FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CITIZENSHIP ACQUISITION

THE GUIDE ON THE REGULATION REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW ON TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

PURPOSE AND SCOPE:

 

This guide is prepared in order to set forth the procedures and principles that will be applicable for the transactions to be performed by the land registry directorates with regards to gaining Turkish citizenship through acquisition of property and to inform the foreign persons.

The principles and procedures to be applied at the land registry directorates will be examined under 14 main topics as follows:

 

A-Grounds

B-Legal Limitations

C-Quality of Property

Ç-Quantity of Properties

D-Determination of Value

E-Bank Receipt

F-Sale by Installments

G              –Transactions Between Foreigners

H              –Mortgage and Attachment I-Authorization

İ-Receiving Commitments

J-Canceling Commitments

K-Transactions Relating to Property Subject to Commitment

L-Archiving and Notification of the Outcome of the Transaction

 

A-GROUNDS:

 

Under article 20, paragraph 2, item (b) of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, foreign persons:

 

“who are found by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning to have purchased property with a minimum value of USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira, provided that due annotation is entered into land registry records to the effect that it is not to be sold for three years, or with respect to whom it is found that an agreement issued before the notary public for the promise to sell property with a value of minimum USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira paid in advance and with condominium or construction servitude duly consummated is registered into the land registry with an annotation of no transfer and cancelation for a period of three years”

may gain Turkish citizenship by the decision of the President.

 

The Regulation has undergone three amendments, which entered into force on 12.01.2017, 19.09.2018 and 07.12.2018, respectively.

 

Accordingly:

 

1-    the property (properties) purchased between the dates 12.01.2017 and 18.09.2018 must be worth minimum 1.000.000 US Dollars (USD),

 

2-    the property (properties) purchased/to be purchased after the date 19.09.2018 must be worth minimum 250.000 US Dollars (USD),

 

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3-         the property (properties), with respect to an agreement for the promise to sell is issued/will be issued after the date 07.12.2018 must be worth minimum 250.000 US Dollars (USD).

 

The property (properties) purchased before the date 12.01.2017, which is the enforcement date of the first amendment to the Regulation, and the property (properties) covered by an agreement for the promise to sell dated earlier than 07/12/2018 will not be taken into consideration within this context.

B-LEGAL LIMITATIONS:

 

By the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers made under Article 35 of the Land Registry Law amended by the law numbered 6302, the 183 countries, whose citizens may acquire property in our country, and the terms of acquisition were determined and notified to all our directorates by the circular numbered 2012/12 (1734) and were integrated into TAKBİS.

Example: The citizens of Syria may not apply for citizenship through acquisition of property as they may not acquire property in our country on their own behalf.

Natural persons of foreign origin may acquire property in our country by observing certain legal limitations, i.e. up to 30 hectares per person and up to 10% of the area available for private property in the district cumulatively.

Natural persons of foreign origin may purchase property inside “Special Security Zones” by an authorization of the Governorship and may have promises to sell issued for this purpose. However, they may not acquire property and may not be issued a promise to sell for property remaining inside the forbidden military zones and military security zones or other areas, where acquisition of property by foreign natural persons is not allowed.

As due designations are already entered into the property register in the cities, where forbidden military zones and military security zones are already determined, under the Circular numbered 2017/4 (1775), the transactions take place based on land registry records with no need for correspondence with the authorized commanding offices in these cities.

Within this context, foreign persons, who would like to gain Turkish citizenship through sale or an agreement for the promise to sell (as the agreements for the promise to sell, which, by nature, are preliminary agreements, are considered to have the same status with sale), first need to meet all the conditions to acquire property in terms of nationality and legal limitations.

As the regulation covers acquisition of personal property by foreign natural persons, acquisition of property by any person other than the foreign natural persons themselves, i.e. by their spouses, children etc. or for the legal personality of the company, where they are executives/shareholders, will not be taken into account within this scope.

C- QUALITY OF PROPERTY:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

There is no limitation in terms of the quality of the property to be acquired through sale (residence, workplace, land, field, orchard etc.).

 

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However, under the circular numbered 2013/15 (1752), in cases, where foreign persons demand to acquire agricultural lands, they are required to submit preliminary authorizations under the legislation on agriculture as well as a commitment to the effect that they will deliver an agricultural project within 2 years; and in cases of vacant land, a commitment is required to deliver a project for construction/building license to the respective Municipality or institutions within 2 years.

If any share in a property divided into shares is subject to a transaction, the official deed is to be issued by inserting the wording “…that I am aware of the legal right to preliminary purchase of the other shareholders” and this matter needs to be duly explained to the parties involved.

 

2-For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

Agreements for the promise to sell to be issued at the notary public, on the other hand, are only applicable for property with construction servitude or condominium created thereon.

 

The independent section that is covered by the promise must be registered to the obliged party under the promise (the party making the promise). In other words, a promise will not be allowed to rely on another promise. Multiple agreements for the promise to sell may not be undertaken for a single independent section.

 

Ç- QUANTITY OF PROPERTIES:

 

There is no limitation as to number of properties that can be acquired through sale or that can be subject to a promise to sell. It is important that the total values sought in the Regulation for the respective dates are attained.

Within this context, after acquiring one/multiple property/properties from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) through sale or after having agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued, it is possible to acquire one/multiple property (properties) from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) or to have agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued with in order to reach the amount of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000.

 

Example 1: After A.A, a person of foreign origin, is sold the independent section no 5 with registration block no 102 and parcel no 3 located in Istanbul city, Esenler district, Kültür quarter, for a price of USD 205.000 on 31.10.2018, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 262,451) through an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the Fourteenth Notary Public in Bursa on 05.03.2019 for the independent section no 7 with registration block no 1878 and parcel no 4 located in Bursa city, Osmangazi district, Yeniçeri quarter for a price of TRY 310.000 (which is equivalent to USD 57.451 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 04.03.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,3959) in case such price is paid in advance by not later than the same day.

 

Example 2: After B.B, a person of foreign origin, pays in advance USD 182.000 under an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the First Notary Public in Kemer on 10.12.2018 for the independent section no 14 with registration block no 105 and parcel no 9 located in Antalya city, Kemer district, Sağlık quarter, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 276.000) through the sale of the property with the nature of detached residence with registration block no 101 and parcel no 2 located in Antalya city, Korkuteli district, Çamlık quarter for a price of TRY 94.000 on 19.03.2019.

 

 

Example 3: After C.C, a person of foreign origin, pays USD 20.000 on 16.01.2019 as downpayment under an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the Seventh Notary Public in Altındağ on 14.02.2019 for the independent sections no 8, 9 and 10 in block B with registration block no 402 and parcel no 3 located in Ankara city, Mamak district, Akdere quarter, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 260.475) with the payment of TRY 1.270.000 (which is equivalent to USD 240.475 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 12.02.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,2812on 13.02.2019 under the same agreement.

Example 4: It is possible for D.D, a person of foreign origin, to attain the desired value (USD 269,630) through an agreement for the promise to sell issued before the Sixth Notary Public in Kocaeli on 24.01.2019 for the workplace at no 1 with registration block no 302 and parcel no 34 located in Kocaeli city, Körfez district, Sanayi quarter with a value of TRY 1.070.000 paid in advance on the same day (which is equivalent to USD 200.686 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 23.01.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,3317and another agreement for the promise to sell issued before the Third Notary Public in Düzce on 15.04.2019 for the independent section no 2 with registration block no 101 and parcel no 8 located in Düzce city, Sedir quarter with a value of TRY 400.000 paid in advance on the same day (which is equivalent to USD 68.944 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 12.04.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,8018).

