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Latest Property News

  Turkey ups anti by banning Greek and Israeli buyers 17-01-2011

The Turkish government has drawn up a new piece of draft legislation that is designed to deny Israeli and Greek overseas home-buyers the right to own property in the country.  

The Turkish government is, however, using the move to propose to its parliament that it should grant new unlimited rights for Iranians, Syrians and the citizens of the Gulf countries to purchase real estate in Turkey.

The move comes as Turkey tries to find new ways to reduce its budget deficit of US $45 billion by allowing overseas property investors to buy into its booming residential market.

It is understood that the Turkish military will be asked to prepare a list of areas where property cannot be sold to foreigners for reasons of national security.

However, this is a complex area of the law and the “reciprocity principle” applied by Turkey to foreign purchasers of real estate property is often bypassed by international investors using special clauses in a separate set of investment promotion laws.

Allowing property buyers from overseas to invest in the country remains a controversial subject in Turkey where selling real estate to foreigners has split parliament.

The two opposition parties in Parliament remain opposed to any bill easing the sale of land to foreigners while the ruling party favours relaxing the law in order to raise cash for the Treasury and attract foreign investment into the country.

Apart from loop holes exploited for international investors, the very idea of reciprocity is controversial in Turkey. The opposition argues that the government does not apply the principle of reciprocity to foreign individuals in Turkey while Turks are prevented from making similar transactions in their countries. The government disagrees. “The principle of reciprocity exists in our legal system, and we are bound to implement it when deemed necessary,” it says.

During deliberations in Parliament over a draft law amending the sale of property to foreigners in 2008, opposition parties accused the government of treason by selling land within the borders of the republic to wealthy foreigners. The law in question was first introduced in 1934, amended in 2005 and then cancelled by the Constitutional Court two years later. The government revised the law again in 2008 and passed it in Parliament.

Areas foreigner investors are permitted to buy in Turkey ranges from two to 30 hectares and only the government is authorized to approve the sales as well as to decide on the area of the land. At present the Cabinet is the only authority able to grant or deny permission.