AIGERIM SABIT BIKMAZ

ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY PURCHASING A PROPERTY IN TURKEY

According to Art.20 of Communique on Implementation of Law of Turkish Citizenship enacted by Decision of Council of Ministers dated 11/2/2010 and numbered 2010/139, exceptional acquisition of Turkish citizenship by a decision of the President in the frame of Art.12/1/b of the Law on Turkish Citizenship No.5901  s possible for foreigners, who:

  1. Made a minimum fixed capital investment of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira, as attested by the Ministry of Industry and Technology;
  2. Acquired a property worth a minimum of USD 250,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira with a title deed restriction on its resale for at least three years, as attested by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization;
  3. Created jobs for at least 50 people, as attested by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services;
  4. Deposited at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira in banks operating in Turkey with the condition not to withdraw the same for at least three years, as attested by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency;
  5. Bought at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira worth of government bonds with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years, as attested by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance
  6. Bought at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira worth of real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years, as attested by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey.

Effect on spouse and children:

Based on Art.12/1/b of Law of Turkish Citizenship no.5901 and Art.31/1/j of Law of Foreigners and International Protection No.6458, spouse and children under 18 of a foreign investor who meet criteria listed Art.20 of Communique on Implementation of Law of Turkish Citizenship may apply for citizenship together with an investor as well.

Process of property purchase for acquiring citizenship:

  1. A property for purchase according to the budget and desired criteria shall be identified.
  2. The registry details of the property on subject of existence of any legal restriction shall be checked together with the seller or the seller’s representative at the Directorate of Land Registry.
  3. An appraisal report that shows the actual value of the property shall be issued by a company authorized for property appraisal.
  4. After, a visit to Directorate of Land Registry shall be made with relevant documents for purchase. The Directorate checks whether the receipt, appraisal report, and the declared values satisfy the criteria required in the directive.
  5. If the required conditions have been satisfied, the title deed fee required to be paid for action and the revolving fund payment shall be communicated to the related person by SMS.
  6. The appointment time to sign the contract after the payment of the fees shall be communicated by SMS.
  7. The cost of the property shall be paid to the seller by a bank transfer simultaneously with signature of property transfer contract before Land Registry. Payment can be made via TAKASBANK to make it more secure. In that case, the contract price deposited to the recipient’s account shall be blocked and it shall be transferred to the seller’s account after the contract is signed.

The sum of receipts evidencing payments must have a value equal to USD 250,000 according to the USD selling exchange rate of the Central Bank of Turkey on the date prior to the date of deposit. The amounts listed in the appraisal report and the official bill may not be less than the sum of values in the receipt.  In the event that the receipt is paid in Turkish Lira, the selling exchange rate of the Central Bank of Turkey on the date prior to the date of payment shall be considered to calculate USD equivalent of the receipt amount

  • After the contract is signed and completed, a statement indicating that the property may not be sold for three years shall be registered and the title deed of the property shall be handed over to the landlord.
  • Following the completion of the transaction, the directorate of land registry sends the transaction documents via the system to the General Directorate/Regional Directorate to issue the “certificate of conformity” for citizenship application.
  • The ‘certificate of conformity’ issued after the necessary checks have been completed is sent for action to the General Directorate of Census and Citizenship and General Directorate of Immigration Administration with an official letter, and for information to the related individual by e-mail.

Which documents are required for property acquisition?

  1. The property’s Title Deed.
    1. Identity card and passport (together with the translated copy thereof where required). Submission of the same is compulsory in order to identify the nationality of the foreigner,
    1. Property appraisal report issued by any of the organizations authorized by the Board of Capital Markets (SPK) for property assessment.
    1. Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for buildings (residences, workplaces… etc.),
    1. One photograph of the seller and two photographs of the buyer (taken in the last 6 months, at a size of 6×4),
    1. Certified interpreter if there is a party who do not speak Turkish,
    1. If an action is to be carried out with a power of attorney issued abroad, the translation and the original or approved copy of the power of attorney.

What are the restrictions for property acquisition by foreigners?

  • First of all, the country of the foreigner desirous of acquiring a property must be among the countries cleared by Turkey for property acquisition as specified in Article 35.
  • Property acquisition by foreign real persons is only possible within the scope of legal restrictions further to Article 35 of the Land Registry Law 2644.
  • Foreigners may not acquire properties in military forbidden zones further to the Military Forbidden Zones and Security Zones Law No.2565.
  • A foreign real person may acquire properties and restricted real rights of up to 30 hectares maximum. The President may increase this size up to two times.
  • Total area of properties acquired by foreign real persons and independent and continuous limited real rights may not exceed ten percent (10%) of the surface are of the subject district of the private property.
  • Acquisition by foreigners is not possible at the places included in strategic areas and special security zones defined by the President as areas where foreign real and legal persons may not acquire properties.

Therefore, a property for purchase shall be checked in Land Registry on existence of any limitations listed above.

Citizenship Application:

1. Application might be done both in Turkey to General Directorate of Census and Citizenship or the Embassy of Turkey in the relevant country.

2. Application form for children until 18 shall be signed by parents.

3.  All documents in foreign languages shall be translated to Turkish and notarized/confirmed by the Consulate of Turkey.

3. Required documents:

  • Application Form (Standart VAT-1),
  • 2 biometric photos, 50×60 mm
  • Passport or similar document showing which state the person is a citizen of
  • Marital status certificate and marriage certificate
  • A document showing the identity of the person, such as a birth certificate or a copy of the birth certificate and if married, a copy of the birth certificate or similar proving the family ties of the spouse and children document.
  • Receipt showing that the service fee has been paid.

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