Foreign Ownership Suspension in Turkey

The Turkish Ministry of Public Works and Settlement has stopped issuing property title deeds to non-Turkish individuals and companies following a decision by the Constitutional Court. The courts ruling has shaken confidence in the Turkish property market. The Turkish government has been keen to attract foreign investment and has previously relaxed elements of Turkeys restrictive property laws with the enactment of the Foreign Direct Investment Law (FDI) which removed restrictions on foreign property ownership. This new law has been challenged in the Constitutional Court by two deputies in the Republican Peoples Party, arguing that there was a lack of clarity in subsections of the Foreign Direct Investment Law, and that the act unlawfully removed long held restrictions on foreign property ownership. As a result of the legal challenge, all property sales to foreigners were stopped from the 16th of April. The Turkish constitutional court has cancelled one article of the FDI Law that allowed the government the authority to remove the 2.

5 hectare limit on individual foreign property ownership. The constitutional courts decision, is an embarrassment to a government that has been eager to encourage the growth of tourism, and saw foreign ownership of resort property as a prime method. The foreign property investment market has seen over one and a half billion of inward investment in the previous three years alone.

The government has acted swiftly to end the property ownership crisis, by drafting a new parliamentary bill which seeks to overcome the issues highlighted by the constitutional court. The government is hopeful that this will soon lead to a resumption of foreign property sales.

Amy Morgan is a author/journalist writing on Turkish property law for Big Property Guide

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