ECONOMICS > No land for Syrians, coasts closed for Greeks

Erdinç Çelikkan ANKARA / Hürriyet

Turkey expects a great foreign interest in its estate market thanks to a new code. Still, neighboring countries may have lower chances due to a bunch of restrictions

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Summer houses in Alaçatı, a popular destination in the Aegean province of İzmir, are seen in this file photo. İzmir is among provinces banned for Greek citizens for land purchases. Hürriyet photo

Summer houses in Alaçatı, a popular destination in the Aegean province of İzmir, are seen in this file photo. İzmir is among provinces banned for Greek citizens for land purchases. Hürriyet photo

Citizens of Syria, Armenia and North Korea are not allowed to acquire any real property, including residential or business property or land, in Turkey, under a recently announced reciprocity regulation, which also prohibits Greek citizens from buying estate on coastal provinces including Istanbul. The code allows the citizens of 183 other countries to purchase Turkish real estate.

The government has sent a letter to all ambassadors to Turkey asking them to promote the new law, in order to accelerate property sales, daily Hürriyet reported Aug. 10. Sources say the government will ask the private sector and television actors such as Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Tuğba Büyüküstün, who have shot to fame in Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, to lure wealthy investors from that region to invest in real estate in Turkey.

“Arabs have demonstrated a particular interest in property located in coastal provinces and Istanbul. We are working to get foreigners to come to our country to make investments and to encourage more tourists to visit the country, in order to increase foreign capital inflow,” said Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar.

No property in Istanbul for Greeks
Citizens of Greece are banned from acquiring property in 28 coastal provinces, including Istanbul, as well as the province of Edirne, which borders Greece. There is no such limitation in place for Turks in the Greek region of western Thrace in Greece.

“Greek citizens were not allowed to purchase property in the coastal band around Turkey according to the previous regulation. And if a Greek inherited property in the coastal band, that person was asked to liquidate it within one month, as they are not eligible to own any property there,” Atilla Lök, an Istanbul-based lawyer with expertise in property cases told the Hürriyet Daily News on the phone yesterday.

Citizens of other countries that border Turkey, namely Iran, Iraq, Georgia and Bulgaria, are also banned from acquiring property in the provinces bordering their own countries. Iranian citizens who are not included on a U.N. a sanction list must lodge an application with the Interior Ministry in order to purchase property. Citizens of Iraq also have to obtain the ministry’s permission.

Citizens of 16 other countries, including China, Palestine, India and the Seychelles, are obliged to obtain special permission from the Interior Ministry before buying property in Turkey.

The new regulation allows citizens of 183 countries to acquire property in Turkey by lifting the reciprocity principle. The new regulation also lifts a condition that limited Israeli citizens to owning only one “dwelling.” Citizens of Turkish Cyprus have the same rights to purchase property as Turkish citizens.


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8/15/2012 1:10:50 AM

Can citizens of Cyprus buy property in Turkey? And how about foreign investment companies/funds/trusts? Can they buy real estate in Turkey?

ilker avni

8/12/2012 7:51:03 PM

@ Nikos Your comments are getting more and more desperate.Hilary Clinton has visited Turkey more than any other country on earth apart from her own that is.She loves Istanbul,i bet she has even bought property in Turkey.Greece dont allow Turks to buy any land,so its only right to ban Greeks.


8/12/2012 5:52:34 PM

Lousy journalism. Ignores to mention that our neighbors have even more restrictions over sales to Turkish citizens. What I do not get is why restrict Istanbul to Greeks. Especially victims of pogroms of 50s and their descendents should have been excluded. Maybe they are. In the end all countries have restrictions, and frankly it does make sense within reason.

Nikos T.

8/12/2012 10:32:01 AM

Turkey is afraid of something. And has every reason to.

ilker avni

8/12/2012 7:05:38 AM

Everyone wants to buy Turkish land,because Turkey is only a few hours from European cities and the price is very cheap amd its the most beautifull country with nice help full pleasant citizens.the food is excellant the sea is clean,the history is rich,Turkey is a paradise on earth..

Eric Martin

8/11/2012 11:57:43 PM

Turkey doesn't hate anyone. These rules have a reason. Reciprocity is one of them.

Diren Sesel

8/11/2012 5:55:00 PM

This is what I mean in the 21century there are still people of this world who still see Turks backward, how can we have mutual respect when Turk-bashing is still prevalent sport, within western society. We know how the Arab mentality and Greek mentality are still hostile.


8/11/2012 4:41:39 PM

It is all too frequent in Turkish government to rationalize predjuditial laws that often hurt their own people because other nations do it. It is a shame that government officials instead of being rightous leaders are unrightous followers.

Elvio Rubin

8/11/2012 3:41:47 PM

This is good law to provide the security and the economy of the country. Well first lets say, why law shoud provide better conditions for citizens of the certain government who does not recognize the integrity of Turkey. Every country would do similar in this case so nothing to blame the country. I had visited the country several times and I would I say Turkish people are really hospitable people with rich cuisine and culture.


8/11/2012 3:27:51 PM

Property laws for foreigners have always been strange in Turkey. I was told I could not buy my house because it was within 3km of military base....almost everywhere in Turkey is within 3km of a military base. But, I could rent one wherever I wanted. As a Brit I objected to this as Turks can buy anywhere in the UK. The new laws do nothing to lose the feeling of Turkey as a self-serving country, treating foreigners as second class while trying to grab their cash.
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