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How to get a Turkish Residence Permit

Every year, thousands of people apply for Turkey Residence Permits, Here explains exactly a step by step guide to getting a Turkish Residence Permit.

How to set up a business in Turkey

A guide to setting up a business in Turkey, all you need to know about business in Turkey.

A complete guide to buying property in Turkey

A guide for buyers in purchasing property in Turkey. How to purchase property and the laws and requirements surrounding real estate in Turkey.

A guide to living in Istanbul

All you need to know about life in Istanbul for expats and those living in Turkey. Check out our complete guide to Istanbul.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Vagina stirs up controversy in Turkish parliament

Turkey's deputy prime minister has caused a ruckus by admitting to being ruffled when an opposition member mentioned her vagina.

Bulet Arinc told the Republican People's Party deputy Aylin Nazliaka that she should've addressed Parliament while speaking, not him. "I am a shy person, I could get bothered when an elegant lady looks at me," he said.

Aylin Nazliaka's vagina has ruffled Turkey's deputy PM.
 The deputy PM then brought up the abortion debates that raged earlier in the year. "I also got extremely embarrassed during the abortion discussions when you [Nazlıaka], as a married woman with children, openly spoke of one of your organs [vagina]," he said.

Nazliaka had slammed the government's stance on abortions in May, stating: “The prime minister should quit playing politics over women’s bodies. To put it in a nutshell, I say the prime minister should quit standing guard over women’s vaginas."

After Arinc's latest comments, Nazliaka has said: "We are here [in Parliament] due to our personality, not to our femininity or our elegance. I would be happier if he was bothered by my statements, rather than by my gender," she said. "I am deeply upset by the deputy prime minister's statements, both for me and for the women of my country ... He should have been more serious in his manner of speaking."

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Small Turkish village becomes Apocalypse hope

Worried about the world ending on December 21? It might be worth heading to a small village in Turkey, where many believe the positive energy of the area may be enough to ward off the apocalypse.

Sirince, a small village near Ephesus, has been flooded with cranks – er, spiritualists, I mean – who are convinced that the world will end in a week or so, as apparently foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.

Sirince's positive energy might protect you from the Apocalypse.

According to the end-of-world believers, Sirince has a positive energy, thanks to the fact that it’s close to an area where Christians believe the Virgin Mary started her journey to heaven. This positive energy may well be sufficient to save the believers.

The sleepy village of around 600 inhabitants is expected to host around 60,000 visitors, according to the local media.

Hoteliers are rubbing their hands together at the unexpected winter windfall.

"It is the first time we witness such an interest in moving to Turkey during the winter season," one hotel owner was quoted as saying.

In fact, those working in Sirince’s tourist industry may well be the only people looking forward to the upcoming Apocalypse. "The rumours floating around have increased the number of customers. We are only happy about it," said one hotel worker.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

'I wish all disabled people had Down Syndrome', - PM's wife

The award for patronising statement of the week goes to Emine Erdogan, who said that those with Down Syndrome will go "directly to heaven".

Speaking at a meeting yesterday for people with Down Syndrome Prime Minister Erdogan's wife told reporters that she had a relative with the syndrome.

Mrs Erdogan wished that all disabled people could have Down Syndrome.

Mrs Erdogan claimed that the relative, who died a few years ago, was "the mascot of the family".

"I wish all disabled people had down syndrome. Because, if I'm right, they are going to go directly to heaven after death according to Islam. I hope we will go to heaven too, for loving these people," she said. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Turkish channel fined for airing Simpsons show

Turkey's broadcasting regulator is fining a TV channel for insulting religious values - for airing an episode of the Simpsons featuring God and the devil.

The episode, which includes a scene where the devil asks God to make a coffee, caught the notice of watchdog RTUK, who are fining CNBC 53,951 lira (£18,400).

Although Turkey's a secular country with a secular government, most of its 75 million inhabitants are Muslim. There is a constant battle between religious conservatives and their secular opponents - who claim that the government is trying quietly to impose Islamic values.

 Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is at the forefront of this push towards Islam, and although Erdogan has led the country into a period of great prosperity there are concerns about authoritarianism.