When the value sought under the Regulation is attained, the Land Registry Directorate, before whom the final transaction will take place or before whom the application is filed, will receive the commitments by evaluating the transactions files jointly under the legislation on land registry transactions outside the jurisdiction(EXAMPLE: İ- Receiving Commitments)

 

D-DETERMINATION OF VALUE:

 

Sum of the sale prices(s) declared in the official deed and/or the value(s) given in the promise to sell, sum of the value(s) given in the valuation report, and sum of the transfers/payments of the price, i.e. the three kinds of values relied upon for determining the value, must reach USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000 as sought for the respective dates given in the Regulation.

 

As the value will be determined based on the value declared in the official deed for the sale transaction, special care must be paid to declare the value by making the correct calculation with respect to exchange rate and the applicants must be emphatically explained that the value declared in the official deed may not be changed.

1- Exchange Rate:

When finding the equivalent of the transactions based on Turkish Lira in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey published on the official webpage will be relied upon.  http://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/TR/TCMB+TR/Main+Menu/Istatistikler/Doviz+Kurlari/Gosterge+Niteligindeki+Merkez+Bankasi+Kurlarii/)

The exchange rates of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey are determined every business day at 15.30 hours. Therefore, the following exchange rates will be relied upon for the transactions to take place so that no exchange rate risk and problems will be faced. Presidency of the Foreign Affairs Department is authorized to solve the exchange rate problems that may arise in relation with the determination of the value.

 

 

a)      Exchange Rate in the Bank Receipt:

 

If the payment evidenced by the bank receipt is made in (TRY), the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the payment date will be relied upon when finding the equivalent of the value in the bank receipt in USD.

b)     Exchange Rate of Sale/Agreement for the Promise to Sell:

 

Value can be determined in three different ways in a transaction of sale or promise to sell.

 

I.     When finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the application for the sale transaction is filed or the agreement for the promise to sell is issued at the notary public will be relied upon.

 

II.     When finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD, determination of value may be based on the exchange rate applicable for the bank receipt proving payment attaining the value in USD sought in the Regulation, which are dated before the sale transaction takes place / the agreement for the promise to sell is issued (or the bank receipts of the payments made on the same day).

 

III.     However, if multiple bank receipts with different dates are submitted, the exchange rate difference may be a problem in finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value (TRY) in USD.

 

In this case, the value can be determined as follows, without calculating the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD separately:

 

The official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) must not be less than the sum of the bank receipts adding up to the value sought under the Regulation in USD (based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before each payment date). It is also possible to verify that the value sought is attained in this manner.

 

If the bank receipt amount relied upon to determine the value in this manner includes any item of payment other than the price of selling / agreeing for the property (such as commission, expenses etc.), then such amount is subtracted from the total bank receipt amount and the remaining bank receipt amount is relied upon for determination of the value, provided that such item is mentioned and quantified in the comments section of the bank receipt.

 

Example: Let’s assume there are two bank receipts submitted in relation with the transaction for the sale of the independent section (IS) no 5, which took place on 19.04.2019.

 

Exchange Rates in the Bank Receipt:

 

 

POS. NO

PROPERTY

TRANSACTION DATE

BANK RECEIPT AMOUNT (TRY)

BANK RECEIPT DATE

EXCHANGE RATE (USD)

PAYMENT (USD)

1

IS no 5

20.11.2018

1.250.000

19.11.2018

5,3407

234.051

2

IS no 5

04.12.2018

100.000

03.12.2018

5,2078

19.201

Sum of Bank Receipt Values (USD): USD 234,051 + 19,201 = USD 253,252

 

 

Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before each payment date, the sum of the bank receipt values (TRY) adding up to the value in USD sought in the Regulation (USD 253,252) amounts to TRY 1.350.000. If the value declared in the sale transaction dated 19.04.2019 is minimum TRY 1.350.000 for Independent Section no 5, the value sought can be attained.

 

c)      Exchange Rate in the Property Valuation Report:

 

When finding the equivalent of the value given in the valuation report (TRY) in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date will be relied upon.

Example: The value of the property in its current condition given in the valuation report dated 11.03.2019 submitted for the sale application dated 08.04.2019 is: TRY 1.375.000. Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date (08.03.2019), which is 5.4724: (1.375.000 / 5.4724 = 251,260)

The Value of the Property according to the Report is: USD 251,260.

 

If the valuation report is issued after the sale transaction (as it was not received because it was not mandatory for all the transactions of sale and purchase dated earlier than 04.03.2019), effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the application for the sale transaction will be relied upon to find the equivalent of the report value (TRY) in USD.

 

Example: The value of the property in its current condition is TRY 1.400.000 in the valuation report dated 25.04.2019, which was not submitted accompanying the application dated 04.02.2019 and during the sale transaction but was submitted at the stage of receiving commitments. Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on 01.12.2019, the last business day before the sale/application date, which is 5.2116: (1.400.000 / 5.2116 = 268,631)

The Value of the Property according to the Report is: USD 268,631.

 

2- Property Valuation Report:

 

A property valuation report indicating the market value (current market value/value in current condition) will be sought for use in the determination of the value of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000 as sought under the Regulation for the respective date of acquisition.

Property valuation report will be issued by property valuation companies published in web pages of the “Capital Market Board (SPK)” (http://www.spk.gov.tr/SiteApps/SirketIletisim/List/gds) or Turkish Association of Appraisers (TDUB)” (http://www.tdub.org.tr/Web/CompanyListForm.aspx?UID=a11d0b04-de56-4ab0-9bb8-7c2c8863ba92).

The valuation reports submitted during the application will be valid for 3 months starting from the date, when the report is issued, and no new report shall be sought for the transactions, for which the application is filed within such period.

 

 

The valuation report must be based on the value as of the report date for the buildings that are actually completed; and on the value to come into existence when the building is complete for properties that are not actually completed or whose construction is still in progress or with respect to which construction servitude is created.

Under the Circular numbered 2019/1, it is possible for the value of the sale or promise to sell to be below the value given in the valuation report. Within this scope, the valuation report is not binding with respect to the sale price and the land registry fees to be assessed under the legislation in force.

It is not mandatory to submit the valuation report for all the transactions of purchase and sale by foreign persons dated earlier than 04.03.2019. Therefore, for a sale transaction or an agreement for the promise to sell issued without a valuation report, the valuation report that is issued not earlier than 3 months in advance of the transaction (if any) may be relied upon to determine the value (based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date).

 

Example: (Relating to Valuation Report, Exchange Rate and Determination of Value)

 

For the sale price of the independent section no 9, TRY 680.000 was transferred via bank (24.01.2019) and sale took place with a declared value of TRY 680.000 (01.02.2019)

 

According to the valuation report (05.03.2019), the value of the independent section no 9 in its current condition is: TRY 740.000; and the value of the independent section no 10 in its current condition is: TRY 790.000.

