until it is needed and make the nominated representatives aware of its existence and how to obtain it when necessary. The representative can then travel to Turkey with the document and, in normal circumstances, transfer the entirety of the estate according to the asset holders wishes within a single day and return to their home country with the matter fully concluded. A benefit of this kind of document is that it can be used at any time and it is not necessary for the asset holder to have died to be valid. It can be useful if, the asset holder is unable to, or simply does not wish to, travel to Turkey for any reason.
NOTE: Where asset holders wish to they can create a joint authority on behalf of them and anyone else (spouse, partner, friend, anyone over 18) to cover all their joint and individual assets. It is just as effective as creating a document of authority each but the costs of creating a joint document are generally the same as for a single one and therefore costs can be kept to a minimum where more than one asset holder is involved.
NOTE: In theory, you can nominate as many persons to represent you as you wish on a single document. In practice, it is recommended that two persons are nominated as representatives on the same document, which will generally cater for most situations. The second, and any subsequent nominees will have all the powers of the first in their own individual capacity unless you specificy that two or more of the nominees are required to sign together. It does not cost more to add more nominees.
NOTE: Nominated representatives should be over 18 years of age. Nominees over the age of 65 may be required to obtain a certificate of legal competence from a doctor. That requirement may also apply if the person/s giving the authority are over 65 and is at the discretion of the notary.
NOTE: It is not necessary for the nominated representative/s to sign anything or to be involved in the process of creating the document of authority. They do not even need to be aware that they have such authority until you choose to inform them. You will, however, need to provide their full name/s exactly as it appears in their passport/s, date/s of birth, and their current residential address/es.
NOTE: It is critically important to ensure that the authority document is drawn up according the legally recognised format and legalised in the correct way. Even simple errors can result in the document being invalidated.
NOTE: It is not necessary to include the passport or National Identity number of the person you are giving the power to. Be aware that if you do include that number that they will required to produce that document together with the power of attorney when exercising its powers which may not happen for many years after which the ID or passport document referred to may have been lost or replaced.
NOTE: Irish citizens are able to have new or replacement passports issued with their middle name/s left out. Before choosing that option, asset holders should be aware that if the name on an asset and the name in a current passport are different then the Turkish institutions will require official confirmation that both names belong to the same person which can be difficult to obtain when in Turkey.
NOTE: When a couple are named on the Tapu, it is advisable to give authority to each other and one third person or organisation
The cost of preparing, authorising and legalising a power of attorney document varies according to how and where it is done. You can:
- prepare the document yourself if you have sufficient knowledge of the required format.
- Use a suitably-qualified English-speaking lawyer. The fee for preparing the document correctly is estimated to be between 500 TL and 1000 TL depending on their scale of charges.
- As an alternative to a lawyer, but just as effective, you can use the services of an agent with the sufficient knowledge of how these kinds of documents are prepared and legalised for a lower fee of 250 – 500 TL. As a guide you can expect to pay the lower end of that scale if the document is signed by you (and your joint signatory if applicable) in Turkey and the higher end if the document is prepared in your own language and sent to you by e-mail or post for signature in your home country. All of the agents on the Citizens Advice Centre register are also registered translators and will include the official translation fee in their total fee.
Whichever method you choose to create the document you will have official fees. The notary office in Turkey will charge a basic stamp duty of approximately 600 TL including KDV (VAT) for a single person and approximately 900 TL including KDV (VAT) for a joint document with two persons named and an official translation fee of around 70 TL including KDV. Additionally, where the authority is extended to cover the administration of a bank account, for example, further stamp duty at the prevailing rate may be applied. As from February 2014 it is now necessary to have your passport translated at a cost of approximately 95 TL for each passport. The document can be drafted and legalised from outside Turkey, in your home country for example. To do it from outside Turkey would add a cost of about 140 EURO in Ireland and 140 British Pounds in The UK which is the fee charged by the local notary for witnessing your signature and includes the fee for a stamp (called an apostille) placed on the document by the Foreign Office of your home country confirming its validity (don’t worry about the details of this part of the process as your local notary will arrange it for you) and the cost of courier postage to Turkey. Once the document reaches Turkey it will be finalised at a Turkish notary following the same process as above and with the same official costs.
Information needed to prepare and legalise a power of attorney
From EACH of the persons GIVING the authority AND for each of the persons RECEIVING the authority:
1) Their full names exactly as they appear in their passports
2) Their date of birth
3) Their current residential address
AND from EACH of the persons GIVING the authority:
1) Two passport sized-photos
2) Their original passports to be presented at the time of signing
3) Payment at the Notary office in Turkish Lira and in cash
The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre can assist you with the preparation of this important document by co-ordinating everything on your behalf. It can arrange for English-speaking lawyers or legal agents to contact you, locate and/or speak to notaries in your home country and arrange appointments for signature on your behalf, take delivery of posted or couriered documents and advise in general on your individual requirements.
Hopefully, if you are the owner of any assets within The Republic of Turkey you will appreciate the need for this kind of provision to be made. Please do not hesitate to ask for further information and advice if required.
The services of The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre are free of charge if you are a qualifying foreign citizen and you will find contact details on our website at www.adviceturkey.org
IMPORTANT NOTE: This fact sheet has been prepared with the best attention to detail and is current at the time of printing but, as each person’s circumstances are different and laws and rules can change, you are advised to contact an advisor at The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre nearer to the time when you are considering creating this type of document for yourself and/or your partner for the most up to date advice.
Factsheet updated 12th April 2019
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.