Guide to Buying Land For Sale in Bodrum or Istanbul


Whether you are looking for land for sale in Bodrum or Istanbul, certain rules and regulations need to be considered. Buying land for sale in Turkey is easy provided you are aware of the land laws. Foreigners are permitted to purchase freehold property in Turkey providing the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Government title deed or tapu has been recorded in the Land Registry
  • The property is located within the town development area
  • The property does not offer closeness to military installations
  • The land is not associated with the forestry commission
  • Expats are of a nationality with reciprocal buying rights.

Turkish title deed Tapu is associated with absolute ownership. A tapu deed proves the land has been recorded at land registry and ownership is not contested. Like many other countries, foreigners are able to purchase Turkish property freehold and in their name. Within the town development area, land for sale in Istanbul or Bodrum complies with requirements for expats to purchase provided certain conditions are met.

The Buying Process

The Turkish buying process is similar as compared to other countries where deposit is paid on contract and balance payment on transfer of title deed is required. The only difference is that while buying land, you need a military approval. While this sounds hard, it is actually very easy. The buyer can then be assured that they are purchasing a property for which they can make a purchase.

The property sold should also be considered whether it is under a citizen or foreign ownership. One may require a check at the land registry to assess if the property to be purchased needs military clearance in that case. If a fresh application has to be made, it needs to be undertaken by sellers or their representatives at the land registry with our help. Translated and notarised copies of buyers and sellers passports and a copy of the title deed are some of the requirements needed. The duration for the approval process varies across time and location. Updates for approval typically come in 5-6 weeks.

Once a sale is agreed upon, a purchase contract will be drawn by buyers and sellers to sign and lead to paid deposits. On the contract’s signature and payment of the deposit, the contract is binding on both parties. If the payment of a deposit is followed by a pull out by the buyer, the deposit will be forfeit. Post following the payment of the deposit, sellers pull out of the agreement and the deposit is refunded and penalty clauses are applied. The deposit levels vary across properties.

Contracts should be signed by buyer and seller in front of the Turkish solicitor. Reservation deposits are also used. Small amounts of money are paid to remove property from the market for a certain period of time.

Additionally, property purchased while it is off-plan has different payment schedules in place.

Post the completion of the sale, the buyer and the seller should meet at local land registry offices for transferring the title deed. This process takes a day and the proceedings need to be overseen. Foreigner buyers have an official translator to present and certify the registration. Buyers and sellers have to have the process of completion in place.

On the day of the title deed, the balance of the contract is given to the seller. Escrow services are generally not used in Turkey. Most expenses are paid out on advance of the deed transfer and not cut from amounts by solicitors in other countries.

Researching the Location

Visit property sites to understand whether your choice of the location is right. Decide which combination of price, location and property type are most suited. You also need to know the financial position. If buying with borrowed money, get a written confirmation of the amount borrowed and time scales involved. Arranging inspection trips, appointments and ensuring the paperwork is in place is important to buy the perfect plot of land in Istanbul or Bodrum.