However, bank transfer and sale application took place on 06.03.2019 for a price of TRY 730.000 in order to reach USD 250.000 in relation with the independent section no 10. When the sale takes place on 07.03.2019 with a price of TRY 730.000, the value is determined as follows:

 

Effective Selling Rates of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey for USD:

 

PROPERTY

TRANSACTION DATE

EXCHANGE RATE DATED

RATE (USD)

TRANSACTION

IS No 9

01.02.2019

23.01.2019

5.3317

Sale and Payment

IS No 9

05.03.2019

31.01.2019

5,2281

Report

IS No 10

05.03.2019

04.03.2019

5,3959

Report

IS No 10

07.03.2019

05.03.2019

5,3848

Sale and Payment

Values in the Report:

IS no 9                      :           740.000 ÷ 5,2281= USD 141,542

 

IS No 10                    :           790.000 ÷ 5,3959 = USD 146,407

 

            Total = USD 287,949

 

 

 

Values in the Bank Receipt and Official Deed of Sale:

IS No 9       :  680.000 ÷ 5,3317 = USD 127,539       

 

IS No 10      : 730.000 ÷ 5,3848 = USD 135,566

 

Total  = USD 263,105

 

 

 

E- BANK RECEIPT:

 

The price of sale or agreement for the promise to sell must be transferred/paid by a bank transfer; and it must be documented by a bank receipt (transfer, EFT or deposited check along with the bank receipt) certified by the banks that the price has been deposited by the purchaser or the relevant persons into the account of the seller or the relevant persons. For transfers from abroad, the bank receipt for the account, from which the price is transferred, must also be submitted.

 

For a sale transaction, the bank receipt may also be dated after the date of the sale. However, for a promise to sell, the bank receipt must be dated earlier than the date, when the agreement is issued before the notary, or the date, when the agreement is issued the latest. The bank receipt for the payment made after the date, when the agreement for the promise to sell is issued at the notary, will not be taken into consideration as such payment may not be considered to have been made “in advance”. The bank receipt must be submitted accompanying the commitment transaction and by not later than the date, when the certificate of eligibility is issued.

 

Land Registry Directorates will undertake a reasonable examination of relation to find out whether the transfer/payment of the price takes place between related people (Client, Holder of the Right to Construction in Return for a Flat under a Contract, Creditor under Mortgage or Attachment, Account of the Company Owner etc.); however, in case of hesitation, the bank receipt submitted will be sent to the unit to issue the certificate of eligibility without undertaking an assessment regarding conformity with due procedures.

 

With respect to the properties owned by public institutions such as TOKİ, Emlak Konut and their subsidiaries, it is possible to prove the transfer/payment of the price through a certified bank receipt or through an official letter indicating the amount received.

 

As the (repealed) Circular dated 15.10.2018 and numbered 2018/12 (1791) introduced the obligation to submit the bank receipt for the first time, for any sale transaction dated earlier than 15.10.2018, the bank receipt must be received if submitted and must not be held mandatory if not submitted.

 

F- SALE BY INSTALLMENTS:

 

1-In a Sale Transaction:

 

Payments made in installments after 12.01.2017, the date when the Regulation entered into force, will be added up with due exchange rate calculations.

 

 

2-In a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

As the provisions of the Regulation regarding the agreement for the promise to sell entered into force on 07.12.2018, any payments relating to the promises to sell dated earlier will not be taken into consideration. After such date, the amount of minimum USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira must be paid in advance before the agreement for the promise to sell is issued before the notary public or by not later than the date, when the agreement is signed. Payments made after the date, when the agreement is signed, will not be acceptable as they cannot be considered as payment in advance.

 

3-Transactions of Sale and/or Promise to Sell Combined:

 

Within this context, after acquiring one/multiple property/properties from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) through sale or after having agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued, it is possible to acquire one/multiple property (properties) from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) or to have agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued in order to reach the amount of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000.

Examples are given in article “Ç-Quantity of Properties”.

 

In case the two types of transaction are taken together in this manner, the payment for the agreement for the promise to sell must be made in advance; and values determined and the sum of the payments made must attain the value sought in the Regulation.

G- TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN FOREIGNERS:

 

Property (properties) covered by the sale or the promise to sell:

 

1-      Must not be registered to foreign natural persons in the land registry.  (Including the spouse and children of the foreign person to acquire)

 

2-      Must not be transferred by the foreign natural person to acquire, his/her spouse and children after the date 12.01.2017.

 

However, if a property that is registered to a foreign natural person is transferred to a Turkish citizen/company after the date 12.01.2017, it can be acquired by another foreign natural person for the purpose of gaining citizenship.

 

3-      Must not be registered to the legal personality of the company, where the foreign natural person to acquire is a shareholder or executive, in the land registry.

 

Foreign natural persons, who have gained Turkish citizenship through acquisition of property and who have the annotation “Gained Turkish citizenship under article 12, paragraph b of the Law on Turkish Citizenship numbered 5901.” in their MERNİS (Central Civil Registry Management System) record, will also be considered as a foreigner within this scope until the commitment expires.

 

 

 

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(These people may not sell their properties covered by commitment throughout the period of commitmentThroughout the period of commitment, these people may sell their property (properties) not covered by any commitment (if any) to natural persons, who do not intend to gain Turkish citizenship, or to Turkish citizens; however, not to natural foreign persons, who would like to acquire property for the purpose of gaining Turkish citizenship.)

People, who leave Turkish citizenship by permission (People with Blue Cards), will not be considered to have the status of a foreigner for this purpose.

 

If Turkish citizens also have citizenship from another country (dual nationality), Turkish citizenship will be relied upon for any transactions to take place.

 

H- MORTGAGE AND ATTACHMENT:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

For the purpose of determining the value sought, if the property is acquired through sale – mortgage, the portion, which remains after subtracting the loan amount from the sale price, must be equal to the amount sought under the Regulation as minimum.

 

For sale involving legal mortgage, the portion paid in advance, excluding the mortgage amount, must be equal to the amount sought under the Regulation as minimum.

 

It is possible for the sale to take place as accompanied by an existing mortgage or attachment. In this case, the staff member consummating the transaction must inform foreign person about the mortgage and/or attachment created over the property.

 

2-For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

It is possible to provide commitment through the promise to sell for a property covered by mortgage or attachment. In this case, the staff member consummating the transaction must inform the foreign person about the mortgage and/or attachment created over the property.

 

I- AUTHORIZATION:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

For transactions to be conducted using a power of attorney, the power of attorney must include, in addition to the power to purchase, the power to provide a commitment not to sell the property for three years or a statement to the effect that such acquisition is aimed at benefiting from the Law on Turkish Citizenship or a power for citizenship application or citizenship transactions under the Law on Turkish Citizenship and the relevant legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2- For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

If the agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively under article 89 of the Notarial Law includes wording to the effect that such agreement is entered into for the purpose of gaining citizenship, commitment is received upon the request of the creditor under the promise without seeking the consent of the obliged party, provided that the other conditions are met [as the obliged party under the promise (the Turkish citizen/company that owns the property) is aware of the fact that the creditor under the promise (foreign natural person) wants to purchase the independent section in question for this purpose].

If the agreement has no statement to the effect that the property is acquired for the purpose of gaining citizenship, then the commitment is received upon the request of both parties for registration.

 

İ- RECEIVING COMMITMENTS:

 

According to the principles of Determination of Value, it must be found that the value sought under the Regulation by the respective date is attained and commitment must be received for the property that attains the value sought (in case of multiple properties, properties will be taken together under single roll no). A commitment must not be received and sent to the relevant authority for the purpose of getting the certificate of eligibility issued, unless the value sought by the respective date is attained.

 

Example: When G.G. of foreign origin purchases the independent no 3 with registration block no 101 and parcel no 7 located in Antalya city, Konyaaltı district, Sahil quarter for a price of USD 108.000 on 10.04.2019 and expresses as a result of the transaction that “he is purchasing the property to gain Turkish citizenship and will attain the value sought by purchasing another property later” or that “he is purchasing the property to gain Turkish citizenship and provided the commitment not to sell for a period 3 years in relation with the other property that he purchased in Istanbul/Eyüpsultan 2 months before or may provide such commitment later”, commitment must not be received and must not be sent to the relevant authority for issuance of certificate of eligibility.