Last week Erdogan voiced his displeasure about wildly popular TV show The Magnificent Century, saying the makers were insulting a historical figure.

The Simpsons is well known for its irreverent portrayal of public figures, leading one Turkish columnist to wonder if the makers of the series will react to the ruling. "Maybe they will add an almond-moustached RTUK expert to the series," he said, evoking a popular Turkish stereotype of a pious government supporter. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Sexy Turkish TV infuriates PM

Turkish drama Magnificent Century, which a New York Times blogger described as "a sort of Ottoman-era 'Sex and the City'", is hugely popular in Turkey and the Middle East.

The TV show is set during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and depicts the sultan cavorting in the altogether with various nubile ladies in his harem (one of which eventually became his wife) - as well as heralding in a new political and cultural era for his Turkish homeland, of course. 

The show's ratings are through the roof, with 150 million tuning in to watch each week. But there's one Turk who won't be tuning in each Friday for new installments: PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is so annoyed at the way the sultan is depicted he has urged legal action against the series.

The Sultan takes time out from his busy harem schedule to pose for publicity shots for The Magnificent Century.

Last weekend Erdogan forcefully denounced the historical soap opera, bizarrely bringing up Turkey's recent contentious foreign policy, saying that people "ask why we are dealing with the affairs of Iraq, Syria and Gaza. They know our fathers and ancestors through ‘Magnificent Century,’ but we don’t know such a Suleiman. He spent 30 years on horseback, not in the palace, not what you see in that series.”

Erdogan said that the series director and the owner of the television channel that broadcasts the show had been warned, and that judicial authorities had been alerted. “Those who toy with these values should be taught a lesson within the premises of law,” the Hurriyet news reported him as saying.

Critics - including cultural spokespeople and political rivals - have struck back at Erdogan, accusing him of censorship and cultural authoritarianism. One rival, deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party Muharrem Ince, claimed that Erdogan was acting like a sultan - and determined to be the only sultan in the country.

 Turkey's culture and tourism ministry has also waded into the dispute, claiming that soap operas like The Magnificent Century generate millions of dollars for Turkey.

Erdogan's governing party, which has strong Islamic roots, has been championing the Ottoman Empire and bring its culture into national consciousness. 

 Even the sultan's descendants had something to say. Son of the last Ottoman prince Osman Selahddin said that while he didn't appreciate the way the sultan was depicted, he wasn't too fazed as he knew it was a work of fiction. “I am following the series,” he said. “But I don’t take it seriously since it is only a soap opera.”

No stranger to controversy, when the show first aired last January it received 70,000 complaints. The Supreme Board of Radio and Television said that the channel broadcasting the series had exposed "the privacy of a historical dead person" and should apologise to the public.

 At the time, Erdogan said the show was disrespectful, and “an effort to show our history in a negative light to the younger generations.”

Suleiman the Magnificient reigned from 1520 to 1566 is remembered as a brave warrior and astute statesman.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Arabs flock to Turkey for moustache implants

The Hurriyet Daily News has reported that Arabs are travelling to Turkey in droves in search of moustache implants. 

Coveting the hairy lips sported by actors in their favourite Turkish television programmes, hairless Middle Eastern politicians and businessmen are turning up to clinics with pictures of their favourite stars and demanding their moustaches.

Kadir İnanır and İbrahim Tatlıses sport two of the most sought-after mos in the Arab world.

Turkey's already made a name for itself with hair implants, with clients combining a new head of hair with a bit of light tourism.

Doctor Selahattin Tulunay, who has been working in the hair implant industry for three decades, claims that moustache implants are now as popular as hair implants. “Every month we have about 60 applications for beard and hair implants,” he said.

Tulunay says Arab policicians believe that moustaches add charisma - a valuable tool during election campaigning.

"Our patients book tourists packages and while they have the implants, their families are able to vacation in Turkey, thereby contributing to Turkey’s tourism sector,” Tulunay said, adding that his clinic had signed deals with Dubai and Iraq agencies, as well as opening offices in Europe.

