Turkish Parliament Adopts Long-Awaited Property Bill

Foreigners from any country in the world can now buy property in Turkey. In 6th of May 2012 saw the Turkish parliament adopt a bill dropping reciprocity from the laws governing foreign ownership in Turkey, which had prevented people from 89 countries where Turks couldn’t buy property, from buying property in Turkey, the Gulf States, Turkic republics and Central Asia.
Opposition parties fought the bill fiercely, criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for obeying orders coming from large businesses such as the construction sector. The Cabinet will now decide on which of the 89 countries will be added to the list of countries whose citizens are able to purchase property.

This is expected to bring in a flood of Arab buyers, owing to Turkey’s current popularity in the Arab world, lack of suitable investment destinations in the Muslim world because of the lingering effects of the Arab Spring, and the wealth of the region.

The new law also allows people to buy up to 30 hectares without special permission, whereas before the limit was 2.5 hectares, further, the Cabinet can increase it to 60 hectares where it deems appropriate.

One less known aspect of the new bill is that it allows foreigners to own up to 10% total area of densely populated towns, with the cabinet setting controls based on things like nationality, and qualifications of foreign businesses being set up in Turkey.

Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar defended the law, noting the importance of its contribution to the tourism sector and foreign investment. “The law will bring more investors, more tourists and more capital to the country,” he said.

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