 

1-  For sale transaction:

 

If the values declared in the deed of sale attain the value sought under the Regulation, then the official deed will contain the following wording:

“I hereby undertake not to sell this/these property (properties), which I have purchased in order to gain Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, for a period of 3 years”.

Also, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that it will not be sold for a period of 3 years starting from the date of acquisition/declaration under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (starting from the date of declaration if demanded so by the certificate of request for registration).” 

 

 

 

 

 

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For property (properties) acquired through sale after the date 12.01.2017, with respect to which no commitment is received, the certificate of request for registration is issued upon the request of the owner, commitment is received and due designation is created if the value sought under the Regulation is attained through the values in the valuation report, bank receipt and official deed.

 

2- For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

If the values determined in the agreement for the promise to sell attain the value sought under the Regulation, then the certificate of request for registration shall contain the following wording:

 

“I hereby undertake not to transfer and cancel the agreement aimed at acquisition of the property (properties) by myself for the purpose of gaining Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship for a period of 3 years.”

 

Also, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that the agreement for the promise to sell will not be transferred and cancelled for a period of 3 years starting from the date of annotation under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.”

3-  For Complementary Transactions:

 

The value sought under the Regulation may be completed through an addition to the property (properties) acquired through sale after the date 12.01.2017 or with respect to which an agreement for the promise to sell is entered into after the date 07.12.2018.

 

After the last complementary transaction takes place, in case the sum of the amounts of the valuation report, bank receipt and official deeds of sale attains the value sought in the Regulation, then the certificate of request for registration and commitment shall be received for all the properties evaluated jointly (also making use of the land registry transactions outside the jurisdiction wherever necessary) and the necessary designation will be created.

 

4-  For Transforming the Promise to Sell into an Actual Sale:

 

If the sale takes place within the 3-year process of the promise to sell, then the official deed contains the following wording for the remaining period:

“I hereby undertake not to sell this/these property (properties), which I have purchased in order to gain Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, for a period of … (the remaining period out of 3 years will be entered)”.

Moreover, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that it will not be sold for a period of … (the remaining period out of 3 years will be entered) starting from the date of acquisition under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.”

And the prior designation reading “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that the agreement for the promise to sell will not be transferred and cancelled for a period of 3 years starting from the date of annotation under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.” is cancelled.

 

 

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If the sale takes place after the period of 3 years for the promise to sell is over, no commitment is received.

 

J- CANCELING COMMITMENTS:

 

In cases, where the commitment is received but the Certificate of Eligibility is not issued as the conditions sought have not been met, then the commitment is canceled if demanded so by the authority competent to issue the Certificate of Eligibility.

 

If the owner or the creditor of the promise to sell requests cancelation after the “Certificate of Eligibility” is issued and before the expiry of the commitment period of 3 years, the request of the foreign person is made the subject of an inquiry before the Provincial Directorate of General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship. If the process to gain citizenship has already started, the request for cancelation will be declined.

 

The commitment entered into the declarations section under the Regulation will be canceled upon the request of the owner or the creditor of the promise to sell upon the expiry of the period of three years.

 

K- TRANSACTIONS RELATING TO PROPERTY SUBJECT TO COMMITMENT:

 

Any kind of annotation and limited rights in rem may be created in relation with the property subject to commitment. However, the General Directorate will be notified about the outcomes of any transaction changing the owner of the property, except by the request of the owner, throughout the commitment period (such as forced sale, transfer by inheritance, nationalization etc.).

 

L-ARCHIVING AND NOTIFICATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE TRANSACTION:

 

As a result of the transaction, the official deed, the agreement for the promise to sell, certificate of request for registration and the ID card/passport of the foreign person will be archived under the principles of the circular numbered 2017/3.

The valuation report and the certified bank receipt are scanned according to the circular numbered 2017/3 and are entered into the electronic environment and they are not physically archived. Address, phone and especially legible e-mail details are obtained through the application.

 

(The bank receipts relating to transfer/payment of the price of the sale or agreement for the promise to sell will be sent; however, the bank receipts proving payment of the land registry fees and circulating capital charges and printout of the exchange rate details will not be sent.)

 

The transaction documents will be sent to the unit to issue the “Certificate of Eligibility” through EBYS (Electronic Document Management System) as accompanied by a cover letter (attention must be paid to automated internal distribution).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GUIDE ON THE REGULATION REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW ON TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

THE GUIDE ON THE REGULATION REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW ON TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

PURPOSE AND SCOPE:

 

This guide is prepared in order to set forth the procedures and principles that will be applicable for the transactions to be performed by the land registry directorates with regards to gaining Turkish citizenship through acquisition of property and to inform the foreign persons.

The principles and procedures to be applied at the land registry directorates will be examined under 14 main topics as follows:

 

A-Grounds

B-Legal Limitations

C-Quality of Property

Ç-Quantity of Properties

D-Determination of Value

E-Bank Receipt

F-Sale by Installments

G              –Transactions Between Foreigners

H              –Mortgage and Attachment I-Authorization

İ-Receiving Commitments

J-Canceling Commitments

K-Transactions Relating to Property Subject to Commitment

L-Archiving and Notification of the Outcome of the Transaction

 

A-GROUNDS:

 

Under article 20, paragraph 2, item (b) of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, foreign persons:

 

“who are found by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning to have purchased property with a minimum value of USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira, provided that due annotation is entered into land registry records to the effect that it is not to be sold for three years, or with respect to whom it is found that an agreement issued before the notary public for the promise to sell property with a value of minimum USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira paid in advance and with condominium or construction servitude duly consummated is registered into the land registry with an annotation of no transfer and cancelation for a period of three years”

may gain Turkish citizenship by the decision of the President.

 

The Regulation has undergone three amendments, which entered into force on 12.01.2017, 19.09.2018 and 07.12.2018, respectively.

 

Accordingly:

 

1-    the property (properties) purchased between the dates 12.01.2017 and 18.09.2018 must be worth minimum 1.000.000 US Dollars (USD),

 

2-    the property (properties) purchased/to be purchased after the date 19.09.2018 must be worth minimum 250.000 US Dollars (USD),

 

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3-         the property (properties), with respect to an agreement for the promise to sell is issued/will be issued after the date 07.12.2018 must be worth minimum 250.000 US Dollars (USD).

 

The property (properties) purchased before the date 12.01.2017, which is the enforcement date of the first amendment to the Regulation, and the property (properties) covered by an agreement for the promise to sell dated earlier than 07/12/2018 will not be taken into consideration within this context.

B-LEGAL LIMITATIONS:

 

By the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers made under Article 35 of the Land Registry Law amended by the law numbered 6302, the 183 countries, whose citizens may acquire property in our country, and the terms of acquisition were determined and notified to all our directorates by the circular numbered 2012/12 (1734) and were integrated into TAKBİS.

Example: The citizens of Syria may not apply for citizenship through acquisition of property as they may not acquire property in our country on their own behalf.

Natural persons of foreign origin may acquire property in our country by observing certain legal limitations, i.e. up to 30 hectares per person and up to 10% of the area available for private property in the district cumulatively.

Natural persons of foreign origin may purchase property inside “Special Security Zones” by an authorization of the Governorship and may have promises to sell issued for this purpose. However, they may not acquire property and may not be issued a promise to sell for property remaining inside the forbidden military zones and military security zones or other areas, where acquisition of property by foreign natural persons is not allowed.

