A legal provision introduced in 2003, enabling real people and corporate entities of foreign origin to obtain real estate in Turkey, was overturned by the Constitutional Court in 2005.
The sale of properties to foreigners skyrocketed during those two years. The rationale for the Higher Court’s decision to annul the provision was justified through “the country’s unity, security and its strategic position.”
The citizens of nearly 42 countries are not allowed to obtain real properties in Turkey due to the fact that current laws require “reciprocity.” Among these, countries of the Persian Gulf rank at the top, including Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and two countries that have figured rather prominently on the international scene as of late, Syria and Libya, in addition to the Turkic republics of Central Asia.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been showered with regional attention since the advent of the “Arab Spring.” This popularity also has the effect of pushing Turkey and its bountiful geography to the fore. The government now intends to attract a significant influx of direct foreign investment by taking advantage of these regional developments, selling property to foreigners without any regard for the principle of reciprocity.
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has completed its preparations and the draft proposal is expected to be presented to the Cabinet. Minister Erdogan Bayraktar resolved the issue through the “bypassing” method. The principle of reciprocity stipulated the law will be revoked and the power of authorization, in turn, will be granted to the Cabinet which then will be able to issue permits to any foreign citizen it desires. Reports indicate that problems faced by commercial enterprises bearing a foreign corporate identity will also be dealt with through the same amendment.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News