Turkey’s economy recognized as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history. Turkey access to 1.7 billion customers in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa worth $25 trillion of 1.7 billion consumer market. Turkey has the world’s 13th largest GDP by PPP and 17th largest nominal GDP. The country is among the founding members of the OECD and the G-20.
The EU – Turkey Customs Union in 1995 led to an extensive liberalization of tariff rates, and forms one of the most important pillars of Turkey’s foreign trade policy. Turkey offers corporate Income Tax reduced from 33 percent to 20 percent (22 percent for 2018, 2019 and 2020). There are estimated 58,400 companies with international capital in 2017
Turkey officially announced citizenship by investment program in Sep 2018 to encourage foreign investment and boost growth in real estate sector.
Turkey is the only CBI country with a trillion dollar economy, a major trading hub of asia and europe, and its GDP projected to reach $3 trillion by 2023. The country is also the 17th largest economy in the world.
- Turkey is the only CBI country with $2.2 trillion GDP
- Turkey is at cross roads of of Asia and Europe important hub for transport and trade
- Air connections to almost anywhere in the world.
- Attractive country for Arab and middle east investors
- Cheap and best citizenship by investment scheme.
- Permanent residence status in Turkey through property investment.
- No residence requirements. No military service. No language tests.
- Lowest property prices due to depreciation of Turkish Lira
- Turkish nationals eligible to apply for E-1/E-2 visas to enter US.
- Warm climate with mild winters.
- Corporate taxes reduced to 22% from 33% until 2020
- Equal treatment of all investors and business friendly regime.
The Government of Turkey published amended citizenship regulations reducing the investment amounts to foster foreign direct investment in official gazette dated 18 Sep 2018. According to the new amendments, foreigners buying real estate or invest in any of the following options will be eligible for turkish citizenship by investment.
The New Turkish Citizenship Rules Encourage Foreign Investment
- Real Estate: Buy real estate atleast $250,000 not sold for 3 years
- Bank Deposit: Deposit atleast $500,000 in Turkish banks
- Government bonds or securities: Buy $500,000 Turkish government bonds locked for 3 years
- Venture capital funds: Buy $500,000 worth of VC fund share
- Job creation: Employ atleast 50 people
According to Investment Office of the Presidency of Turkey has said, that from now on, the residence permit and citizenship applications can be submitted together at private/common offices.
New special joint offices have been established in Ankara and Istanbul to provide faster service to CBI applicants.
Foreigners who hold the Residence permit / Turquoise Card in exchange for investments, may acquire Turkish citizenship based on the resolution of the President of the Republic of Turkey, provided that there are no impediments thereto pursuant to national security and public order.
- The Provincial Census and Citizenship Directorate issues the citizenship file and sends it to NVIGM (Ministry of Interior, Citizenship Affairs).
- An archive investigation is conducted on whether there are any impediments with respect to national security and public order.
- The application will be submitted to the Office of the Minister to be sent to the President’s Office if the archive investigation concludes positively.
- Then it is sent to the Office of the President to obtain the President’s decision.
- Turkish citizenship will be granted if the President rules for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship.
Turkey has booming real estate market thanks to CBI scheme. Turkey property prices are currently low due to lira depreciation. The most popular places for foreigners buying property in Turkey is Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara.
The per metre property prices at most expensive location reach $5500 per square meter. The Turkish CBI scheme is popular with investors from mainly Arab countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria
To qualify for citizenship, you must buy a property $250,000 in Turkey (residential or commercial)
- Land registry fee and stamp duty: 4-6%
- Legal costs: $2000
- Health insurance: $700
- Due diligence fee: none
- Passport fee: $500
VAT for Property sales
VAT is exempted foreigners are exempt from VAT for their first commercial or residential property in Turkey for citizenship purpose, provided that they pay in foreign currency and do not sell their property within one year after receiving title deed.
Under normal rules, residential units with a net area of more than 150 sqm and all other properties in Turkey are subject to 18% VAT.
Turkey has E-1 and E-2 treaty signed with United States. As a result Turkish citizens can apply for E-2 investor visa to United States. Turkey and United States signed the following treaties.
E-1 Treaty – February 15, 1933
E-2 Treaty – May 18, 1990
Foreign Investors qualify for fast track turkish citizenship and passport.
