Turkey's Aegean coast eyes more foreigners to buy land

Turkey's Aegean coast eyes more foreigners to buy land

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkeys Aegean coast eyes more foreigners to buy land

Some 2,000 UK. citizens own property in Akyaka, the small Aegean town which holds a ‘slow city’ title by the Cittaslow movement, according to Mayor Ahmet Çalca. AA photo

Real estate agents in the western province of Muğla are pleased by Turkey’s new law regarding the sale of property and land to foreign nationals.

Muğla ranks third among Turkish provinces having the most foreign investment in real estate property and land. More than 20,600 foreigners own property, covering a total area of 5.9 million square meters, in the province on the Aegean coast. A total of 15,741 British nationals, who own properties totaling 3.6 million square meters, make up the largest group of foreign landowners in Muğla, followed by German, Dutch, Irish and Danish nationals.

Investment by foreigners in Turkish property and land are expected to significantly increase with the adoption of a new law that eases the sale of such assets to foreigners, according to Ziya Ercan, vice president of the Turkish Federation of Real Estate Agents. Hasan Ateş, head of the real estate companies’ association in Marmaris, a tourism destination in Muğla, told the Anatolia news agency that he expected to see a great deal of interest from buyers from oil-rich Arab countries.

Web sites, ads in Arabic
“The market has big expectations. Some real estate companies have already added the Arabic language to their websites. These companies have also launched ad campaigns in Arabic,”Ateş said.

Ömer Yetkin, another real estate business association president from Bodrum, believes that the new code will enliven the market. However, “the money should stay in Turkey,” he said. The association believes, therefore, that foreign buyers should hold Turkish work permits.

Some 2,000 U.K. citizens have already bought land there, according to 2011 data, Ahmet Çalça, the mayor of Ölüdeniz, another Muğla town, said. Germans seem to prefer to buy land in the Akyaka area. The region’s natural beauty, rich flora and quiet lifestyle are attracting foreigners, Çalça said.

Konya and Antalya are the two Turkish provinces with the most foreign investment in real estate and land, and many real estate agents across the country expect a boom in real estate sales to foreigners after the adoption of the new law. If the new draft law is approved, foreigners would be able to buy real estate in Turkey in line with the interests of the country. The new law would raise the amount of land an individual foreign buyer can purchase from 25,000 to 300,000 square meters. The Turkish Cabinet may even double the amount of land a foreign buyer can purchase.

Under the new legislation, foreign buyers would be required to provide construction plans before a purchase is made. Individuals and businesses will need to submit project proposals for vacant land to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization within two years. If approved, the project will be sent to the local land registry office. The draft law also allows for foreign buyers to purchase up to 10 percent of the total area of densely populated areas of towns. Foreign companies will be able to buy real estate in military and security zones only by approval of General Staff. The Cabinet may decide whether individuals or companies from a given country will be able to buy property, and will approve the location and size of the real estate they purchase. The Parliament is currently awaiting a final cabinet decision on altering the reciprocity purchase agreement.