Buying real estate in Turkey as a foreigner?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying property in Turkey as a foreigner: a full guide

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, an industry specialist has reviewed and approved the final article.

buying property foreigner Turkey

Everything you need to know is included in our Turkey Property Pack

Turkey is a top pick for foreigners who want to invest in real estate. It offers breathtaking scenery, a lively culture, and friendly locals.

Nevertheless, purchasing property in a foreign country can be challenging, particularly with all the laws and regulations involved.

No need to fret! This guide is here to make it easy for foreign buyers to comprehend how the property market functions in Turkey. We'll cover everything you need to know in a straightforward and uncomplicated way.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Turkey.

Can you purchase and own a property in Turkey as a foreigner?

If you are American, we have a dedicated blog post regarding the property buying and owning process in Turkey for US citizens.

Foreigners can indeed purchase real estate in Turkey, but there are some nuances to be aware of.

Understanding these details can help you navigate the process more effectively.

Firstly, yes, as a foreigner, you can own land and property in Turkey. However, there are some restrictions.

For instance, the total area of the land you can buy cannot exceed 10% of the total area of the district where the property is located. Also, there are certain areas where foreign ownership is not permitted, such as military zones.

Your rights as a foreign property owner are largely similar to those of Turkish citizens. You have the right to sell, rent out, or bequeath your property.

However, you should be aware that there are some differences in the process of buying property as a foreigner compared to a local buyer, such as additional paperwork and possible need for military clearance in some cases.

The rules regarding property ownership can vary depending on your nationality.

For instance, citizens of some countries may face restrictions or additional requirements based on reciprocal agreements or other diplomatic considerations between Turkey and their home country.

Residency in Turkey is not a prerequisite for buying property. You can purchase property even if you don’t live in the country. This makes Turkey an attractive destination for foreign investors or those looking for a holiday home.

Regarding visas and permits, you don’t need a specific visa or permit to buy property in Turkey.

However, owning property can positively impact your application if you decide to apply for a residency permit or citizenship.

In some cases, you might need specific authorization from a governmental institution. This often depends on the location and type of property you are intending to buy.

For instance, properties close to military zones might require special clearance.

There isn't a minimum investment requirement for general property purchases by foreigners. However, if you're interested in obtaining Turkish citizenship through real estate investment, there's a minimum investment of $250,000.

Can you become a resident in Turkey by purchasing and owning a property?

Become a resident in Turkey by purchasing property, as there is a specific scheme in place for this purpose.

This scheme is particularly attractive to foreign investors and those looking to live in Turkey.

When you purchase property in Turkey, you become eligible to apply for a short-term residency permit. This permit is typically granted for one or two years and can be renewed as long as you maintain ownership of the property. It's important to note, however, that this residency is not permanent.

The process for obtaining residency through property investment involves several steps. After purchasing your property, you need to apply for the residency permit. The application is made to the Directorate General of Migration Management in Turkey.

You will need to provide proof of property ownership, which includes the title deed and a valuation report confirming that the property meets the minimum value requirement.

As for the minimum investment, unlike the citizenship by investment program, there isn't a specific minimum property value required to be eligible for residency. Any property purchase qualifies you to apply for the residency permit.

However, if your goal is to obtain Turkish citizenship through real estate investment, the minimum investment is significantly higher.

The requirements for the residency permit include having a valid passport, proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself during your stay, health insurance coverage, and a clean criminal record.

You will also need to provide photographs and complete the necessary application forms.

Many people have utilized this scheme to gain residency in Turkey. It's a popular route due to its relative simplicity and the attraction of living in Turkey, known for its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and relatively lower cost of living compared to many Western countries.

The residency obtained through property investment is not permanent.

However, after a certain period of continuous residency, you may become eligible to apply for long-term residency or even citizenship.

The path from property-based residency to citizenship usually involves several years of continuous residence in Turkey, during which you must adhere to the legal and financial requirements of your residency status.

Thinking of buying real estate in Turkey?

Acquiring property in a different country is a complex task. Don't fall into common traps – grab our guide and make better decisions.

buying property foreigner Turkey

Market metrics

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Turkey.

If we look at the the GDP per capita indicator, it seems that Turkish people have become 17.2% richer in the past 5 years.

With the population experiencing increased affluence, the demand for real estate may surge, potentially causing prices to rise in the future.

The platform Numbeo indicates us that rental properties in Turkey offer rental yields between 4.1% and 6.8%.

High rental yields often signify a strong rental market, where demand for rental properties is high compared to the supply.

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Turkey?

The life as an expat

Living as an expat in Turkey can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The country offers a unique blend of ancient and modern culture, making it a great place for those seeking a different lifestyle. Turkey is also known for its beautiful landscape, with its stunning mountains, valleys, and coastline.

The climate in Turkey is generally mild, with hot summers and cold winters. This means that there is plenty of opportunity to explore the outdoors and take part in activities like hiking, skiing, and swimming. Turkey is also home to many historic sites, such as the ruins of Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Hagia Sophia.

The people of Turkey are very welcoming and friendly, and most expats find it easy to make friends. There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the local culture, from the traditional Turkish cuisine to the vibrant nightlife.

Overall, living as an expat in Turkey can be an exciting and rewarding experience. With its unique culture and stunning landscape, Turkey is a great place to explore and experience a different way of life.