“We have applicants from Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Germany, France and Ireland who move to Turkey for hair, moustache and beard implants. Whether they are from Western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, or South Korea, we there is serious demand for hair and moustache implants,” he said. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

10 ways to avoid causing offence in Turkey

While Turks are generally friendly and welcoming to anyone holidaying in their country or buying a permanent home in Turkey, it’s good to be forewarned before you go about what’s culturally acceptable. Our handy guide lays out the do’s and don’ts of Turkish etiquette.

Experts believe that up to 90 per cent of communication is conveyed through body language, which is why it’s important to know the cultural differences in the way we use gestures.

1. No sole

In Turkey it’s considered rude to expose the sole of your foot so it’s facing another person. Turks tend to sit cross-legged in social gatherings, and Westerners who aren’t used to this may need to stretch a foot out now and again. If you do, make sure the sole of your foot is facing the floor.

2. Don't point the finger

It’s considered impolite to point at another person. Use your whole hand or nod politely in the direction of the person you’re indicating.

3. Yes, no, maybe

Just like we do, Turks nod their heads to indicate yes. However, shaking your head as we do to say ‘no’ tells people you don’t understand. Saying ‘no’ in Turkey involves tipping your head back once while raising your eyebrows.

4. Public displays of affection

Canoodling with your loved one will probably earn you a eye rolls back home. But in Turkey it’s inappropriate to show more than simple displays of affection (holding hands etc) towards a partner.

5. Personal hygiene

Don’t pick your teeth or blow your nose in public. Head to the nearest bathroom.

6. Visiting mosques

There are many, many mosques in Turkey, ranging from small places of worship to grandiose, beautiful structures. If you get the chance to visit one it’s well worth it. Don’t be intimidated – Turks will welcome you and tell you about their customs. However, make sure you remove your shoes before entering. Wear modest dress, with all limbs covered, and women must cover their hair. Speak quietly and do not walk in front of anyone who is praying. Don’t take pictures – it’s disrespectful. If in doubt, just watch what others around you are doing.

7. Come on!

In the western world we hold our hand palm up and waggle our fingers to say ‘come with me’. In Turkey, this gesture’s a little rude. Instead, turn your hand upside down so your palm is facing the floor, and make the same waggling motion.

8. Dinner time

If you’re eating at someone’s home, make sure you clean your plate. Leaving food is offensive. (This shouldn’t be difficult when Turkish food is so delicious). When finished, line your knife and fork up together on the plate. Never eat with your left hand, it’s not considered clean.

Make sure you have a full wallet if you’re inviting people out: it’s not traditional to separate the bill in Turkey, and the person who does the inviting picks up the check. If you’re taken out for a meal, it’s polite to return the gesture.

9. Meet and greet

Shake hands with the elders of a group first, and keep going until you’ve shaken the hand of everyone in the room. Relatives and friends get a kiss on the cheek. When you’re invited to someone’s home, make sure you turn up on time and bring an inexpensive gift (flowers like roses or carnations always go down well). Remove your shoes before going inside.

10. Business matters

When meeting someone for business matters, be careful not to schedule anything inside Ramadam, or during Turkish holidays (see herefor 2013’s public holidays). 

Becoming acquainted with the person you’re working with is crucial, and the first meeting will be devoted to getting to know each other and discussing subjects like family, Turkish history and sports. Make sure you avoid politics.

Maintain eye contact as it shows honesty. Print out all information in Turkish as well as English, and supply lots of visual aids. Prepare to wait for any big decisions – Turks don’t like to decide important matters quickly. Something else to watch out for is that an outrageous suggestion may be made in the early stages of discussion to see how well you’ll respond to negotiation.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

1000 fanatic Turkish fans greet Man U at airport

Around 1000 Galatasaray football fans crowded into Istanbul's Ataturk Airport to greet the Manchester United team ahead of their match.

The enthusiastic fans attempted to force their way to the team, who had to leave the building through another terminal. Police subdued the crowd with tear gas.