As due designations are already entered into the property register in the cities, where forbidden military zones and military security zones are already determined, under the Circular numbered 2017/4 (1775), the transactions take place based on land registry records with no need for correspondence with the authorized commanding offices in these cities.

Within this context, foreign persons, who would like to gain Turkish citizenship through sale or an agreement for the promise to sell (as the agreements for the promise to sell, which, by nature, are preliminary agreements, are considered to have the same status with sale), first need to meet all the conditions to acquire property in terms of nationality and legal limitations.

As the regulation covers acquisition of personal property by foreign natural persons, acquisition of property by any person other than the foreign natural persons themselves, i.e. by their spouses, children etc. or for the legal personality of the company, where they are executives/shareholders, will not be taken into account within this scope.

C- QUALITY OF PROPERTY:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

There is no limitation in terms of the quality of the property to be acquired through sale (residence, workplace, land, field, orchard etc.).

 

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However, under the circular numbered 2013/15 (1752), in cases, where foreign persons demand to acquire agricultural lands, they are required to submit preliminary authorizations under the legislation on agriculture as well as a commitment to the effect that they will deliver an agricultural project within 2 years; and in cases of vacant land, a commitment is required to deliver a project for construction/building license to the respective Municipality or institutions within 2 years.

If any share in a property divided into shares is subject to a transaction, the official deed is to be issued by inserting the wording “…that I am aware of the legal right to preliminary purchase of the other shareholders” and this matter needs to be duly explained to the parties involved.

 

2-For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

Agreements for the promise to sell to be issued at the notary public, on the other hand, are only applicable for property with construction servitude or condominium created thereon.

 

The independent section that is covered by the promise must be registered to the obliged party under the promise (the party making the promise). In other words, a promise will not be allowed to rely on another promise. Multiple agreements for the promise to sell may not be undertaken for a single independent section.

 

Ç- QUANTITY OF PROPERTIES:

 

There is no limitation as to number of properties that can be acquired through sale or that can be subject to a promise to sell. It is important that the total values sought in the Regulation for the respective dates are attained.

Within this context, after acquiring one/multiple property/properties from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) through sale or after having agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued, it is possible to acquire one/multiple property (properties) from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) or to have agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued with in order to reach the amount of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000.

 

Example 1: After A.A, a person of foreign origin, is sold the independent section no 5 with registration block no 102 and parcel no 3 located in Istanbul city, Esenler district, Kültür quarter, for a price of USD 205.000 on 31.10.2018, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 262,451) through an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the Fourteenth Notary Public in Bursa on 05.03.2019 for the independent section no 7 with registration block no 1878 and parcel no 4 located in Bursa city, Osmangazi district, Yeniçeri quarter for a price of TRY 310.000 (which is equivalent to USD 57.451 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 04.03.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,3959) in case such price is paid in advance by not later than the same day.

 

Example 2: After B.B, a person of foreign origin, pays in advance USD 182.000 under an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the First Notary Public in Kemer on 10.12.2018 for the independent section no 14 with registration block no 105 and parcel no 9 located in Antalya city, Kemer district, Sağlık quarter, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 276.000) through the sale of the property with the nature of detached residence with registration block no 101 and parcel no 2 located in Antalya city, Korkuteli district, Çamlık quarter for a price of TRY 94.000 on 19.03.2019.

 

 

Example 3: After C.C, a person of foreign origin, pays USD 20.000 on 16.01.2019 as downpayment under an agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively before the Seventh Notary Public in Altındağ on 14.02.2019 for the independent sections no 8, 9 and 10 in block B with registration block no 402 and parcel no 3 located in Ankara city, Mamak district, Akdere quarter, it is possible to attain the total value sought (USD 260.475) with the payment of TRY 1.270.000 (which is equivalent to USD 240.475 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 12.02.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,2812) on 13.02.2019 under the same agreement.

Example 4: It is possible for D.D, a person of foreign origin, to attain the desired value (USD 269,630) through an agreement for the promise to sell issued before the Sixth Notary Public in Kocaeli on 24.01.2019 for the workplace at no 1 with registration block no 302 and parcel no 34 located in Kocaeli city, Körfez district, Sanayi quarter with a value of TRY 1.070.000 paid in advance on the same day (which is equivalent to USD 200.686 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 23.01.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,3317) and another agreement for the promise to sell issued before the Third Notary Public in Düzce on 15.04.2019 for the independent section no 2 with registration block no 101 and parcel no 8 located in Düzce city, Sedir quarter with a value of TRY 400.000 paid in advance on the same day (which is equivalent to USD 68.944 by the foreign currency selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey as of the date 12.04.2019, the last business day before the payment date: 5,8018).

When the value sought under the Regulation is attained, the Land Registry Directorate, before whom the final transaction will take place or before whom the application is filed, will receive the commitments by evaluating the transactions files jointly under the legislation on land registry transactions outside the jurisdiction. (EXAMPLE: İ- Receiving Commitments)

 

D-DETERMINATION OF VALUE:

 

Sum of the sale prices(s) declared in the official deed and/or the value(s) given in the promise to sell, sum of the value(s) given in the valuation report, and sum of the transfers/payments of the price, i.e. the three kinds of values relied upon for determining the value, must reach USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000 as sought for the respective dates given in the Regulation.

 

As the value will be determined based on the value declared in the official deed for the sale transaction, special care must be paid to declare the value by making the correct calculation with respect to exchange rate and the applicants must be emphatically explained that the value declared in the official deed may not be changed.

1- Exchange Rate:

When finding the equivalent of the transactions based on Turkish Lira in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey published on the official webpage will be relied upon.  http://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/TR/TCMB+TR/Main+Menu/Istatistikler/Doviz+Kurlari/Gosterge+Niteligindeki+Merkez+Bankasi+Kurlarii/)

The exchange rates of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey are determined every business day at 15.30 hours. Therefore, the following exchange rates will be relied upon for the transactions to take place so that no exchange rate risk and problems will be faced. Presidency of the Foreign Affairs Department is authorized to solve the exchange rate problems that may arise in relation with the determination of the value.

 

 

a)      Exchange Rate in the Bank Receipt:

 

If the payment evidenced by the bank receipt is made in (TRY), the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the payment date will be relied upon when finding the equivalent of the value in the bank receipt in USD.

b)     Exchange Rate of Sale/Agreement for the Promise to Sell:

 

Value can be determined in three different ways in a transaction of sale or promise to sell.

 

I.     When finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the application for the sale transaction is filed or the agreement for the promise to sell is issued at the notary public will be relied upon.

 

II.     When finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD, determination of value may be based on the exchange rate applicable for the bank receipt proving payment attaining the value in USD sought in the Regulation, which are dated before the sale transaction takes place / the agreement for the promise to sell is issued (or the bank receipts of the payments made on the same day).

 

III.     However, if multiple bank receipts with different dates are submitted, the exchange rate difference may be a problem in finding the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value (TRY) in USD.

 

In this case, the value can be determined as follows, without calculating the equivalent of the official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) in USD separately:

 

The official deed (sale) value or the value determined in the agreement for the promise to sell (TRY) must not be less than the sum of the bank receipts adding up to the value sought under the Regulation in USD (based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before each payment date). It is also possible to verify that the value sought is attained in this manner.

