Istanbul Real Estate Q&A




Istanbul Real Estate Q&A: Your most important questions you should know about buying real estate —answered | Listing Turkey.

The real estate market in Turkey, especially in Istanbul, has expanded tremendously during the last period and has become the focus of attention by investors worldwide thanks to large profits and side benefits offered, such as the Turkish citizenship investment program. As a result, many people have gone to Turkey intending to invest in real estate, especially with the many advantages obtained from owning and residing in real estate in Turkey. In addition, Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

To clarify, our Mission is to offer access to a unique listing service. Above all, Listing Turkey ensures all the portfolios are strictly checked and evaluated by the most experienced experts in the market. On top of that, we are focused on robust real estate investment solutions in Istanbul.

What is the application process for Turkish Citizenship by real estate investment?

When you buy properties with a values no less than $400.000, you can apply to the Tapu Office (General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre) and start the application process to obtain Turkish Citizenship. Your application will be sent to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, whose Appraisers check and verify the value of the properties. The Ministry then places a condition on the Tapu (title deed) stating that you shall not sell it for three years. After that, they send the application finally to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, and you are later will be invited to give your signature and receive your ID card and Turkish passport. Listing Turkey FAQ will guide you through the process.

Can my family get Turkish Citizenship with me?

You, your wife (or husband), and your children under 18 (on the application date) can get Citizenship with the principal applicant.

Where should I apply for the Turkish passport process?

The applications are accepted by lawyers only; after you choose your property worth no less than 400.000 USD, you should contact a lawyer to start the process for Citizenship.

How long does the citizenship process take?

The process goes as follows:
1- Buying a property (depends on the investor)
2- Get the title deed and apply for a residency permit (45 days)
3- Apply to Citizenship with residency card (90 days)

Which currency should I use?

USD, Euro, Pound and TL currencies are acceptable. Foreign currencies will convert to Turkish Lira on the transaction date.

Is it possible to buy commercial properties with rental income or land and get Turkish Citizenship by investment?

Yes, any real estate you buy is counted Commercial, residential and land. Listing Turkey FAQ will guide you through the process.

Do you offer any assistance with this process?

Yes. We will introduce you to independent lawyers, which are specified in immigration.

Is it possible to initiate the Turkish passport application process without being physically present in Turkey?

Once your submitted documents receive approval, your legal representatives can commence the process on your behalf. However, you will be required to visit the country for fingerprinting and biometric data collection from that stage onward.

How many people may apply for one Title Deed?

Multiple individuals may share one title deed of the property if there are numerous owners. There will be only one title deed is granted to the principal owner, and the details of each person’s share and percentage of the property are mentioned in the deed details, and there is no specific number of people

My children are above 18; what can we do?

You and your wife can get the passport. Your children can apply for a residency permit – after 5 years, they will be able to apply for Turkish Citizenship. Listing Turkey FAQ will guide you through the process.

Which nationalities can apply to the Turkish passport?

All nationalities can apply for the Turkish passport process except Syrian nations.

What are the benefits of a Turkish Passport?

  1. You will have a lifetime passport in 6 months.
  2. No minimum residency in Turkey is required.
  3.  Full medical assistance, including by government hospitals.
  4. Pension program available.
  5. Free education by government schools, including universities.
  6. Visa-free countries 127.
  7. Future Access to Schengen zone.
  8. Investment opportunity and rental incomes
  9. Easy visa to EU.

Should I learn Turkish to obtain Turkish Citizenship or residency permit?

No. You don’t need to learn Turkish for these processes.

What is the cost of a lawyer for the citizenship process?

Some projects are given free services for the citizenship application process, but if you want to hire a personal lawyer, the cost should be no less than 5000 USD.

Is it possible to sell the property before three years?

If you are applying for a Turkish passport, you shouldn’t sell your property before three years.

Can I purchase multiple properties to apply for Turkish Citizenship?

Yes, you can buy only one property, or several depends on your purchasing plan.

Can I apply for Citizenship if I buy the property with a mortgage loan?

No. You can not apply for Turkish Citizenship with a mortgage or loan. The transfer should come from a foreign country.

Can I apply to Turkish Citizenship with a property I will pay in an installment plan?