Galatasaray's enthusiastic fans.
 Galatasaray's director Abdurrahim Albayrak urged the fans to stay on their best behaviour. "We had to welcome our opponents warmly, not in that way. After my reminder, our supporters understood the importance of welcome and calmed down. "[Manchester United] hosted us with respect and our first aim is to repay their hospitality." 

Alex Ferguson commented that the greeting wasn't as "frightening" as 1993's entrance, when Man United were welcomed with banners proclaiming "Welcome to Hell".

"We have been here a few times now, though, and are now used to the Turkish atmosphere. It is fanatical, but it is no issue for us."

Friday, 16 November 2012

Internet = Apocalypse?

A Turkish university rector has claimed that the Internet is "The Beast of the Last Days" and is a sign that the judgement is on its way.

Nevzat Tarhan, of Uskukar University, came out with this bonkers assertion during a speech to Marama University's Theology Faculty - who are probably all at home hiding under their beds right now.

This multiple-headed beast has nothing on the Internet.
Tarhan drew parallels between the Internet and the Beast of the Last Days, saying that they both "exist everywhere and writhe on the ground", referring to the way internet connections pass through fiber-optic cables.

The phrase "Beast of the Last Days" appears in the Qur'an, and theologians are divided as to what it actually looks like.

However, the Beast is supposed to appear after the sun rises in the West. So I think Mr Tarhan could do with a cup of tea and a lie down.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Turkish TV shows 'aren't real', says scholar

And the award for the most patronising statement of the week goes to: Professor Erhan Afyoncu, who has informed Turks that historical dramas may not be 100% accurate.

Professor Afyoncu was speaking about the hugely popular television series Muhtesem Yuzyil (The Magnificent Century), which fictionalises lives of some of Turkey's most famous sultans. 

Historical dramas, such as ‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’ (The Magnificent Century), are fictionalized accounts of the lives of sultans rather than historically accurate documentaries, according to academics.
The Magnificent Century may not actually be 100% factual.

“Turkish people confuse the idea of TV series and documentary. A TV series is a different thing than a documentary,” the professor stated. 

Afyoncu, who is a professor on the board of the Ataturk High Institute of Culture Language and History, as well as a former consultant for 'The Magnificent Century', said that it was necessary to "create a fiction" around the known events from history.

Despite saying that there wasn't enough historical material to work from, the professor said that TV shows needed to respect the secrets of the past. "Otherwise, it is disrespectful to the private life of the Ottoman sultans." And if anyone needs protecting, it's those who have been dead for hundreds of years. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A feel-good Fethiye story

This very sweet story from the Fethiye Times is a reminder that there is good in the world amongst the bad.

Another reason to move to Fethiye - as if you needed one!

Friday, 26 October 2012

James Bond's Skyfall showcases best of Turkey

Tomorrow's release of new James Bond film Skyfall has been eagerly anticipated in Turkey.

The twenty-third film, starring Daniel Craig as martini-swilling ladykiller James Bond, showcases some of Turkey's most spectacular spots.

Daniel Craig filming Skyfall in Fethiye.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar has been used - marking the third time in 50 years that Istanbul has been used in a Bond film.

Summery Fethiye beaches also feature in the film, as well as historical Adana, in the country's south east.

Turkey has also featured in Bond films From Russia with Love (1963) and The World is Not Enough (1999). The country's diverse landscapes make the country an ideal backdrop for a fast-paced action thriller.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Win a trip for two to Bodrum - Winner announced!

Place Overseas has great pleasure in announcing the winner of our ‘Win a trip for two to Bodrum’ competition.

Congratulations to Janey Johnson, who added us on Facebook and as a result will be winging her way to Bodrum Milas Airport this month. Janey and her lucky travel companion will be picked up at the airport and escorted to the luxurious el Vino Hotel, where they will stay for three nights. They will dine at the Restaurante la Pasion, overlooking Bodrum Harbour.

We’d like to thank you all so much for entering the competition. Don’t be disheartened if you’ve missed out: we will be running other competitions in the not-too-distant future.

If you’d like to find out more about property in Bodrum or Bodrum in general please have a read here or email us on

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Obtaining a tax number in Turkey

Your tax number (vergi numerasi) is the equivalent of the UK's National Insurance number. It's a necessity for anyone wanting to work in Turkey or open a bank account.