 

If the bank receipt amount relied upon to determine the value in this manner includes any item of payment other than the price of selling / agreeing for the property (such as commission, expenses etc.), then such amount is subtracted from the total bank receipt amount and the remaining bank receipt amount is relied upon for determination of the value, provided that such item is mentioned and quantified in the comments section of the bank receipt.

 

Example: Let’s assume there are two bank receipts submitted in relation with the transaction for the sale of the independent section (IS) no 5, which took place on 19.04.2019.

 

Exchange Rates in the Bank Receipt:

 

 

POS. NO

PROPERTY

TRANSACTION DATE

BANK RECEIPT AMOUNT (TRY)

BANK RECEIPT DATE

EXCHANGE RATE (USD)

PAYMENT (USD)

1

IS no 5

20.11.2018

1.250.000

19.11.2018

5,3407

234.051

2

IS no 5

04.12.2018

100.000

03.12.2018

5,2078

19.201

Sum of Bank Receipt Values (USD): USD 234,051 + 19,201 = USD 253,252

 

 

Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before each payment date, the sum of the bank receipt values (TRY) adding up to the value in USD sought in the Regulation (USD 253,252) amounts to TRY 1.350.000. If the value declared in the sale transaction dated 19.04.2019 is minimum TRY 1.350.000 for Independent Section no 5, the value sought can be attained.

 

c)      Exchange Rate in the Property Valuation Report:

 

When finding the equivalent of the value given in the valuation report (TRY) in USD, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date will be relied upon.

Example: The value of the property in its current condition given in the valuation report dated 11.03.2019 submitted for the sale application dated 08.04.2019 is: TRY 1.375.000. Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date (08.03.2019), which is 5.4724: (1.375.000 / 5.4724 = 251,260)

The Value of the Property according to the Report is: USD 251,260.

 

If the valuation report is issued after the sale transaction (as it was not received because it was not mandatory for all the transactions of sale and purchase dated earlier than 04.03.2019), effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the application for the sale transaction will be relied upon to find the equivalent of the report value (TRY) in USD.

 

Example: The value of the property in its current condition is TRY 1.400.000 in the valuation report dated 25.04.2019, which was not submitted accompanying the application dated 04.02.2019 and during the sale transaction but was submitted at the stage of receiving commitments. Based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on 01.12.2019, the last business day before the sale/application date, which is 5.2116: (1.400.000 / 5.2116 = 268,631)

The Value of the Property according to the Report is: USD 268,631.

 

2- Property Valuation Report:

 

A property valuation report indicating the market value (current market value/value in current condition) will be sought for use in the determination of the value of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000 as sought under the Regulation for the respective date of acquisition.

Property valuation report will be issued by property valuation companies published in web pages of the “Capital Market Board (SPK)(http://www.spk.gov.tr/SiteApps/SirketIletisim/List/gds) or Turkish Association of Appraisers (TDUB)(http://www.tdub.org.tr/Web/CompanyListForm.aspx?UID=a11d0b04-de56-4ab0-9bb8-7c2c8863ba92).

The valuation reports submitted during the application will be valid for 3 months starting from the date, when the report is issued, and no new report shall be sought for the transactions, for which the application is filed within such period.

 

 

The valuation report must be based on the value as of the report date for the buildings that are actually completed; and on the value to come into existence when the building is complete for properties that are not actually completed or whose construction is still in progress or with respect to which construction servitude is created.

Under the Circular numbered 2019/1, it is possible for the value of the sale or promise to sell to be below the value given in the valuation report. Within this scope, the valuation report is not binding with respect to the sale price and the land registry fees to be assessed under the legislation in force.

It is not mandatory to submit the valuation report for all the transactions of purchase and sale by foreign persons dated earlier than 04.03.2019. Therefore, for a sale transaction or an agreement for the promise to sell issued without a valuation report, the valuation report that is issued not earlier than 3 months in advance of the transaction (if any) may be relied upon to determine the value (based on the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day before the report date).

 

Example: (Relating to Valuation Report, Exchange Rate and Determination of Value)

 

For the sale price of the independent section no 9, TRY 680.000 was transferred via bank (24.01.2019) and sale took place with a declared value of TRY 680.000 (01.02.2019)

 

According to the valuation report (05.03.2019), the value of the independent section no 9 in its current condition is: TRY 740.000; and the value of the independent section no 10 in its current condition is: TRY 790.000.

However, bank transfer and sale application took place on 06.03.2019 for a price of TRY 730.000 in order to reach USD 250.000 in relation with the independent section no 10. When the sale takes place on 07.03.2019 with a price of TRY 730.000, the value is determined as follows:

 

Effective Selling Rates of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey for USD:

 

PROPERTY

TRANSACTION DATE

EXCHANGE RATE DATED

RATE (USD)

TRANSACTION

IS No 9

01.02.2019

23.01.2019

5.3317

Sale and Payment

IS No 9

05.03.2019

31.01.2019

5,2281

Report

IS No 10

05.03.2019

04.03.2019

5,3959

Report

IS No 10

07.03.2019

05.03.2019

5,3848

Sale and Payment

Values in the Report:

IS no 9                      :           740.000 ÷ 5,2281= USD 141,542

 

IS No 10                    :           790.000 ÷ 5,3959 = USD 146,407

 

            Total = USD 287,949

 

 

Values in the Bank Receipt and Official Deed of Sale:

IS No 9       :  680.000 ÷ 5,3317 = USD 127,539

 

IS No 10      : 730.000 ÷ 5,3848 = USD 135,566

 

Total  = USD 263,105

 

 

 

E- BANK RECEIPT:

 

The price of sale or agreement for the promise to sell must be transferred/paid by a bank transfer; and it must be documented by a bank receipt (transfer, EFT or deposited check along with the bank receipt) certified by the banks that the price has been deposited by the purchaser or the relevant persons into the account of the seller or the relevant persons. For transfers from abroad, the bank receipt for the account, from which the price is transferred, must also be submitted.

 

For a sale transaction, the bank receipt may also be dated after the date of the sale. However, for a promise to sell, the bank receipt must be dated earlier than the date, when the agreement is issued before the notary, or the date, when the agreement is issued the latest. The bank receipt for the payment made after the date, when the agreement for the promise to sell is issued at the notary, will not be taken into consideration as such payment may not be considered to have been made “in advance”. The bank receipt must be submitted accompanying the commitment transaction and by not later than the date, when the certificate of eligibility is issued.

 

Land Registry Directorates will undertake a reasonable examination of relation to find out whether the transfer/payment of the price takes place between related people (Client, Holder of the Right to Construction in Return for a Flat under a Contract, Creditor under Mortgage or Attachment, Account of the Company Owner etc.); however, in case of hesitation, the bank receipt submitted will be sent to the unit to issue the certificate of eligibility without undertaking an assessment regarding conformity with due procedures.

 

With respect to the properties owned by public institutions such as TOKİ, Emlak Konut and their subsidiaries, it is possible to prove the transfer/payment of the price through a certified bank receipt or through an official letter indicating the amount received.

 

As the (repealed) Circular dated 15.10.2018 and numbered 2018/12 (1791) introduced the obligation to submit the bank receipt for the first time, for any sale transaction dated earlier than 15.10.2018, the bank receipt must be received if submitted and must not be held mandatory if not submitted.

 

F- SALE BY INSTALLMENTS:

 

1-In a Sale Transaction:

 

Payments made in installments after 12.01.2017, the date when the Regulation entered into force, will be added up with due exchange rate calculations.

