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TAPU in Turkey in 2022

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Istanbul
View of Istanbul Seqoya / Shutterstock

What is a TAPU in Turkey

A TAPU or a Turkish title deed is a certificate of ownership of property. In Turkey, a signed contract of sale is not a confirmation of the transfer of ownership; such a right is guaranteed only by a TAPU issued by the cadastral office.

This document gives the owner the right to dispose of the property at his own discretion — to rent, sell and exchange real estate; grow plants or breed livestock on land.

This method of transferring ownership guarantees perpetual and undivided ownership of the land, residential and commercial facilities. In the future, no one can challenge this right, even in court.

What a TAPU looks like in Turkey — this is a document with a photograph and personal data of the owner, which includes information about the property, its area size, location, cost and previous owners.

Building title certificate
Building title certificate

The benefits of a TAPU

Ownership covers the building and the land. A TAPU in Turkey establishes the ownership of the building and the land to which it is attached. Therefore, the certificate indicates the cadastral number of the land plot and data on its area size, not the exact address of the object.

Up to 10 people can be co-owners. The list of property owners can include spouses, children, parents, friends and acquaintances without age restrictions. The document can also indicate how much of the land belongs to each of the owners.

A TAPU gives the right to obtain a residence permit. The Turkish government issues residence permits to property owners with completed title deeds. Usually a residence permit in Turkey is issued for 1–2 years, but the term can be extended. Spouses, parents and minor children can apply for a residence permit together with the owner, to whom a TAPU is issued. 

A TAPU for property worth 400,000 US dollars or more allows applying for citizenship. If the TAPU property value exceeds 400,000 US dollars then the owner can apply for Turkish citizenship. Under the simplified investment citizenship program, you can become a citizen of the Turkish Republic in 4–6 months.

TAPU for legal entities. A Turkish title deed can be obtained by a legal person as well. To do this, legal entities must provide a certificate confirming the company's existence, its activity and the authority to conduct real estate transactions.

What types of TAPU certificates are there?

There are two types of TAPU certificates in Turkey:

  • the red TAPU is a certificate of ownership of a property with residential or commercial buildings: apartments, cottages, private houses or commercial premises;
  • the blue TAPU is a proof of ownership of the land, usually agricultural plots where housing can be built, and livestock or crops can be grown.

When purchasing a land plot, the owner must submit a land use project for approval within two years. If the application is not filed or the project is not implemented within the agreed timeframe, the ownership may be revoked.

TAPU certificates
What a TAPU looks like in Turkey: on the left is a certificate of the right to the building, on the right — to the land

Since 2021, Turkey has been issuing a new type of TAPU certificates with QR codes. The Turkish government is gradually introducing an electronic TAPU registration system. The new forms include a property identification number and a QR code with a link to the information about the property and its owner.

The appearance of the form has changed: detailed information about the property and its previous owners has been removed, while the net and gross areas of the property have been added, along with the information about owners and their shares.

Building title certificate.
A new TAPU in Turkey

The new owner can choose whether he wants to receive an old or a new TAPU.

The net area for an apartment in Turkey refers to its usable area, which includes all living rooms (e.g., bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, etc.) and common utility areas (e.g., storage, dressing and laundry rooms). 

The gross area is the total construction area, which also includes balconies, terraces, loggias and patios, as well as the area of the adjacent swimming pool.

Reasons for obtaining a certificate of ownership in Turkey

The basis for obtaining a TAPU is a confirmed purchase of property in Turkey. Before applying for a TAPU, the new owner must sign a sales contract, conduct an independent appraisal of the property, complete all settlements with the seller and obtain a Turkish tax number (TIN).

The legal provisions on the purchase of real estate by foreigners are enshrined in the articles 35 and 36 of the Turkish Cadastre Law No. 2644

Obtaining a TAPU by a foreigner

Prior to obtaining a certificate, the buyer must resolve all issues concerning the purchase of real estate: select a property, conduct an independent appraisal of its value, take out insurance, sign a contract of sale and transfer money to the seller.

Only after all that an application for a title deed can be submitted. Notably, the buyer and seller must come to the cadastral authorities together and sign the absence of claims documents.

Let’s see the steps needed to get a TAPU in Turkey.

Step 1: Choosing a property

First, the buyer has to select a property, taking into account the following restrictions for foreigners: 

  • foreigners cannot own more than 10% of the area of ​​a district that is in private ownership (districts’ borders are determined by the state);
  • foreigner cannot own more than 30 hectares of land throughout the country;
  • foreigners are not allowed to purchase property in strategic, military and other protected areas in Turkey;
  • the purchase of real estate in privately protected areas is possible only with the permission of the governor of this area;
  • Russian and Ukrainian citizens cannot buy real estate on the Black Sea coast.