The process of obtaining a tax number is mired in bureaucracy and you'll need patience and preferably a Turkish-speaking friend to guide you through the process.

The documents needed for an application are:

  • photocopies of your passport
  • residence permit
  • work permit (if applicable)

Then you'll need to head down to your local finance department (maliye), locate the tax department (vergi dairesi) and then the Civil Test Service (Sivil Yoklama Servisi). At the Civil Test Service you'll be asked for a petition (dilekce) which is a short note written in Turkish that requests that government employees help you.

To complete the application, sign the delekce and then get it signed by the tax manager's assistant (vergi mudur yardimcisi).

Easy peasy! Well, kind of. 

Now that you have your tax number you're eligible to apply for a Turkish bank account. And once you've done that you're eligible to buy a Turkish home. But that's a whole other story!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Opening a bank account in Turkey

OK, so you've moved into your new Turkish home. Now you need to open a bank account. Like a lot of bureaucratic processes in Turkey, opening a bank account varies from place to place.

Turkey’s largest banks are Yapi Kredi Bankasi Kocbank, Turikiye Is Bankasi, Akbank and Garanti Bankasi. You’ll find these banks is just about every part of Turkey. It’s worth noting that Garanti Bankasi is the most English-friendly: there should be at least one English speaker at each branch. Isbank, on the other hand, owns a few European branches, making it easier for EU expats to make transfers.

There are a few foreign banks in Turkey, including HSBC, Citibank and Deutsche Bank. Only HSBC is widespread, however.

To open an account you’ll first need a tax number. Most banks require you to have a residency permit before opening an account with Turkish Lira. However, this varies. If you have a large sum to deposit your bank may make an exception. And, as is the case in pretty much every aspect of life in Turkey, don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Most banks will allow you to open an account in euros, British pounds or US dollars, but bear in mind you will receive little interest.

Once you’ve filled in an application form and given evidence of your tax number, you’ll be allowed to open an account. The most common account is a current account. Current accounts allow you to deposit and transfer money with ease. Most current accounts can be accessed via online banking and can be used to pay bills by direct debit.

You’ll also be eligible to open a savings account, but be warned that these accounts must remain open for at least a month and any interest earned is subject to a 15 per cent withholding tax. Your bank will provide you with the rates, which generally include the withholding tax.
Most banks are open on weekdays between 9am-5pm. Like most places around the world, queues can be formidable at lunch times

Click here to find out how to obtain a tax number in Turkey.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Are Turkey's military coups a thing of the past?

"In my trade you get used to it after a while, but the first time you wake up to find a military coup has happened overnight where you live is quite alarming."

Following the sentencing of 330 people for their part in 2003's coup plot, Gwynne Dyer explains why Turkey's coups have been firmly relegated to the past.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Deadly Islam protests: "Not in this country" says Erdogan

As protests continue to rage around much of the Islamic world over controversial anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims", Turkey's religious and political leaders are calling for calm and restraint.

Shocked by deadly protests which have left more than 30 people dead, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that despite the film's provocative message, Turkey would "not fall in the trap of provocation. Those who resort to violence in return will themselves be considered provocateurs against Muslims; and we reject that."

Protests like this one in Egypt have shaken the Islamic world.

Protests have broken out in around 20 countries, but only in a few places, including Indonesia, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, did the action turn violent. 

The privately-produced US film contains images of Muslims attacking Christians, and depicts the prophet Muhammad as being a womaniser, a homosexual and a child abuser. 

In Ankara protestors gathered at the US Embassy, chanting and burning a US flag, but in general the protests have been peaceful.

Professor of relgious studies and former head of Religious Affairs has said Muslims worldwide needed to find a "civil way" to protest, choosing discussions over violent action. "We see that people in the Arab counries are pouring to the streets under the name of peace, but causing more deaths. What is the logic behind it?" he said.

Gareth Jenkins of the Institute for Security and Development POlicy's Turkey Initiative said that protests against insults to Islam have always been more restrained in Turkey than in the rest of the Islamic world. 