In 2018, Turkish passport has visa free travel to 111 visa free destinations and ranks 51st in world passport rankings according to Henley.
You can download full list of countries with visa waivers in pdf format
Turkey allows dual citizenship.
Can i buy more than one property for citizenship?
Yes, you can provided the total property value appraised equals $250,000
Can legal entities buy residential or commercial real estate?
Legal entities cannot invest in properties for citizenship. This is because property must be registered in the personal name of main applicant in order to apply for citizenship.
Turkish companies with foreign capital, on the other hand, should first file an application at the Provincial Directorate of Planning and Coordination (PDPC) at the local governor’s office where the real estate is located. Once granted a positive response from PDPC, they should then apply to the Land Registry Directorate.
Are there any country restrictions under citizenship by investment scheme?
Turkey has no restrictions on who can apply. Syrian nationals are restricted from buying real estate.
Can i apply for citizenship without visiting Turkey?
Yes you can authorize power of attorney to your lawyer to handle all work. However you need to visit atleast once for fingerprinting and signing documents to complete the passport process. The POA can be issued at consulates abroad.
Are there any quotas for Turkish citizenship for investment scheme?
No limitations or quotas imposed at present.
Do you need to open bank account for investment in Turkey?
It is recommended to open a bank account in your name to avoid delays in payments coming from abroad
Is Bitcoin accepted?
Yes, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are widely used in Turkey
What is the time frame for a passport?
Please allow 3-4 months
Property purchase – 1 month
Residence permit – 2 months
Citizenship – 1 month
Passport – 1 month
What is the legal background of the Turkey citizenship scheme?
The Citizenship regulations were published in official gazette on Sep 18, 2018 to grant exceptional citizenship to foreigners for investments.
How many years must i hold the property before selling?
If you apply for citizenship, you must hold your property for 3 years as per the existing rules.
Are there any restrictions on foreigners buying property?
Foreign nationals do not need to have a residence permit as a pre-condition to acquire real estate in Turkey.
A natural person of foreign origin may acquire real estate and limited rights anywhere in Turkey of up to 30 hectares. The Cabinet of Ministers may grant larger areas if deemed appropriate, Natural persons of foreign origin may not acquire and lease real estate within prohibited military zones or military security zones. Total acquisition by natural persons of foreign origin may not exceed ten percent of the total district area where private property is allowed
What are the conditions for legal entities or companies to invest in real estate?
In Turkey, only trading companies established according to the laws of their respective countries and having legal personality may acquire real estate and limited rights in rem as foreign legal persons. Legal persons other than such trading companies (foundations, associations etc.), on the other hand, may not acquire real estate and may not have rights in rem.
Acquisition of real estate by trading companies established in foreign countries according to the laws of their respective countries and having legal personality, on the other hand, may be granted in exceptional cases and is deemed possible only when stipulated under the provisions of international conventions or special laws.
Companies established in Turkey as a legal entity are considered under the category of foreign-owned companies in accordance with the following conditions:
- Foreign investors hold fifty percent or more of the shares, or
- Foreign investors are entitled to appoint and dismiss the majority of the board of directors
These companies may acquire property and limited rights in rem in order to engage in activities set forth in their articles of association. For this purpose, companies are required to apply first to the governor’s office where the property is located.
Can i vote becoming a Turkish citizen?
Yes, you will be given equal opportunities with turkish citizens including right to vote and holding government offices for investors through TCBI scheme
Where can i lookup property details at online registry?
Inquiries about properties may be made online at parselsorgu.tkgm.gov.tr, where specific details of the city, district, quarter/village, map section, and plot may be used to look up the property. Basic information on the real estate property, including its current status, is thus accessible online from anywhere in the world.
Is property transfers allowed by inheritance?
Transfer of property to foreign origin real persons by inheritance is possible. However, if the transferred property is located in a zone where a real person may not acquire a property; the property is required to be sold or liquidated otherwise after the transfer. Furthermore, in the event of transfer of property by inheritance to a person who is from a country not include in the list of Article 35, the property in question must be sold or liquidated otherwise after the transfer.
