Obtaining Turkish Citizenship through Acquisition of Real Property

A new guideline has been published by the General Directorate of Land Registers' Foreign Affairs Department in order to regulate the procedures and principles to apply in the transactions regarding obtaining Turkish citizenship through the acquisition of real property to be effective as of 01 January 2023. Former applications will be concluded within the scope of the Circular No. 2019/5 and the Guideline dated 13.06.2022.

 

The relevant guideline has been prepared within the scope of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law, and certain restrictions and conditions have been determined with the relevant provisions on the acquisition of real property by foreign individuals from Turkey.

 

  • In order to acquire citizenship through real estate acquisition, the conditions regarding the person and the real property required under the Land Registry Law No. 2644 must be fulfilled. The Regulation governs the real property acquisitions of foreign real person. Therefore, real property acquisitions made by foreign real person on behalf of someone other than themselves or the legal entity of the company of which they are the director will not be evaluated within this scope.
  • There are no limitations on the quality and quantity of real property that is subject to the citizenship application. However, the applications based on sales promise agreements are only valid for real properties where a property ownership or a construction servitude has been established. Therefore, rights registered in the land registry as timeshare cannot be subject to acquisition of Turkish citizenship through acquisition of real property. For applications based on a sales promise agreement, the amount determined under the Regulation, at least 400,000 USD, must be provided in a single contract. The amount in question must be paid in advance and it is not possible to apply for citizenship with a shared acquisition of the real property subject to the application.
  • For the real properties acquired between 12.01.2017 - 18.09.2018, the amount of USD 1.000.000 is required, and for the real properties acquired or to be acquired after 19.09.2018, the amount of USD 400.000 must be required. The total amount determined by the valuation report must cover the amounts sought according to the acquisition date of the real property.
  • Valuation reports of real property must be obtained through the "https://webtapu.tkgm.gov.tr/" address, and the issued reports will be sent directly to the Land Registry and Cadaster Information System. As of the date of issuance of the valuation reports, the reports are valid for three months, if there is a valuation report issued less than three months prior to the date of notarization of the sales promise, it will be processed.
  • In principle, while calculating the Dollar equivalent of the Turkish Lira value in the valuation report, the selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey on the last business day before the date of the report is taken into consideration. The buyer, seller or their representatives or proxies of the real property in question will sell the USD or equivalent foreign currency amount of the sale price to the bank in order to be sold to the Central Bank. The foreign currency purchase certificate issued by the bank is also sent to the relevant land registry office through the Registered Electronic Mail system. An official deed shall be issued by the relevant land registry directorate based on the Turkish Lira amount shown in the foreign currency purchase certificates; in the transactions to be made after the issuance of the foreign currency purchase certificate, no additional exchange rate calculation shall be made regarding the sales price, and the amount in the document shall be taken as basis. The bank receipt showing that the minimum amount determined by the Regulation has been paid to the seller of the real property must be submitted to the land registry office. While the amount stated in the receipt and the amount shown in the foreign currency purchase certificate must be equal, if these two amounts are not the same, it will be adequate for the amount stated in the receipt to meet the minimum amount specified in the Regulation at the exchange rate in the foreign currency purchase certificate.
  • Only one acquisition of citizenship can be made through a single real property. If a foreign real person who has acquired Turkish citizenship through acquisition of real property transfers the real property to its previous owner after the expiration of the commitment period; the matter shall be notified to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs. If any formal deficiencies are detected during the conformity review of the citizenship request, the relevant person shall be informed to complete the deficiencies without canceling the commitment. When the deficiencies are completed, the evaluation regarding the determination of the application is ensured through the system of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the certificate of conformity is issued in case the system gives approval.

 

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Corporate Counsel
Elvin OZAN

Corporate Counsel