Yes, you can; however, you need to pay the required amount to start the process. You can purchase a property with several installments. Once your payments reach $400.000, you can apply for Turkish Citizenship. You must prove that you paid $400.000 with bank receipts.

Can I apply for a Turkish passport with a travel document?

No, you need to declare your passport.

Which documents are required for the Turkish citizenship application process?

Our lawyer will inform you about all necessary documents when you started to process.

Is it guaranteed to get a passport after I buy a property worth 400.000$ ?

Unless you don’t have any criminal record, it is guaranteed. Listing Turkey FAQ will guide you through the process.

Is the Turkish Citizenship by Investment granted for a lifetime?

Turkish Citizenship is granted for a lifetime and gives you the same rights as Turkish citizens by birth.

Do I have to speak Turkish to be eligible for Turkish Citizenship by investment?

There is no requirement regarding knowledge of the Turkish language to benefit from the Turkish Citizenship by Investment program.

Do I need to stay in Turkey for any specific period to be allowed to apply for Turkish Citizenship by Investment?

Residing in Turkey for a particular period before or after acquiring Turkish Citizenship by Investment is not obligatory.

One of my children is over 18 years old but still studying at University and financially is entirely dependent on me. Can they also apply for Turkish Citizenship based on my investment?

Children of investors over 18 years old are not eligible for the application even if they are financially dependent on their parents.

Listing Turkey FAQ will guide you through the process.

Are there any specific locations or projects defined by the Turkish Government in which I must invest to be allowed to apply for Turkish Citizenship?

There are no specific regulations presented by the Turkish Government describing the location of the investment.

Is Turkish Citizenship by deposit investment in banks possible?

Yes, it is possible.

How many times will the applicants need to travel to Turkey during the whole application process?

Ideally, it is advisable to visit Turkey first for the initial procedures and then secondly once the Citizenship is obtained for submission of fingerprints. However, if you cannot travel to Turkey, we can then advise you on your Turkish Citizenship application without your visit required to Turkey, though certain conditions will apply.

Can we change our names after obtaining citizenships?

If the applicants would prefer to change their names and surnames, they are allowed to do so, and you can also have new Turkish names and surnames. However, the process shall be done before submitting citizenship applications.

Why should I get a residency permit from Turkey?

  • Muslim country offering democratic and Westernised lifestyle.
  • One of the best climates in the world throughout the year.
  • Safe and happy environment to settle with your family.
  • Traditionally very hospitable, tolerant and welcoming manner to all foreigners.
  • Fantastic nature, beautiful beaches, green forests and lakes
  • Excellent food, globally renowned Turkish cuisine, one of the few countries offering food security
  • Free Health Facilities
  • Free Educational Facilities
  • High Quality of Life
  • Easy to open business
  • Regional powerhouse
  • G20, NATO Member
  • EU Candidate Country
  • Prospective Visa-free travel to EU (Schengen zone) for all Turkish Citizens,
  • Easy to obtain long-term, multiple-entry visa to EU, US, Canada, UK and Australia for Turkish citizens
  • Perfectly located, nestled between Europe, Asia and the Middle East and Africa
  • Opportunity to relocate and live in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful and developed towns in the world or any other part of Turkey

Can I live permanently in Turkey?

It is required to have a Residency Permit in Turkey to live permanently in Turkey, which is subject to rules.

How much does a Turkish residence permit cost?

It is possible to obtain a Turkish residence permit with a property investment worth $200,000 in Turkey. The residency permit would be renewable after two years as long as you would keep the legal ownership status of the property.

Can I open a bank account in Turkey without a residence permit?

Yes. In principle, it is possible to open a new Turkish Bank Account with a Turkish Tax ID number, not necessarily without having a Turkish residence or a work permit in place.

When should I apply for a residence permit in Turkey?

You must apply for a residence permit in Turkey during the period provided by a visa or visa exemption.

At what time will my residence permit application be completed?

The completion period of residence permit applications is 90 days by law. If this period is extended, information is provided.

How long should I have a passport to apply for a residence permit?

You must have a passport or travel document that replaces the passport for at least 60 days longer than the period you requested.

Which Documents Should I Bring to Turkey for Residence Permit Application?

If you wish to apply by yourself, you only need to bring your passport to Turkey. However, if you want to apply together with your family members, additional documents are required. Therefore, if you wish to apply for Turkish residency as a family, it is important that you consult a Turkish immigrant lawyer and duly procure the required documents which your attorney asks from you. 

