The Law numbered 6302 and dated 3 May 2012 (the “Law”) which amends certain provisions of the Title Law numbered 2644 on acquisition of real estate in Turkey by foreign nationals, foreign legal entities and Turkish companies with foreign capital entered into force with its publication on the Official Gazette on 18 May 2012. The Law brings forward the following amendments:
- a. With Respect To Foreign Nationals
— The Law abrogated the reciprocity principle which only allowed the foreign nationals the countries of whom granted the same rights to Turkish nationals to acquire real estate and limited rights in rem in Turkey. Although the reciprocity principle is abrogated, the Council of Ministers is expected to announce a list of countries the citizens of which will be permitted to acquire real estate and limited rights in rem in Turkey.
— The limit on the amount of land that a foreign national can acquire real estate or limited rights in rem, is raised up to 30 hectares from 2.5 hectares in total. By the decision of the Council of Ministers, this limit can be raised up to its double, i.e. 60 hectares, per person. Notwithstanding the above, the amount of land that can be acquired by a foreign national in one district cannot exceed 10% of the total surface area of private properties in such district.
— The condition set forth for foreign real persons to use the acquired property only for the purposes of using it as offices or residences was abrogated by the Law.
- b. With Respect To Foreign Legal Entities
The Law kept the former regulation for foreign legal entities which allows the acquisition of real estate and limited rights in rem only when provided by a special law.
- c. New Procedure For Foreign Nationals and Foreign Legal Entities
Foreign nationals and foreign legal entities are now obliged to submit a project regarding the acquired real estate – which does not have any building on it – to the relevant Ministry within two years and obtain an approval therefrom. Non-compliance with this procedure will result in compulsory sale of the real estate in question.
- d. With Respect To Companies With Foreign Capital
The Law brings an end to the ambiguity on what is to be understood from a company with foreign capital. According to the Law, a company with foreign capital is;
A company having a legal personality and established in Turkey,
— 50% or more shares of which belong to
- foreign nationals;
- international institutions; or
- legal entities established under laws of foreign countries,
— or where the above listed persons have the right to assign or depose the majority of the persons having the management rights in that company.
The companies with foreign capital are entitled to acquire real estate or limited rights in rem according to the scope of activities determined in their articles of association.