Monday, November 29, 2010

Draft law in Turkey: Foreigners can buy land - but not Israelis

From Hurriyet (Turkey):
A draft prepared by Turkey’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing would ease rules for property sales to foreign nationals, but some will not be able to enjoy the relaxed conditions. According to the draft, citizens of Israel and Greece will not be able to purchase land in Turkey, while such sales to citizens of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab nations will be relaxed considerably.

The Turkish government has pressed the button on a new policy to ease regulations regarding foreign nationals’ purchasing land in Turkey, but a clause restricting Israeli and Greek nationals from buying Turkish land is causing controversy.

Daily Milliyet’s real estate expert Tebernüş Kireççi wrote Wednesday that if approved by Parliament, a draft prepared by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing may render Turkey “one of the top countries for foreigners in real estate ease-of-purchase.”

“All foreign nationals will be able to buy real estate, provided they have a passport and mug shots,” Milliyet reported. “While selling property and land, there will be no need to check if the foreign national’s country has a reciprocity agreement with Turkey.” The term refers to two countries that recognize their respective citizens as having the same rights.

However, a controversial restriction in the draft involves the sale of construction parcels and farmland to citizens of Israel and Greece, Milliyet reported. While all other foreign nationals may be able to buy as much as 99,000 square meters of land, Israeli and Greek citizens will not be able to purchase parcels and land in Turkey. Another controversial clause in the draft says citizens of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf states will be able to purchase land even without any restriction on size.

A previous proposal to limit the usage rights of foreigners regarding property they purchased in Turkey to 99 years has been shelved, Milliyet said. According to the new policy, foreign nationals owning property in Turkey would have usage rights without any time limitation.
Sounds like Turkey would be a great addition to the EU!