ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
Parliament’s General Assembly passed a much-anticipated law that establishes rules by which foreigners can purchase and own property in Turkey, despite some opposition arguments that the rules were tantamount to selling the country.
According to the law foreigners will be able to own property in Turkey subject to certain restrictions. The land purchased cannot exceed 2.5 hectares but can be increased to 30 hectares by Cabinet decree.
Foreign foundations, associations, cooperatives, communities and groups are not allowed to purchase real estate in Turkey.
The Cabinet will be responsible for approving the purchase of land by foreigners and foreign companies in areas that are strategically important vis-à-vis agriculture, energy, irrigation, protected habitats or that possess religious or cultural significance.
The Defense Ministry will be required to submit a list of military zones, special security areas and other prohibited zones to the Land Registry Office.
CHP deputy from Istanbul Birgen Keleş claimed the law would allow not only foreign nationals and foreign companies but also foreign state agencies to purchase property in Turkey.
Public Works Minister Faruk Özak said in an address to the assembly that as of April 15, 2005 foreigners had purchased 25,307 hectares of land, of which 21,160 were purchased by Syrian nationals prior to 1939. He said between 2003 and 2005 approximately 1,000 hectares were sold to foreign entities
The law will be retroactive to July 26, 2005.