Can a foreigner buy a house in Turkey?

Foreign persons can buy a house or property in Turkey without any restrictions. Turkish law is a part of the EU-Civil law system; this means the property will be freehold, and further generations could inherit it without any restrictions.

How much is property tax in Turkey?

%4 of the Sales Price of the property should be paid to Turkish Tax authorities as a property purchase tax when buying or selling the Property in Turkey. However, this rate is usually divided equally between the Buyer and the Seller in practice, so each party’s tax rate is %2.

What does the title deed mean?

A title deed is a document that proves the ownership rights of a property. It registers the location, owner, type, size information of the property. A title deed can be shared by an unlimited number of people in Turkey. All properties are freehold in Turkey. Hence, the family of a property owner inherits the property after the title holder’s death. Also, a titleholder can write a will to leave the property to anyone they wish.

What are the expenses while you are purchasing?

There are some extra costs before, during, and after the property purchase. These are; appraisal report fee (real estate valuation), title deed conveyance costs, lawyer expenses, property tax, property and earthquake insurance (DASK), electricity and water connection fees, furnishing your property, and monthly maintenance fees. Related pages; Property Purchase Expenses, Real Estate Taxation in Turkey.

How long does it take to buy a property in Istanbul?

It mainly depends on the investor. When you choose which Project you are going to buy, then the process goes : 

  1. Put a deposit on your selected unit 
  2. Get your reservation form 
  3. Send the total amount or downpayment on the payment day 
  4. Get your sales/notary agreement 
  5. Get an appointment from the title deed Office if you make the payment in cash 
  6. Get your title deed on appointment day from the government 

Which documents do I need to buy property in Turkey?

Initially, to buy a property, you need a passport and local tax number, which we will help you obtain. You will also need the tax number and a utility bill from your home in the country you are living in to open a Turkish bank account. Lastly, two photos measuring 3cm by 4cm are needed.

When can I move to my home after I purchased it?

If you buy a brand-new apartment from a construction company, in most cases, the developers let buyers move in when 50% of the price has been paid or after full payment.

What are the taxes and legal fees?

In Turkey, the VAT rates are set at 1%, 8%, and 18% by law. For the purchasing real estate, it generally is 18%. However, if the investor meets the conditions stated by law, it is possible to take advantage of the VAT exemption. 

According to the Law, the rate of title deed fee is 4% of the sales price. The Buyer and Seller pay the title deed fee over the sales price. Depending on the deal, title deed fee terms may vary. While some owners require the Buyer to pay the total cost, some ask to share it in half. 

Should I make the valuation report for my apartment?

Yes. All the foreign buyers should take a valuation report for their investment.

How much does the valuation report cost?

For foreign investors, the lawmaker made a valuation report obligated. The price of the valuation report varies between 1.500 TL and 4.000 TL.

What is the cost of a notary agreement and transaction?

For people who cannot read or write Turkish, a sworn translator is required for the transaction. The translator will be explaining the terms and details of the title deed records. The translator’s fee for oral translation varies from 400 to 600 TL.

It is possible to handle the TAPU transaction with an authorized person. However, the person should be authorized specifically to be represented in the TAPU Office with a Power of Attorney (POA). In Turkey, only the Notary Public is empowered to prepare the POA. For the POA, the price varies between 700-1000 TL.
Notary agreement costs mostly around 1% of the total amount.

What is the maintenance fee?

Every residential site has its specific social facilities and services provided to homeowners and residents. Rates depend on the place property is located and the size of the house. The maintenance fees start from 100 TL and go up to 2.000 TL.

When can I get my title deed appointment?

Government title deed Office is given the appointments in 15 days mostly.

Can I purchase with an installment plan?

Yes, it depends on the Project you will choose. If the Project has an installment plan, you can use this opportunity.

How much tax should I pay from my rental income?

It’s yearly 15% of the total income you get.

What is the tax rate when I decided to sell my property?

No need to pay taxes if you sell the real estate five years after you had bought it. If you sold it in less than five years, you would have to pay profit tax, calculated according to the difference between the purchase price and the selling price. The tax is usually around 20% of the profit you made from the buying and selling process.