The choice of the property is determined by the location, investor's budget and overall goal: obtaining citizenship or receiving rental income. Istanbul, Mugla and Aydin offer a good selection of properties suitable for the citizenship by investment program. Rental properties with good yields can be found in Antalya, Alanya and other resort regions. That being said, the investor can capitalize on the property’s growth in value in almost all regions of Turkey.

The property market overview in 10 Turkish cities with the largest number of residential property deals

Sales volume in January 2022

Average price per square metre, in US $

Average property price, in US $

Annual value increase, in US $ terms 

Payback period from rental income, in years

Istanbul

15,110

430

49,511

45%

16

Ankara

8,255

207

26,953

7%

17

Izmir

5,486

376

47,009

10%

21

Antalya

4,295

370

45,506

43%

19

Bursa

3,734

245

31,838

14%

20

Kocaeli

2,801

226

28,256

6%

20

Mersin

2,346

221

33,155

38%

14

Tekirdag

2,215

201

27,083

26%

17

Aydin

2,184

420

60,454

54%

32

Balikesir

1,891

327

39,212

27%

26

* All prices at the beginning of 2022 are shown in US dollars at the rate of 1 USD to 13.48 TRY. The annual increase in prices is calculated against the US dollar exchange rate at the beginning of 2021 (1 USD to 7.45 TRY).

Step 2: Verifying and purchasing the property

Suitable properties should be checked for encumbrances: judicial arrest, collateral obligations, priority right of redemption or right of residence. 

It is worth paying attention to the type of acquired rights to real estate. Transactions with properties under construction are concluded based on the Kat irtifakı right. Under Kat irtifakı, the property’s area size is indicated by a guide value of the project. The actual area size of the completed property may be different. Upon completion of the construction, a state examination is carried out and a permit for commissioning is issued. The Kat mülkiyeti right can later be registered for a property in the completed building. 

Buyers are sometimes offered apartments with Kat irtifakı in newly built buildings. This may mean that there have been some deviations from the original project’s plan and the facility has not yet received an operating permit from the municipality. Even if the discrepancies with the project’s plan are insignificant, the registration of ownership of such properties may be delayed. The developer must first clear up the questions with the state experts.

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, we recommend checking the project’s documentation and all types of encumbrances before the deal. A local lawyer can help with this by forwarding inquiries about the property to competent authorities. You can find a reliable lawyer with Tranio’s help — we have been working on the Turkish market with trusted partners for many years.

If the documents are in order and the buyer is satisfied, he opens an account in a Turkish bank, signs a sales contract, pays for the purchase and receives a Turkish TIN.

Property for sale in Turkey 3,095 listings on Tranio

Step 3: Conducting an appraisal of the property

To obtain a TAPU in Turkey, an appraisal of the property’s market value is required. It is carried out according to the international standards. This procedure is designed to protect the investors from fraud by showing the property’s real value.

It is allowed to indicate the property’s appraised value in a TAPU certificate, even if the actual price of the property was higher. This can be beneficial for the owner, because taxes and fees for issuing a TAPU are charged on the appraised value.

In Istanbul, the price and the appraised value of apartments are almost identical. In Alanya and Antalya, in most cases, a TAPU indicates the appraised value, which is 40–50% lower than the actual purchase price. If an investor plans to apply for Turkish citizenship by investment without noticeably exceeding the limit, he should look for properties in regions where the appraised value is close to the real market price.

— Emirhan Kırkıncıoğlu, a Turkish real estate expert

For the property’s appraisal, you must contact a certified expert. His services cost about 200 euro; the assessment is usually ready within 2–3 days. Tranio partners with competent experts and can guarantee that the assessment will be completed on time.

Step 4: Insuring the property

To obtain a TAPU on the land which has buildings, a policy of compulsory insurance against damage after an earthquake and other acts of nature (DASK) is required. The cost of insurance depends on many parameters: real estate area and location, seismic activity, etc. For example, insuring a 100 sq. m facility in Istanbul will cost about 18 euro per year, while in Alanya, where the seismic activity is lower, the cost will be around 7 euro.

