The Comprehensive Guide to Real Estate Acquisition in Turkey (Part 1/3)

 The 12-Step Process of Buying a Property in Turkey

Going through the process of buying property in another country can be complex and full of challenges, especially for wealthy international buyers who may not be familiar with the local laws and ways of doing things in Turkey. This detailed guide outlines a clear 12-step process to help ease any worries and make buying property in Turkey smooth and straightforward. 


Step 1: Pinpointing and Classifying the Real Estate

The initial phase in acquiring property involves accurately locating and distinguishing the desired property’s characteristics. This foundational step is critical and is often underestimated, where numerous foreign investors may overlook vital details or make unintentional mistakes.


Part 1-a: Pinpointing the Real Estate

The legal transfer of property ownership takes place when the formal real estate purchase agreement is mutually agreed upon and signed by all relevant parties at land registry offices, known as “Tapu”. Here, the purchaser signs a pre-established agreement that details the cadastral location of the property. Essentially, during the signing of the formal purchase agreement, the buyer is provided with only the cadastral information of the property, devoid of photographs, map locations, or specific street addresses. Hence, the focal point in locating a property is its cadastral location.

A cadastral location is comprised of several key components (if not fewer):

İl (City), İlçe (County), Mahalle (Neighborhood), Ada (Block), Parsel (Plot), Blok (Building) and Bağımsız Bölüm (Apartment Number).


An example of a cadastral location may be: Antalya, Konyaaltı, Hurma, 1 Ada, 1 Parsel, A Blok, 1. Bağımsız Bölüm.

Any discrepancies, whether intentional or due to oversight, in this critical stage can lead to significant legal disputes and substantial losses for the buyer. Therefore, it is strongly advised that buyers secure the services of a qualified real estate attorney to verify the location of the real estate and to ensure the property being bought aligns with what was presented.


Part 1-b: Classifying the Real Estate

Classifying the legal status of real estate involves determining the exact nature of the property one is intending to acquire. In this respect, the following questions are in order:


  • Is it a buildable land or is it classified as farmland?

  • Is the orientation of the property to the north or to the south?

  • Is it located on a middle floor or on the top floor?

  • Is it a legal duplex apartment or just the first floor of an unauthorized duplex?

  • Is it an independent villa or a section of a property divided into two different sections?


Correctly classifying the legal status of real estate before proceeding with the purchase is of utmost importance. The legal characterization of a property not only impacts its valuation but might also restrict the purchase altogether.


Step 2: Identifying the True Owner(s) of the Real Estate

While it might sound obvious that the buyer should know the identity of the real estate’s owner(s), those identities might sometimes be obscure to the buyer, especially in cases where realtors are involved. Before paying for any part of the sale price, downpayment, or commission, it is highly recommended that buyers ask the realtors to be transparent about the identity of the owner and, in any case, the sale price should only be sent directly to the owner’s bank account. In the event of a breach of contract, the only way to recourse against the seller is to have paid the sale price to the seller or their duly appointed attorney. 

Click for Part 2/3

Antalya lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya law firm offer legal counsel and representation for buying real estates in Turkey, including pinpointing, classifying and examining the real estates in Turkey and identifyying their true owner(s) to make sure that the sale price is paid directly to the owner’s bank account and that the buyer’s rights are protected in the event of a breach of contract.