 

 

2-In a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

As the provisions of the Regulation regarding the agreement for the promise to sell entered into force on 07.12.2018, any payments relating to the promises to sell dated earlier will not be taken into consideration. After such date, the amount of minimum USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof in foreign currency or in Turkish Lira must be paid in advance before the agreement for the promise to sell is issued before the notary public or by not later than the date, when the agreement is signed. Payments made after the date, when the agreement is signed, will not be acceptable as they cannot be considered as payment in advance.

 

3-Transactions of Sale and/or Promise to Sell Combined:

 

Within this context, after acquiring one/multiple property/properties from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) through sale or after having agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued, it is possible to acquire one/multiple property (properties) from one/multiple Turkish citizen(s) or to have agreement(s) for the promise to sell issued in order to reach the amount of USD 1.000.000 or USD 250.000.

Examples are given in article “Ç-Quantity of Properties”.

 

In case the two types of transaction are taken together in this manner, the payment for the agreement for the promise to sell must be made in advance; and values determined and the sum of the payments made must attain the value sought in the Regulation.

G- TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN FOREIGNERS:

 

Property (properties) covered by the sale or the promise to sell:

 

1-      Must not be registered to foreign natural persons in the land registry.  (Including the spouse and children of the foreign person to acquire)

 

2-      Must not be transferred by the foreign natural person to acquire, his/her spouse and children after the date 12.01.2017.

 

However, if a property that is registered to a foreign natural person is transferred to a Turkish citizen/company after the date 12.01.2017, it can be acquired by another foreign natural person for the purpose of gaining citizenship.

 

3-      Must not be registered to the legal personality of the company, where the foreign natural person to acquire is a shareholder or executive, in the land registry.

 

Foreign natural persons, who have gained Turkish citizenship through acquisition of property and who have the annotation “Gained Turkish citizenship under article 12, paragraph b of the Law on Turkish Citizenship numbered 5901.” in their MERNİS (Central Civil Registry Management System) record, will also be considered as a foreigner within this scope until the commitment expires.

 

 

 

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(These people may not sell their properties covered by commitment throughout the period of commitment. Throughout the period of commitment, these people may sell their property (properties) not covered by any commitment (if any) to natural persons, who do not intend to gain Turkish citizenship, or to Turkish citizens; however, not to natural foreign persons, who would like to acquire property for the purpose of gaining Turkish citizenship.)

People, who leave Turkish citizenship by permission (People with Blue Cards), will not be considered to have the status of a foreigner for this purpose.

 

If Turkish citizens also have citizenship from another country (dual nationality), Turkish citizenship will be relied upon for any transactions to take place.

 

H- MORTGAGE AND ATTACHMENT:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

For the purpose of determining the value sought, if the property is acquired through sale – mortgage, the portion, which remains after subtracting the loan amount from the sale price, must be equal to the amount sought under the Regulation as minimum.

 

For sale involving legal mortgage, the portion paid in advance, excluding the mortgage amount, must be equal to the amount sought under the Regulation as minimum.

 

It is possible for the sale to take place as accompanied by an existing mortgage or attachment. In this case, the staff member consummating the transaction must inform foreign person about the mortgage and/or attachment created over the property.

 

2-For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

It is possible to provide commitment through the promise to sell for a property covered by mortgage or attachment. In this case, the staff member consummating the transaction must inform the foreign person about the mortgage and/or attachment created over the property.

 

I- AUTHORIZATION:

 

1-For Sale Transaction:

 

For transactions to be conducted using a power of attorney, the power of attorney must include, in addition to the power to purchase, the power to provide a commitment not to sell the property for three years or a statement to the effect that such acquisition is aimed at benefiting from the Law on Turkish Citizenship or a power for citizenship application or citizenship transactions under the Law on Turkish Citizenship and the relevant legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2- For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

If the agreement for the promise to sell issued exclusively under article 89 of the Notarial Law includes wording to the effect that such agreement is entered into for the purpose of gaining citizenship, commitment is received upon the request of the creditor under the promise without seeking the consent of the obliged party, provided that the other conditions are met [as the obliged party under the promise (the Turkish citizen/company that owns the property) is aware of the fact that the creditor under the promise (foreign natural person) wants to purchase the independent section in question for this purpose].

If the agreement has no statement to the effect that the property is acquired for the purpose of gaining citizenship, then the commitment is received upon the request of both parties for registration.

 

İ- RECEIVING COMMITMENTS:

 

According to the principles of Determination of Value, it must be found that the value sought under the Regulation by the respective date is attained and commitment must be received for the property that attains the value sought (in case of multiple properties, properties will be taken together under single roll no). A commitment must not be received and sent to the relevant authority for the purpose of getting the certificate of eligibility issued, unless the value sought by the respective date is attained.

 

Example: When G.G. of foreign origin purchases the independent no 3 with registration block no 101 and parcel no 7 located in Antalya city, Konyaaltı district, Sahil quarter for a price of USD 108.000 on 10.04.2019 and expresses as a result of the transaction that “he is purchasing the property to gain Turkish citizenship and will attain the value sought by purchasing another property later” or that “he is purchasing the property to gain Turkish citizenship and provided the commitment not to sell for a period 3 years in relation with the other property that he purchased in Istanbul/Eyüpsultan 2 months before or may provide such commitment later”, commitment must not be received and must not be sent to the relevant authority for issuance of certificate of eligibility.

 

1-  For sale transaction:

 

If the values declared in the deed of sale attain the value sought under the Regulation, then the official deed will contain the following wording:

“I hereby undertake not to sell this/these property (properties), which I have purchased in order to gain Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, for a period of 3 years”.

Also, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that it will not be sold for a period of 3 years starting from the date of acquisition/declaration under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (starting from the date of declaration if demanded so by the certificate of request for registration).” 

 

 

 

 

 

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For property (properties) acquired through sale after the date 12.01.2017, with respect to which no commitment is received, the certificate of request for registration is issued upon the request of the owner, commitment is received and due designation is created if the value sought under the Regulation is attained through the values in the valuation report, bank receipt and official deed.

 

2- For a Transaction for the Promise to Sell:

 

If the values determined in the agreement for the promise to sell attain the value sought under the Regulation, then the certificate of request for registration shall contain the following wording:

 

“I hereby undertake not to transfer and cancel the agreement aimed at acquisition of the property (properties) by myself for the purpose of gaining Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship for a period of 3 years.”

 

Also, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that the agreement for the promise to sell will not be transferred and cancelled for a period of 3 years starting from the date of annotation under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.”

3-  For Complementary Transactions:

 

The value sought under the Regulation may be completed through an addition to the property (properties) acquired through sale after the date 12.01.2017 or with respect to which an agreement for the promise to sell is entered into after the date 07.12.2018.

 

After the last complementary transaction takes place, in case the sum of the amounts of the valuation report, bank receipt and official deeds of sale attains the value sought in the Regulation, then the certificate of request for registration and commitment shall be received for all the properties evaluated jointly (also making use of the land registry transactions outside the jurisdiction wherever necessary) and the necessary designation will be created.

 

4-  For Transforming the Promise to Sell into an Actual Sale:

 

If the sale takes place within the 3-year process of the promise to sell, then the official deed contains the following wording for the remaining period:

“I hereby undertake not to sell this/these property (properties), which I have purchased in order to gain Turkish Citizenship under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship, for a period of … (the remaining period out of 3 years will be entered)”.

Moreover, the registry entry for the property will also include the following designation: “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that it will not be sold for a period of … (the remaining period out of 3 years will be entered) starting from the date of acquisition under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.”

