Buying Property in Turkey – Things to Consider

Until relatively recently buying property in Turkey had been very difficult for foreign nationals, if not impossible. This is because the Turkish government chose to make it very difficult for them.

Fortunately between 2002-2003 the Turkish government saw the light and loosened the laws in regards to foreign ownership of property in Turkey.

The law in Turkey now essentially says that if a Turkish citizen is able to purchase property in a foreign country, for example the UK, then those foreign countries citizens can purchase real estate in Turkey, hence setting up a sort of reciprocal agreement. However, there are still some exceptions to this rule, so it is always best to check with a lawyer, or other suitable expert, about any restrictions prior to attempting to purchase any Turkish property.

In recent years many people have been looking at property investments in Turkey. Whether this be as a holiday home or as a straight but to let or sell proposition the influx of foreign property investors into Turkey has at times been staggering.

But What Does Turkey Really Have To Offer?

Well, it potentially has quite a bit to offer. Below is a brief list for starters.

  1. Turkey has an average of about seven month’s sunshine a year, making it a very attractive place for tourist and people looking for a second home destination.
  2. The people of turkey are generally considered to be very hospitable.
  3. In recent years Turkey has boasted one of the fastest growing economies in the World.
  4. The majority of property in Turkey is freehold.
  5. Turkey is a hot spot for Britons on holiday. In fact it is fast becoming the location of choice for Britons looking for a holiday in the eastern Mediterranean.
  6. In 2005 around 24 million Tourists visited Turkey helping to make a 18 billion pound industry out of tourism in Turkey. This figure is set to increase in the coming years.
  7. At the time of writing property in Turkey has enjoyed double digit capital growth for a few years.
  8. English is widely spoken in parts of Turkey, especially in business circles.

The list above covers just a few of the reasons investment property in turkey might be a lucrative venture. If you are seriously considering buying Turkish property you might want to visit our history of turkey page to gain more of an understanding into historically what makes this fascinating nation what it is today.

However, before you rush off to search Google for hot properties to buy in Turkey, there are still a few things to keep in mind as anyone can make a bad property investment decision, whether that be in Turkey or anywhere else in the World.

Below are a Few Things To Consider Before Buying Property in Turkey

  • It is essential that you do a thorough title search on any property in Turkey you are looking at purchasing. Historically Turkish property is well known for being burdened by various problems and liens on their title.
  • As alluded to earlier it is vital that you use the services of a competent lawyer that is used to dealing with the purchasing of properties in Turkey. Hence, they should be well equipped to dig out any problems with the property title or anything else that comes up.
  • While surveys are common in the UK and else where abroad, as yet they are not as common in Turkey; however, it is still possible to get one, but costs can very hugely depending on the area you have chosen to buy property in.
  • Earthquake insurance cover is compulsory in most parts of Turkey and even in the areas that it isn’t it might be worth considering getting it anyway. The cost is normally not ludicrously expensive.
  • The new Turkish Lira is the currency in Turkey. At the time of writing cash can usually be exchanged commission free in banks, hotels or bureaux de changes. Normally travelers cheques can only be exchanged in banks accompanied by a valid passport. MasterCard, Visa, Diners club and Amex are widely accepted, and ATM machines are available in most places.

Below is a list of websites that you might find useful if you are considering buying property of any kind in Turkey.

The Turkish Consulate in the UK

http://www.turkishconsulate.org.uk/en/index.htm

The Turkish Embassy in London

http://www.turkishembassylondon.org

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in The UK

http://www.gototurkey.co.uk

What is The Currency in Turkey?

The currency in Turkey – one of Turkey’s main problems has been money. Not getting it, but maintaining its value. While Turkey never suffered from hyperinflation, during the 70s and 80s it was normal to have over 30% inflation every year. As a result, by the new millennium, currency in Turkey had been severely devalued; the Turkish lira was worth less than a millionth of a dollar.

Because of this, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan declared the Turkish currency system to be a “national shame,” and introduced a new currency in Turkey called the Turkish new lira in 2005 (passing the law to introduce it in 2003) by lopping off six zeros from the old lira – one new lira was worth one million old ones. He also took steps to stabilize the currency and drastically reduce inflation, wisely seeing these as steps that would bring Turkey into line with the rest of the Western world.

He appears to have done a good job. Inflation dropped from nearly 40% in 2001 to a much more respectable 9.8% in 2006, and it appears to still be dropping. At the time of writing a new lira (or, in Turkish, yeni turk lirasi) is worth around half a euro, and about 80% of a U.S. dollar. With the currency in Turkey being more stable comes investment, and Turkey’s economy appears ready to boom. In fact, at the moment the lira seems to be rising in value compared to the U.S. dollar and the euro.