"It was the same when there were protests about the anti-Islamic cartoons," he said. "I don't think this means that radical Islamists in Turkey are necessarily less angry but they do seem to be able to exercise greater self-control and more able to distinguish between something happening in a country and the government of that country being responsible for it."

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Importing a smart phone to Turkey

The Fethiye Times ran a useful story on using your smart phone in Turkey. 

If you're planning on bringing your smart phone when you move to your holiday home in Turkey and using one of the local networks, be prepared to pay a surcharge of 100 TL.

The tax was introduced earlier this year by the government to reduce the impact of foreign smart phones on local revenue. According to the government, a million mobiles and smart phones have been brought into the country, bringing unfair competition to the local market. Rather than reduce the tax on Turkish phones to make them more competitive, the government has slapped a 100 TL tax onto imported phones that must be paid before phones are registered.

Fethiye resident Tony Taylor discovered this the hard way. “I brought a new mobile over from the UK this week and discovered there is now a tax of 100TL payable at the tax office before you can register the phone for use in Turkey. This is in addition to the 10TL fee payable to register the IMIE, the unique identification number." 

Tony took his phone and passport to the tax office, paid the fee and then took the receipt to a phone shop, where he was able to register to a local Turkish network. 

He added that you can import just one phone every two years.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Massive Roman mosaic uncovered in southern Turkey

An incredible Roman mosaic featuring intricate geometric patterns has been discovered in southern Turkey.

The mosaic, described by excavation director and University of Nebraska art historian Michael Hoff as 'pristine', once decorated the floor of an open-air bath complex in the third or fourth century.

The mosaic is 149 square metres - the size of a decent family home. "To be honest, I was completely bowled over that the mosaic is that big," Hoff said.

So far, excavators have revealed around 40 per cent of the mosaic. It's composed of large squares, each with a unique geometric design. It's the largest Roman mosaic ever found in southern Turkey. Experts previously thought that Turkey was a peripheral part of the Roman Empire - but now historians will be reconsidering this position.

Hoff says eventually the site will be turned into a tourist attraction.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Was Conan the Barbarian Turkish?

Archaeologists are jumping up and down with excitement after discovering evidence of Conan the Barbarian's tribe in Turkey. A Roman Turkey villa and some mosaic tiles found in the northwestern province of Balikesir sparked the boffins' interest when it was discovered that the pieces were linked to the Cimmerian tribe, from which Conan hailed.

OK, so most of us know that Conan, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film of the same name, never existed. But as the dig supervisor Professor Gurcan Polat pointed out, the link makes the discovery just that little bit more interesting to non-archaeology buffs.

 "Conan, of course, is a fictional character, but his story and the history of Antandros have overlapped in an entertaining way once the name Cimmeria was mentioned," he said.

 Polat believes the Cimmerians resided in Antandros for around 100 years. "Cimmerians originally lived in the north of the Caucasus when they were forced to relocate by the encroaching Scythians in the eighth century B.C. Some Cimmerians reached Anatolia by traveling around the Black Sea."

 A nomadic tribe, the Cimmerians lived off plundering other groups. Which sounds like Conan to a T.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Buying a property in Turkey - purchase FAQs

We get asked a lot of questions about the ins and outs of the property purchase process in Turkey. And fair enough - buying a holiday home in Turkey is a big deal. It can be confusing enough in your own country!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments box, or email us at

What is the military clearance?
Military clearance is required by all foreigners buying a home in Turkey. You need to complete this in order for the title deeds to be transferred to your name.

It sounds daunting, but really what this process ensures is that your property is not located in a restricted zone. As well as actual military areas, this means areas that hold cultural value, mining and agricultural land, forests and areas of national security.

If you use a reputable agent, it's extremely unlikely that your property will be in a restricted zone. It's largely just a formality and a necessary piece of bureaucracy.

Your solicitor will apply to the Land Registry for military clearance on your behalf. It takes between two to three months to complete.

What is a title deed or TAPU?

A title deed (or TAPU, in Turkish) is a legal document showing ownership over a property. It will include your name and a photo, and your property details. It is extremely important that your solicitor checks the TAPU to ensure there are no debts against the property.

