Lawyer in Turkey: Question & Answer

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Question & Answer

Selma Ören M.A, lawyer Turkish law, writes a column on a subject that reflects buying or owning real estate in Turkey. Every week we receive questions from readers that are also answered by Selma Ören M.A. Because other readers might have the same problems, we have collected some popular questions and answers and published them in this issue.

Maintenance Fee

Please can you explain who is responsible for the annual maintenance fees of unsold apartments in a block? If 20 of the total 35 apartments in the block are sold, should the maintenance fees be divided by 35 or by 20? In other words, are the 20 owners responsible for the entire block? And if not, who is responsible for the 15 unsold properties?

Selma Ören M.A:

Every owner of real estate (in this case apartment) is responsible for the (payment of) maintenance fees for his share in the total block. The person who or the company (for example the developer) that owns the unsold part or parts of the block, is responsible for the maintenance fees.

Apartment still under construction!!

I would appreciate your advice on the following situation. In February 2007 I bought an apartment under construction. I didn't sign a solicitor's purchase agreement as I trusted the real estate agent. With the real estate agent I also agreed to withhold the last 10% from the developer. (I had already paid the total amount to the real estate agent). A year later the property was finished, but to a very low standard (doors, floors, etc). It looked a bit like a cowboy job.

Many emails, telephone calls and promises by the real estate agent later, there is still a long snagging list. (Only a few small things have been fixed by the real estate agent's maintenance man). I now possess my Tapu. How can I get the developer to finish the apartment to the standard he promised?

Selma Ören M.A:

I understand from your mail that this concerns a recently delivered property. In this case you can hold the contractor fully responsible for the not or badly completed jobs to the property in accordance with the purchase agreement. Check that your claims are reasonable and in line with the circumstances. I suggest that you take legal advice. You can of course also contact our office regarding this matter.


We are owners of an apartment here in Turkey. We would like to know whether our six children will inherit the property when we die, or whether -according to Turkish law - other relatives are also entitled to a share of this property. We have to review our will in any case upon our return to the UK, but do we have to make separate arrangements here in Turkey regarding the apartment?

What are the approximate fees for a Turkish will and who could advise us in this matter? Mike and Barbara Hurley

Selma Ören M.A:

When you die, your apartment will be left to your children.

There is no question that other relatives will inherit your apartment. Your English Will is legitimate in Turkey. You can of course also make a Turkish Will specifically for your Turkish assets. It is not necessary to make a Will if your children are the only beneficiaries, as they are already automatically heirs to your estate. A Will will be made by the notary in the presence of two witnesses. You will also be assisted by a certified translator employed by the notary. Notary fees depend on the number of documents. It will be minimal 400 TL for legal transactions/deeds. The notary will not provide legal advice. If you require specific legal advice, then you will need to contact a lawyer.


I have read your article on Tapu amendments. You mention the "form amendment' of the Tapu, the so called 'transfer of the cross'. Does this only apply to apartments? Can you please advise me what the case is with houses (villas)? I own a Tapu (for the plot Arsa), Iskan.

Selma Ören M.A:

The Tapu amendment applies to all properties, regardless of whether they form part of an apartment block, a villa estate or are independent properties.

Owner Association

In 2004 we bought an apartment in Mahmutlar without any knowledge of Turkish regulations but with the necessary caution and guarantees, as far as this was possible.

The last 2 years more and more anomalies have come to the surface, such as

1) We discovered by accident that the house numbers are not in accordance with the land register. The numbering seems to be back to front. What are the consequences, if any, for me the owner when I decide to sell the apartment?

2) Our apartment block has an owner association. The association consists of Dutch, German and Turkish apartment owners. How many owners / what percentage of owners should be present to comply with the minimum voting requirements? What is the majority of votes required from owners present to approve or reject a decision? What are the rules for counting votes if 1 owner has 4 apartments and another has 2 apartments?

3) The annual fee for the association and the joint insurance premium need to be paid into the private bank account of the manager's spouse in the Netherlands. Is this correct? And are there any good reasons not to use a Turkish account which is held by the association and accepts € and TL currency?

4) I think it is clear from the above that we are dissatisfied with the current situation and in particular the repeated threat of fines is detrimental to our happiness in the property. How do we go about replacing the current committee?

Selma Ören M.A:

1) I am not sure of the potential implications of the problem, but the actual numbering needs to correspond with the numbering on your tapu. If this is not the case, then you will need to take action. This can have far reaching consequences on your ownership rights in the future.

2) The rule is 50% + 1, both for the number of members present as for the number of votes; we call this double majority. And as long as there are no further legal requirements. Counting depends on the total number of apartments.

3) This is completely wrong. The association should have a joint account in Turkey and all members should be able to pay money into this account. It is possible that the Dutch account is used to avoid differences in exchange rate and transfer costs to Turkey. The bookkeeping (if you have a concierge, gardener, etc) should be kept in Turkish currency in respect of the SSK premiums. So, although there are practical reasons for having a Dutch account, it would be more appropriate to have a TL account, so that private money and association money are kept separate.

4) All members have to be present at the meeting. This can be in person or by proxy. A co-owner is allowed to use power of attorney by a maximum 4 other owners. This will allow you to replace the present committee with a majority of votes and elect new members immediately.


  1. Good afternoon

    I own a one bedroom apartment (one of the two smallest) in a block of seven with a shared swimming pool and small garden area in Kalkan, Turkey. A staff member at the local Deniz Bank advised that to be properly covered by insurance that we should have communal building and earthquake insurances.

    Can you advise if this is correct and the best way to go about it. Five of the owners are British and two are Turkish.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Anonymous31 May, 2013

      Please request a proposal from the insurance company


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