The Turkish new lira comes in banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 new lira, as well as in a one-lira coin. Like American money, it is also based on the decimal system. A new kuru is worth 1/100th of a new lira. The kuru comes in coins, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 kuru. A 1-kuru coin is brass, the 5, 10, and 25-kuru coins a copper nickel blend (sort of like U.S. Quarters), and the half-lira and 1-lira coins are bimetallic. Every coin has a picture of the Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal.

An interesting problem has arisen with the currency in Turkey, particularly with the Turkish half-lira and one-lira coins; they are approximately the same size and weight as a 1-euro and 2-euro coin. This has caused serious problems in areas that use euros, as vending machines were not distinguishing between them. Because the euro coins are worth about four times the lira based coins, vendors were forced to upgrade vending machines. This is a problem to be aware of as a tourist in either area, as it’s easy to mistake the lira coins for the more valuable euros if you aren’t paying close attention.

Besides Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (a small independent breakaway state on the island of Cyprus) uses the new lira and the new kuru.

The new lira will become just the lira on January 1, 2009; the notes will also be changed in shape and size as a forgery prevention measure. The Turkish Central Bank is also considering introducing a 200 lira note at the same time.

Do You Want to Learn About The Fascinating People of Turkey?

With their complex and rich history, the people of Turkey are unique and fascinating. Because Turkey was a thriving empire throughout most of its history, peoples were assimilated into its culture by conquering them or enslaving them, or simply because business with Turks was good.

Today the country includes several distinct ethnic groups: Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians, Roma, Greeks, Jews, and others. The Turks are the predominant group, and everyone speaks Turkish as the official language (not Arabic).

There are about 70 million Turkish citizens, more than half of them under the age of 30. In regards to their education most of the people of Turkey is reasonably well-educated, though the south eastern quadrant tends to be less so; this is because there’s still a problem there with women being viewed as second-class citizens, and partly because of this, young girls are often not educated.

Much of the current nature of the people of Turkey was shaped at the end of World War I, a devastating time for the Turks.

This was when the great Ottoman Empire was defeated and partitioned into several countries, and people were seeking a new direction. They found it in the Ataturk (Father of Turkey) Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a war hero and revolutionary leader who threw out the old Sultanate and created a new republican government during the 1920s, which reformed the social structure of the country.


While reforming women’s rights, polygamy and divorce by renunciation were outlawed, women were given the right to vote and equal standing under the law, and encouraged to dress in European style; veils were made illegal as well. Religion was removed as the basis of government and replaced with secularism. While the country maintains a very strong Eastern flavour, Turkey is a very modern and westernised country, this is especially true in the cities.

What is that Eastern flavour? It’s not Muslim, interestingly. Turkish people moved from Central Asia, very near China, to their current home, and interacted on the way with Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Anatolian, and European cultures, creating a very interesting culture. It’s more a stew than a blend, as distinct parts of each contributing culture can still be identified, though the whole is held together by a culture that can only be called Turkish.

The Turkish language is also unique; it is unrelated to most other languages today, and during the 1920s purged much of the Arabic influence out. Today the Istanbul dialect is accepted as the standard language by the people of Turkey, though there are several local and regional dialects also spoken throughout the country.

buying property in turkey

Turkey is probably ripe for an artistic revolution. Since the reformations of the Ataturk, artists have struggled to find a Turkish identity in their history using modern influences, and the results have been lukewarm at best.

With the amazing collection of ancient architecture and art in the country, there is rich material to draw upon, and chaos is the perfect bed from which to draw new artistic ideas.

Most Turks are Muslim at least in name, primarily Sunni. A unique sect, the Alevi, is related to both Sufi and Shi’a Islam; it is followed by as many as 20% of Turks. There are also several Christian sects in the country, mostly Eastern Orthodox. Religion is a cultural, not ideological, bond between the people of Turkey. Interestingly, even modern Turks fear the Evil Eye, or nazar. You will often see Turkish people wearing a nazar amulet to ward off ill luck brought by envious people.

A Brief Account of The History of Turkey

The history of Turkey is littered with fascinating facts, which helped to shape many other parts of the World.

Stretching across most of the southern edge of the Black Sea, Turkey has long been critical in the history and development of the Middle East. And because it is situated uniquely between the East and the West, the North and the South, Turkey’s culture, history, and arts are rich and vital, filled with artifacts from all parts of the world that have been fused into the unique place that is Turkey.

