13303 foreigners buy Turkish property over 11 months
Following the introduction of a new piece of legislation — often referred to as the reciprocity law — which allows foreigners to purchase property in Turkey, a total of 12,512 houses and plots of land were purchased over the past 11 months by non-Turkish citizens, data provided by the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre have shown.
According to the directorate, between May 18, 2012 and April 11, 2013, 2,522 plots of land and 9,990 houses were sold to foreigners. On a country basis, the citizens of Germany, Russia, England, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Kuwait emerged as the top buyers of Turkish real estate. Only one citizen each from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, the Norfolk Islands, Singapore, Sudan, Tanzania and Tunisia purchased real estate in Turkey.
While Germans top the list of foreigners who purchased real estate in Turkey and now own a total of 2,374 pieces of real estate — 1,108 plots of land and 266 houses, the second-placed Russians mostly purchased houses — 2,053 — and only 72 pieces of land. Britons came in third in terms of the number of real estate properties purchased in Turkey during these 11 months.
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning is also rolling up its sleeves to increase sales of real estate to foreigners and to kick off promotion efforts in 183 countries whose citizens are allowed to purchase properties in Turkey. The ministry will prepare booklets in commonly spoken languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Chinese, to explain the legal improvements in Turkey that allow the sale of real estate to foreigners.
Numerous countries have been kept out of the list of countries whose citizens can purchase property in Turkey. These countries include Syria, Armenia, Greek Cyprus and North Korea. For other countries, on the other hand, special conditions were put in place.
The citizens of several wealthy countries showed little interest in real estate in Turkey over the last 11 months. From the US, only 156 people applied to buy property in Turkey, while the figure was 319 for Iranians.
In a related development, President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday approved of a new law on foreigners and international protection which was recently adopted by Parliament. Ankara had long been a target of criticism from the European Union for the lack of a legal framework to address the problems of foreigners in Turkey. The EU last week welcomed the new law, hailing the move by the Turkish Parliament as a “clear sign” of Turkey’s efforts to establish a sound legal and institutional framework for migration and asylum.
The law stipulates that foreigners who stay in Turkey for more than 90 days should apply for a residence permit. The residence permit will become invalid if foreigners stay outside of Turkey for more than six months at a time.