And the prior designation reading “Has commitment pertaining thereto to the effect that the agreement for the promise to sell will not be transferred and cancelled for a period of 3 years starting from the date of annotation under article 20 of the Regulation Regarding Implementation of the Law on Turkish Citizenship.” is cancelled.

 

 

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If the sale takes place after the period of 3 years for the promise to sell is over, no commitment is received.

 

J- CANCELING COMMITMENTS:

 

In cases, where the commitment is received but the Certificate of Eligibility is not issued as the conditions sought have not been met, then the commitment is canceled if demanded so by the authority competent to issue the Certificate of Eligibility.

 

If the owner or the creditor of the promise to sell requests cancelation after the “Certificate of Eligibility” is issued and before the expiry of the commitment period of 3 years, the request of the foreign person is made the subject of an inquiry before the Provincial Directorate of General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship. If the process to gain citizenship has already started, the request for cancelation will be declined.

 

The commitment entered into the declarations section under the Regulation will be canceled upon the request of the owner or the creditor of the promise to sell upon the expiry of the period of three years.

 

K- TRANSACTIONS RELATING TO PROPERTY SUBJECT TO COMMITMENT:

 

Any kind of annotation and limited rights in rem may be created in relation with the property subject to commitment. However, the General Directorate will be notified about the outcomes of any transaction changing the owner of the property, except by the request of the owner, throughout the commitment period (such as forced sale, transfer by inheritance, nationalization etc.).

 

L-ARCHIVING AND NOTIFICATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE TRANSACTION:

 

As a result of the transaction, the official deed, the agreement for the promise to sell, certificate of request for registration and the ID card/passport of the foreign person will be archived under the principles of the circular numbered 2017/3.

The valuation report and the certified bank receipt are scanned according to the circular numbered 2017/3 and are entered into the electronic environment and they are not physically archived. Address, phone and especially legible e-mail details are obtained through the application.

 

(The bank receipts relating to transfer/payment of the price of the sale or agreement for the promise to sell will be sent; however, the bank receipts proving payment of the land registry fees and circulating capital charges and printout of the exchange rate details will not be sent.)

 

The transaction documents will be sent to the unit to issue the “Certificate of Eligibility” through EBYS (Electronic Document Management System) as accompanied by a cover letter (attention must be paid to automated internal distribution).

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW IS THE VALUE OF THE REAL ESTATE(S) NECESSARY FOR CITIZENSHIP CALCULATED AT THE LAND REGISTRY OFFICE?

Total value of the bank receipts evidencing payment must match the value USD 250.000 taking into consideration the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day preceding the date of payment.

The values given in the valuation report and the official deed must not be less than total values given in the bank receipt.

WHICH DATE IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION TO DETERMINE THE EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE BANK RECEIPTS PRESENTED TO EVIDENCE PAYMENT?

If the bank receipt is paid in Turkish Lira, the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day preceding the payment date is relied upon to calculate the USD equivalent of the value in the bank receipt.

IF MULTIPLE BANK RECEIPTS (PAID IN TURKISH LIRA) OF DIFFERENT DATES ARE SUBMITTED, HOW IS THE VALUE FOUND?

Total values calculated based on the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey applicable on the last business day preceding date, when each bank receipt is issued, must match USD 250.000.

WHERE TO RECEIVE A VALUATION REPORT FROM AND IS THERE AN EXPIRY DATE FOR IT?

A valuation report is to be received from the valuation firms published on the website of Capital Market Board (CMB) (http://www.spk.gov.tr/SiteApps/SirketIletisim/List/gds) or The Turkish Association of Appraisers (TDUB) (http://www.tdub.org.tr/Web/CompanyListForm.aspx?UID=a11d0b04-de56- 4ab0-9bb8-7c2c8863ba92). It is considered to be valid for three months following the date when it is issued. It will be considered valid starting from the time it is submitted until the procedure is complete.

HOW MUST THE SALE PRICE OF THE REAL ESTATE BE TRANSFERRED?

It must be deposited to the bank account of the seller or the seller’s authorized representative through such means as money transfer, EFT etc. by the purchaser or the purchaser’s authorized representative and must be documented.

For real estates owned by public institutions and enterprises, such as TOKİ and Emlak Konut, the transfer/payment of the price may also be evidenced by a certified bank receipt or official letter showing the amount received.

HOW TO GET A “CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY”?

Once the undertaking stipulated by the regulations is processed within the framework of the applicable Regulations and the circulars regarding implementation thereof, the land registry directorate that consummated the procedure sends all the documents to General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre or the relevant regional directorate.

The foreigners, who receive a certificate of eligibility, first apply to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management for residence permit and to the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs for citizenship.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY TO ACQUIRE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP THROUGH EXCEPTIONAL MEANS WITH SHARES PURCHASED IN REAL ESTATES?

It is possible if the share is worth USD 250.000 minimum.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO PURCHASE MULTIPLE REAL ESTATES TO ACQUIRE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP?

It is possible.

ARE ALL THE REAL ESTATES TO BE PURCHASED AT THE SAME TIME?

No. It is possible to apply for the real estates purchased at different times.

WHAT MUST BE THE QUALITY OF THE REAL ESTATE?

For processing an undertaking through sale, the quality of the real estate does not matter (It can be residence, land, field, orchard etc.) However, in cases, where undertaking is processed into a notarized agreement for the promise of sale, the real estate must be a real estate with condominium or construction servitude created thereon.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE FOREIGNERS, WHO OWN OR WHO ARE SHAREHOLDERS IN COMPANIES WITH FOREIGN CAPITAL, TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP WITH REAL ESTATES OWNED BY THE COMPANY?

It is not. The real estate must be registered to the natural person, who is to file the application.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A PERSON TO APPLY TO ACQUIRE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY PURCHASING THE REAL ESTATE OF THE COMPANY, IN WHICH SUCH PERSON HOLDS SHARES?

It is not. The real estate(s) to be sold or promised for sale must not be registered to the legal personality of the company, in which the foreign natural person is a shareholder or director.

DOES IT MATTER FROM WHOM THE REAL ESTATE WAS PURCHASED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION?

The real estate(s) to be sold or subject to the promise of sale must be registered to Turkish citizens. Moreover, it also must not be a real estate transferred by a foreign natural person after the date 12.01.2017 (Including the foreign natural person to acquire and his/her spouse and children).

IS IT POSSIBLE TO SELL THE REAL ESTATE BEFORE THE ANNOTATION IN THE REGISTRY EXPIRES (3 YEARS ELAPSE)?

The procedure will depend on the response to be received from the Provincial Directorate of Civil Registration and Citizenship Affairs.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP IN CASE THE PURCHASED REAL ESTATE HAS MORTGAGE OR ATTACHMENT ON IT?

It is possible for the sale to take place along with an existing mortgage or attachment.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP IF THE REAL ESTATE IS PURCHASED USING A LOAN?

In this case, the advance payment amount remaining after subtracting the loan amount shall be taken into consideration. For sales with legal mortgage, on the other hand, the portion paid in advance must match the value of USD 250.000.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR REAL ESTATE ACQUISITION THROUGH A POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING TURKISH CITIZENSHIP THROUGH EXCEPTIONAL MEANS?

It is possible if this is clearly stated in the power of attorney.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY FOR TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY AN AGREEMENT FOR THE PROMISE OF SALE?

As applicable for 07.12.2018 and thereafter, the application may be filed after an undertaking is provided not to transfer and cancel the agreement issued before the notary for a period of three years, provided that the minimum amount of USD 250.000 or equivalent thereof is paid in advance for real estates with condominium or construction servitude created thereon.

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