Though less famous, the history of Turkey is as long and as deep as that of Egypt, and it has been as influential on the development of the rest of the world. Only because the peoples of Turkey developed writing relatively late has their history been skipped over.

Potsherds and stone tools from early man are found throughout Turkey. The oldest classical epic, the Odyssey, is set in Turkey; the Trojan Wars were fought here over the Dardanelles, the strait connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

The first empire to defeat the Egyptians using their high-tech (relatively speaking) war chariots were the Hittites, centered in Turkey. The Phrygians, the Lydians, Caryans, Lyceans, all were succeeding empires and countries in the region that is now Turkey.

Throughout the days of rule by the Alexandrian Greek and Roman empires, Turkey maintained its identity. In Christian times, Constantine established Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the center of the Eastern Christians, who later developed into the Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Egyptian Orthodox Churches. After the fall of Rome, Constantinople was the center of the Byzantine Empire, which later fell to the Muslims as a new chapter in the history of Turkey began.

Ruled by the Muslim Seljuk Turks for nearly two hundred years, Turkey was again invaded, this time by the Mongols. These invaders were more interested in plunder than ruling Turkey, but their victory brought the Turkish civilization crashing down again by about 1300. A small province of the original Seljuks rose to power after this to create the powerful Ottoman Empire, which lasted over six hundred years into modern times.

The downfall of the Ottomans was World War I, when they allied with the Germans and shared in their defeat. The Empire was dismantled by the victorious Allies, and only the Anatolian Peninsula remained for Turkey.

buying a home in turkey

Today’s Turkey was born in 1922, when the remains of the Sultanate were wiped away by rebels under the lead of Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The new country was a republic, and its leaders set about vigorously eliminating the old ways of the Ottomans and replacing them with shining modern ideas. They allied with Britain and the other Allies in World War II, though the alliance was mostly ceremonial, and joined NATO and the UN. Though the glory days of the Empire are gone, Turkey is an equal partner in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Despite its progressiveness, the history of Turkey is cherished by its people. Ottoman and Byzantine architecture is preserved for visitors who want to see the glories of the old days, and museums dot the country, holding relics from Turkey’s long and complex past. History here is close to the surface, and stepping into a museum or visiting a small village can send you back to the golden days of yesterday, at least in your mind.

Interesting Facts About Turkey

Most people do not know much about Turkey, however there are many interesting facts about Turkey that are often overlooked and ignored.

For example:

  • Turkey has a long and rich history; it is indeed a haven for religious, political and natural history.
  • The oldest known human settlement is located in Catalhoyuk, Turkey and dates back to over 9,000 years ago.
  • Within Turkey lie the sites for two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • The oldest church in the world is in Turkey, as is the best preserved Roman Theatre.

There are many other facts about Turkey and its past that make it a unique and special place on the planet.

To get to know the country you must of course recognize and know its official name; The Republic of Turkey.

One interesting fact about Turkey is that the population is almost entirely Muslim. Approximately 99% of the population is Muslim; among that majority Sunnis comprise 75% of that total. Despite the overwhelmingly Muslim demographics, The Republic of Turkey is a secular state, meaning that there is of course complete freedom of choice and worship for any religion. Ethnically, an estimated 80% of the population is Turkish; the other 20% is Kurdish. The official language of the country is Turkish and the currency is the New Turkish Lira.

One of the most interesting facts about Turkey is that the country lies on two separate continents. 3% of Turkey’s landmass lies in Europe with the huge majority (97%) of Turkey falling in Asia. Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city is also the only city in the world to be located in two separate continents. There are over 12 million people that live in the city, although it is no longer the capital of the country. That distinction falls to Ankara, with a population at the time of writing closing in on 5 million.

Geographically, Turkey’s borders on 3 sides are seas. The Black Sea is Turkey’s northern border; the Aegean Sea is the western border and the Mediterranean Sea is to the south of the country. Within the country lies the Sea of Marmara. These four seas also correspond to four of the seven regions that the country is divided into. The other three regions are Central Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolia Region and Southeastern Anatolia Region.

With such varied terrain and surroundings, the weather is one of the most amazing facts about Turkey that you will need to acquaint yourself with. Southern Turkey, along the Mediterranean, is where you will enjoy the best weather that the country has to offer. Here there is a mild, typical Mediterranean and temperate climate. Farther towards the center of the country and away from the seas, the winters can be severe and the summers will be especially hot and dry.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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