No land for Syrians, coasts closed for Greeks

No land for Syrians, coasts closed for Greeks

Erdinç Çelikkan ANKARA / Hürriyet
No land for Syrians, coasts closed for Greeks

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.