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.


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