Streets of Istanbul
Streets of Istanbul in February Tekkol / Shutterstock

Step 5: Applying for a TAPU

To apply for a TAPU in Turkey, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • an international passport valid for at least six months;
  • 2 photographs 3x4 cm in size;
  • Turkish TIN;
  • Turkish bank account information;
  • property’s appraisal report;
  • a policy of insurance (for a land plot with buildings);
  • a power of attorney if the owner cannot be present in person.

You can apply for a certificate in person or through an authorized representative at the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre. After submitting the documents, the applicant must wait for an SMS notification about the appointed date of the visit to sign the certificate.

Step 6: Paying duties and taxes

The property’s owner needs to pay a tax, which is 4% of the cadastral value of the property.

He also needs to pay the state duty for the paperwork and services of a state interpreter, amounting to 200 euro.

The revolving fund fee, which depends on the regional coefficient, must also be paid. In Antalya this fee is about 100 euro.

After all taxes and duties are paid, the cadastral department will start processing the documents. The property’s owner will be notified by an SMS message about the appointed date of issuing a TAPU.

Step 7: Signing the paperwork

On the appointed day, the buyer and seller, or their authorized representatives, come to the cadastral office, which is defined by the property’s location. If one of the participants does not speak Turkish, a state interpreter must then be present.

At this meeting, the buyer and seller report they have no claims against each other, afterwards the information about the new owner is entered into the state registry of real estate. The buyer becomes the full owner of the property and receives a Turkish title deed.

In a few days the TAPU will be issued. On average, the entire process takes from 3 to 7 days.

Annual Balloon Festival
Annual Balloon Festival in Cappadocia TravnikovStudio / Shutterstock

The total cost of obtaining a TAPU

The cost of obtaining a TAPU in Turkey includes the following fees:

  • the property tax, which is 4% of the value, mentioned in the certificate;
  • the state duty for paperwork and services of a state interpreter – about 200 euro;
  • the revolving fund fee, which depends on the regional coefficient; e.g., Antalya it is approximately 100 euro. 

How a TAPU is filled out

The new TAPU consists of four parts: 

  • part 1 — information about the location and address;
  • part 2 — information about the property;
  • part 3 — information about the owner;
  • part 4 — information from the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre.
Certificate with comments

Part 1 — information about the location and address:

  • 1. İli — province / region;
  • 2. İlçe — district;
  • 3. Mahallesi / Köy — municipality / village;
  • 4. Ada No и Parsel No — site coordinates;
  • 5. Yüz Ölçümü — area size;
  • 6. Niteliği — type of the property (specifications);
  • 7. Fotoğraf — photo of the owner.

Part 2 — information about the property:

  • 8. Niteliği — type of the property;
  • 9. Blok No – Çiriş – Kat No — block number, entrance and floor;
  • 10. Arsa Payi — owner’s share;
  • 11. Bağımsız Bulüm No — apartment number;
  • 12. Proje m² — project area size;
  • 13. Cilt / Sayfa No — page and record number.

Part 3 — information about the owner:

  • 14. Adı Soyadu / Baba Adı — name(s) of the owner(s);
  • 15. Hissesi — owner’s share.

Part 4 — information from the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre:

  • 16. Taşınmaz Tipi / No — type of the property and its number;
  • 17. Konum Bilgisi — address information;
  • 18. Edinme Neder — form of ownership (purchase, inheritance or gift);
  • 19. Tescil Tarihi / Yevmiye No — date and registration number;
  • 20. işlem Bedeli — property value.

FAQ

How much does a TAPU cost in Turkey?

The cost depends on the price of the property – 4% of the object’s value plus approximately 620 euro for related costs: property’s appraisal, state fees, translation services, revolving fund fees and property insurance.

What documents are required for a TAPU registration?
  • An international passport valid for at least six months;
  • 2 photographs 3x4 cm in size;
  • Turkish TIN;
  • Turkish bank account information;
  • Property’s appraisal report;
  • A policy of insurance, if there is a building;
  • A power of attorney if the owner cannot be present in person.
What is checked when issuing a TAPU?
  • The market value of the property.
  • A signed and paid contract of sale.
  • Property’s insurance, if there are buildings.
  • TIN of the buyer and seller.
  • Payment of the state duty and taxes.
How to verify the authenticity of TAPU?

A TAPU can only be issued by a state body. Therefore, through a notary one can request and receive confirmation of the document’s authenticity from a state body. The new TAPU has a QR code leading to a government website with information about the property.

Who can be included in a TAPU?

One can include any person in a TAPU and indicate shares of the property that will belong to each of the co-owners. There are no restrictions on kinship or age of participants. The number of co-owners is limited to 10.

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    Marina Filichkina
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