What are the best places to buy real estate in Turkey?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Turkey.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (TRY) Strengths
Istanbul ≈ 15 million 5,000 - 15,000 Cultural and economic hub, historic sites, diverse property options
Antalya ≈ 2.5 million 3,000 - 7,000 Tourism hotspot, Mediterranean coast, beach resorts, ancient ruins
Ankara ≈ 5.5 million 3,000 - 8,000 Capital city, political and administrative center, modern amenities
Izmir ≈ 4 million 4,000 - 10,000 Coastal city, vibrant culture, pleasant climate, rich history
Bodrum ≈ 150,000 4,000 - 12,000 Resort town, Aegean coast, yachting, luxury properties
Fethiye ≈ 100,000 3,000 - 8,000 Scenic landscapes, Mediterranean charm, expat community
Alanya ≈ 300,000 3,000 - 7,000 Tourism and retirement destination, sandy beaches, lively atmosphere

Do you need a lawyer when buying a property in Turkey?

When purchasing a property in Turkey, engaging a local lawyer can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal aspects and ensuring a successful transaction.

One crucial document they can help you with is the Purchase Agreement (Satış Sözleşmesi), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Turkish lawyer can also assist with conducting a Property Title Search (Tapu Kaydı Sorgulama) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Additionally, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the local Land Registry or relevant authorities.

They will ensure that all applicable taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Tax and Notary Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Turkish laws and regulations.

What are the risks when buying a property in Turkey?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Turkey.

The main risk when buying a property in Turkey is that the title deed of the property may not be in the name of the seller.

This is because the Turkish Land Registry is not yet fully computerised, so it is difficult to verify who the rightful owner is. Additionally, there may be restrictions on foreign ownership of property in certain areas of Turkey, so buyers should ensure that they are aware of any such restrictions before making a purchase.

Another risk to consider is that the property may be subject to a lien, meaning that the seller may have borrowed money against it and the lender may have a claim on the property. It is important to check this before buying as it could affect the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage or other financing.

Finally, buyers should also be aware that some properties in Turkey may be subject to inheritance tax, which means that the buyer may have to pay a percentage of the purchase price to the government. This is not something that is common in other countries, so buyers should make sure they are aware of any such taxes that may apply.

real estate Turkey

Everything you need to know is included in our Turkey Property Pack

What are the required documents for a real estate transaction in Turkey?

When buying a property in Turkey, the following documents are required:

1. A valid passport or ID card.

2. A tax number (Vergi Numarası).

3. A title deed (Tapu).

4. A notarized purchase contract.

5. A power of attorney (Vekaletname).

6. A bank receipt for payment of the purchase price.

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Turkey.

What strategies can you employ for successful negotiation with Turkish people?

When buying a property in Turkey, here is what you can do to improve the negotiation phase:

  1. Emphasize the importance of building personal connections and trust, as Turks value relationships in business dealings.
  2. Engage in polite and friendly conversations before diving into negotiations, as establishing rapport is essential in Turkish culture.
  3. Consider incorporating tea or coffee ceremonies, as they provide an opportunity to bond and discuss business matters.
  4. Be prepared for negotiations to be a gradual process, as Turks often value deliberation and may engage in lengthy discussions.
  5. Respectfully haggle and negotiate the price, but also be mindful of maintaining a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties involved.

Are mortgages available to foreign nationals in Turkey?

Foreigners can get property loans in Turkey, but the eligibility criteria and requirements vary depending on the lender and loan terms.

Foreigners seeking a property loan in Turkey generally need a valid residence permit, a stable income, a good credit history, and must provide the necessary documentation for the loan application.

Akbank, Garanti BBVA, and İşbank are among the Turkish banks that have the potential to offer mortgages to non-resident individuals.

However, it's useful to know that mortgage rates in Turkey for a 20-year term range between 20% and 24%, which are significantly high and can pose difficulties in borrowing money. Foreigners are advised to seek other financing options.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Turkey?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Turkey.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Rental Income Tax Tax on rental income generated from the property Between 15% and 40% of the rental income Owner
Title Deed Tax Tax for transferring the title deed of the property 4% of the property value (split between the seller and the buyer) Seller and Buyer
Value Added Tax (VAT) Tax on the sale of new properties 1% to 18% for residential properties and 18% for commercial properties Buyer
Stamp Duty Tax on various legal documents and agreements related to the property transfer 0.948% of the value agreed in the contract Buyer
Property Tax Annual tax on the property's taxable value paid to the municipality From 0.1% to 0.2% for residential properties and 0.2% to 0.4% for commercial properties Owner
Capital Gains Tax Tax on the capital gain from the sale of a property Varies from 15% to 35% on the difference between the sale and purchase prices Seller

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Turkey?

Below is a simple breakdown of fees for a property transaction in Turkey.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Real Estate Agent Commission Fee charged by real estate agents for their services Typically around 3% of the property purchase price Buyer
Notary Fee Fee for the notary services Varies depending on the property value and the notary's fees Seller and Buyer
Legal Fee Fee for legal services related to the property transfer Around 0.5% of the property sale price, depending on the complexity of the transaction Buyer

Buying real estate in Turkey can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Turkey. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Turkey