What documents are needed for property investment?
a. The property’s Title Deed or details of village/quarter, section, parcel, building, independent unit,
b. Identity card or passport (together with the translated copy thereof where required). Submission of the same is compulsory in order to identify the nationality of the foreigner, c. Property appraisal report issued by any of the organizations authorized by the Board of Capital Markets (SPK) for property assessment at http://www.spk.gov.tr/SiteApps/SirketIletisim/ List/gds) .
d. ”Real Estate Market Value Document” of the property from the related Municipality, e. Compulsory earthquake insurance policy for buildings (residences, workplaces… etc.),
f. One photograph of the seller and two photographs of the buyer (taken in the last 6 months, at a size of 6×4),
g. Certified interpreter if there is a party who fails to speak Turkish. Turkish translations of passports and foreign country identity cards with an alphabet other than the Roman alphabet may be requested by the Directorate of Land Registry if required; however, Turkish translation will not be requested for passports or national identity cards issued in the Roman alphabet.
h. If an action is to be carried out with a power of attorney issued abroad, the translation and the original or approved copy of the power of attorney.
How are properties appraised?
The sum of receipts evidencing payments must have a value equal to USD 250,000 according to the USD selling exchange rate of the Central Bank of Turkey on the date prior to the date of deposit. The amounts listed in the appraisal report and the official bill may not be less than the sum of values in the receipt.
How is foreign exchange handled?
If you pay in Turkish Lira, selling exchange rate of the Central Bank of Turkey on the date prior to the date of payment shall be considered to calculate USD equivalent of the receipt amount
Can foreign persons be the property sellers?
Properties sold or subject to a sale promise must be registered in the name of Turkish citizens. Furthermore, they should not be any properties transferred by a foreign real person after 12 January 2017. (Including self, spouse and children of the foreign person who acquires it)
How do property investors get residence permit?
Foreign investors are given short-term residence permit, foreigners who own real estate in Turkey or intend to establish a business or business connections in Turkey. It is issued for a maximum of two years as a principle. A residence permit is invalidated if it is not used within six months.
Long term residence cards are issued for foreigners who lived in Turkey for atleast 8 years.
What happens if i sell the property before 3 years?
You may lose your citizenship and residence card. Remember if the main applicant loses his citizenship/residence rights, all family members also lose the rights.
Can i purchase shares or equity in properties?
Yes, but the value must me minimum $250,000
Can i get citizenship if i buy property on loan?
net down payment of the loan amount shall be considered. The down payment should be minimum USD 250,000 also for legally mortgaged sales
Where can i get appraisal report?
A property appraisal report representing the market value (present market value/present value) is required. The appraisal report must be based on the value on the date of the report for buildings which are actually completed on the ground, and the value to occur upon completion of building for properties which have not been completed or the construction of which is ongoing and for which a construction servitude was established.
The appraisal report shall be obtained from the appraisal organizations posted on the web page of the Board of Capital Markets (SPK) (http://www.spk.gov.tr/SiteApps/SirketIle tisim/List/gds). It is valid for three months beginning from the date of issue. It shall be considered applicable until the transaction is completed from the date it is given.
Where are the most popular locations for foreigners buying property in Turkey?
The most popular locations are Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa and other coastal areas.
Who are the foreigners buying properties in Turkey?
The top list of foreign nationals buying real estate in Turkey are Iraq, Iran, Russians Afghanistan.
Source: Turkstat / Jan 2020
Can i apply for Turkish citizenship with contract of sale?
Yes, An application can be made with a promise that the property would be transferred and released in three years through a notarized contract if minimum USD 250,000 or equivalent amount was paid as down payment for any properties with established commonhold or construction servitude on or after 07 December 2018.
What type of properties can be bought for citizenship?
It may be a residence, workplace, land, field, yard through notarized promise of sale, the property must have an established commonhold or construction servitude.
What is certificate of conformity?
The directorate of land registry, who processes the commitment foreseen in the regulations according to the related Directive and its practical communiques submits all documents to the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadaster or the related regional directorate.
The General Directorate/Regional Directorate inspects the documents of the transaction, issues a Certificate of Conformity, and sends it to the General Directorate of the Immigration Administration and the General Directorate of Census and Citizenship Affairs by official means, and to the related person by e-mail.
Foreigners who obtain the certificate of conformity shall initially apply to the Provincial Directorate of Immigration Administration for a residence permit and then to the Provincial Directorate of Census and Citizenship for citizenship.