Valuable house tax can be delayed for a year: Gov’t
The Turkish government is set to reevaluate the recently imposed “valuable house tax” for one year, following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s instructions, his spokesperson has said.
“There will be works regarding the valuable house tax in to following days. A year of delay can be in question,” İbrahim Kalın, presidential advisor and spokesperson, told a press conference after the cabinet meeting late on Dec. 24.
Kalın said that Erdoğan had ordered reviews of the tax, and after receiving evaluations from several institutions, he gave the directives for a reassessment.
“But after the works are carried out, they will be presented to Mr. President. After that, when it is fully completed, a decision will be made,” Kalın said.
“We want to express our interest in the reviews, criticisms and calls regarding this. For this, works have started with the instruction of our president,” he added.
The Turkish Parliament on Nov. 21 ratified a law that brings new regulations to the country’s tax system. The ratified law has proposed two new taxes, one of which is referred to as the “valuable house tax.”
As the law took effect on Dec. 7, the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre started to issue notices to property owners whose estates are in upscale neighborhoods, the daily Hürriyet reported on Dec. 14.
According to the valuable house tax regulation, landlords whose property is valued between 5-7.5 million Turkish Liras (approximately $1.27 million) will pay a 0.3 percent tax. The amount of tax imposed on properties which have a market value between 7.5-10 million liras (roughly $1.7 million) is stipulated as 0.6 percent in the regulation. Besides these, the tax rate on properties that are worth over 10 million liras is 1 percent, according to the law.
Even though there will be some tax exemptions for women, unemployed and retired persons -who have no income except their pensions, the new practice has received many criticisms from the public.
Many lashed out at the tax regulation, saying such an imposition would put people in a tight corner, especially those who inherited their valuable residences from their ancestors yet currently do not have sufficient means to pay such a tax.
‘Any plan excluding Turkey in Med Sea impossible’
Kalın also referred to the recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean and the deal Ankara hammered out last month with Tripoli-based, U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Saying that the maritime jurisdiction and security cooperation pacts benefited both Turkey and Libya, Kalın underlined that it is “impossible” for other countries to make agreements that exclude Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
“We have made a very transparent agreement with Libya, regarding seismic works, extracting the found energy sources and process. No one shows a reaction when other countries in the eastern Mediterranean, [such as] Egypt, Israel, [Greek Cyprus], Greece develop projects and exclude Turkey,” Kalın said.
“It is not possible for any agreement that excludes Turkey to take effect,” he added.
Regarding the conflict within Libya between the GNA of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), Kalın said Turkey is part of the political peace process. He also urged the international community to give a “clear message” to Haftar, to halt the attacks on civilians.
Russia should be reminded of Idlib deal
The presidential spokesperson also voiced concern about the intensified attacks from Russia’s and the Syrian regime’s forces towards civilians and the region’s infrastructure, which led to the displacement of an estimated 215,000 Idlib residents.
According to Mohammad Halaj, the head of Syria’s Response Coordination Group, some 215,000 civilians have fled from Idlib since November.
“In recent weeks, we see that the regime’s violations [of the Idlib deal] is increasing. We conveyed our thoughts on this to Russia. No concrete step has been taken until this very day,” he said.
Kalın also said that the Turkish delegation which paid a visit to Moscow on Dec. 23, expressed Ankara’s concerns regarding this.
“There will be consequence for sabotaging the political process. The problem in Idlib is not solely Turkey’s issue. We will continue to tell them to fulfill their responsibilities regarding protecting the deal and civilians and taking steps to actualize the political process,” he said.
“We find it necessary to remind the Russian side of its responsibilities,” he said.
Critical talks upcoming next week
Regarding the recent claims about Russia cooperating with YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria, Kalın said that Turkish officials have expressed their opinions about such an issue to their Russian counterparts.
“All engagement done with the YPG and the PYG is cooperating with the terrorist organization. This organization needs to be neutralized for the sake of the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria,” he said.
“Our expectation from our allies is to refrain from any step that will provide new means and opportunities to this terrorist organization,” he added.
Kalın also conveyed that Ankara will hold “critical” talks regarding the recent developments in Syria.