What is a reservation deposit?

This payment, usually £1000, is paid in order to secure the property and freeze its price  – essential due to the fact that property prices in Turkey are constantly increasing, and also due to currency fluctuations.

Will I need a solicitor?

This is one corner we strongly suggest you don't cut. For a few hundred pounds you can save yourself a lot of hassle in the long term. We occasionally get calls from people who have run into serious trouble out in Turkey. 90% of them did not bother with a solicitor. Big mistake. You can ask us for a solicitor in your area, or check the British Embassy in Turkey website for a list of registered and reputable solicitors.

Why do I need to give my solicitor power of attorney?

Power of attorney allows your solicitor to complete the purchase procedure once you return home. Without power of attorney you will need to travel to Turkey several times over a matter of weeks or months while your purchase is underway. Please note that giving a solicitor power of attorney does not give us or your solicitor any claim whatsoever over your Turkey property.

How quickly will I need to pay for my Turkish property?

Generally, the payment plan is drawn up when the initial sales agreement is reached. For off-plan properties, payments are often spread over six to 12 months, with 20-30% paid upfront as a deposit. For resale and new build properties in Turkey payment is usually due within three months of the sales agreement date.

What are the costs associated with purchasing a property in Turkey?

Costs of purchasing a property with purchase price GBP 100,000:

GBPTurkey Property Purchase Costs
Purchase Tax3,300
Buyer's Fee3,000
Solicitor's Fee750
Notary Fee300
Gas & Electricity200
Military Application600

As you can see, you'll end up paying around 8% of the property's sale price in costs. Of the costs listed above, purchase tax, utilities connection and military clearance fees are payable upon completion of your property. The rest is payable at the sales agreement date.

How do I know that a property is safe to purchase?

Our offices vet our properties and developments thoroughly when they first come onto our books. We ask to see the latest title deed (TAPU) and we keep a copy of that on file in our office. If there are any debts outstanding or if there are any issues with ownership, this will be written on the document itself. We also keep a copy of the iskan (habitation license). We do all we can but we still recommend you get a good solicitor to double check.

I’ve heard that buying off plan property in Turkey is risky. How can I safeguard myself?

Buying off plan in Turkey is extremely risky – that is, if you choose to buy through a small, untested developer. At Place Overseas, we work only with the established developers in each area. These companies are experienced, reliable – and most importantly, have enough capital behind them to not have to rely solely on yours to complete the building work. In ten years of operation we have never (bar a couple of times when the developer finished a month or so behind schedule, in which case they will pay you a fine) had a problem with off plan purchases.

However, if assurances aren't enough, there are other means you can use to protect your investment. Some people like to take out an ipotek on their property. An ipotek (debenture charge) is a legal charge to a certain agreed value that is secured against a property. Placing an ipotek on the property means the property cannot be sold or a loan taken out on it without the ipotek being cleared first or there being sufficient equity to allow an additional secured loan. 

The ipotek doesn't stop the owner selling the property to someone else whilst military clearance is going through, it just means he has to pay you back before such a sale can complete.

Please ask if you have any questions about buying property in Turkey or about our property inspection trips.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Turkey's first Twitter wedding

Love and romance have been transformed forever, thanks to the digital age. Some people think conducting love affairs over the internet is cold and impersonal, but personally I think it's an efficient way of using your time, since many of us are online all day anyway. 

And it seems newlyweds Cengizhan Celik and Candan Canik agree with me. Their wedding was Turkey's first to be officiated via social networking site Twitter. Uskudar mayor Mustafa Kara conducted the ceremony entirely via Twitter, using an iPad to ask the couple in a tweet if they take each other to be lawfully wedded husband and wife.

Techno love: this couple married via Twitter.

"I do," came the tweeted reply from the techno-savvy lovebirds.

However, the mayor and the couple were not actually apart - they were all in a restaurant in Uskudar, Istanbul, where hundreds of guests had gathered to celebrate.

After the Twitter session was over, the mayor personally gave the marriage certificate to the bride, wishing the couple happiness.