Lawyer in Turkey: 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tapu within 3 days!

Procedural Change at the Tapu*

Since last month foreigners are able to buy real estate within 3 days!!!!

According to the Turkish TAPU laws and regulations in force, transfer of ownership of a property is only possible with an official deed and registry which is signed at the Land Registry Directorates, provided that for the foreigner a permission procedure is undertaken, regardless if for the same property any procedure has been followed before  or not.

This permission procedure takes at least 6 up to 8 weeks and has several disadvantages for the buyer as well as for the seller of the property. 

But, adjustments since October 2013 allow a foreigner to register his ownership directly without following a permission procedure for the bought real estate, provided that there is a permission procedure undertaken for the plot after 05.05.2011.

With other words, if since 05.05.2011 for the building wherein the apartment is sited or for the plot wherein the villa is located already a foreigner permission procedure has been undertaken, the foreigner who wants to buy the real estate which is located in the same plot is not obliged to receive or follow any procedure at all. He is able to receive his title of deed directly, as a Turkish citizen!

For the permissions undertaken before the date of 05.05.2011 , the obligation to undergo the permission procedure still does exists.

*Tapu = Title deed, ownership

Friday, August 2, 2013

Electronic Visa for Turkey

It's finally there. Visa application and approval for Turkey trough internet.
You can pay with you credit card and no queues anymore at the Turkish customs.

Turkey has announced a e-visa application on internet. The website is available through: E-visa, the electronic visa site of Turkey.

The website gives the possibility to pay and print your visa. The next step is to show your printed version at the Turkish customs.
No more visa queues at the airport. The internet site is accessible via E-Visa.

A tourist visa is valid, as shown in our previous publication: New visa regulations for tourists in Turkey.

Furthermore, a visa is valid for the applicant. It is not possible to transfer or to sell your visa document.

More information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Board Practices

A woman called me recently to ask whether a board could remove an existing playground in a residential complex without consulting its members. The board felt a barbeque area was nicer than a playground. The playground had already been sold. Objections of members were answered as follows: ”we don’t need your approval, because we’ll have a majority.” This was said, because the members who were asking about it were from another nationality than the board.

Another reader asks himself the question if expensive improvements to the main building can take place without an underlying decision of the members. In other words, is a board entitled to just renew the basement, place a sauna, purchase an expensive installation system or remove an existing installation - such as a satellite antenna - without an underlying decision of the association.
All these questions can be answered with a definite 'No'.
The director, or the board, is an executive body which operates in the service of all the owners of the residence or the members of the association. The board is obliged to carry out the decisions of the members. These decisions need to be taken in majority during a regular or special meeting.
Nevertheless, a majority vote does not necessarily mean that the rights of the minority should not be observed. A non-consenting owner (member) may annul a majority decision on legitimate personal grounds.
To clarify I will take the example of the playground. The decision to remove the playground and replace it with a barbeque tent, taken in majority of votes, may be annulled in court on grounds that the enjoyment of families with many children is limited. Namely, the association should make the justified decision to ensure the existing rights of the families with children. If really necessary, the playground can be moved to another location, so the (grand)children of these families can still use it. However, a barbecue is not seen as a necessary item for all members and should therefore not be funded by members that don’t want to make use of it.
In short: The board is only justified to carry out a (legal) action if a decision is taken by the members at a meeting. An exception to this rule is made if necessary and / or urgent situations occur that justify immediate interference of the board. For example, if a basement floods, the board must take immediate action to limit the damage. I say must, because it’s their obligation, not a choice. The board in this case is legitimate to hire a pump, and make costs, to pump the water out so damage is limited and it is not necessary for the board to consult the members. However, this doesn't mean the board may purchase an expensive pump, or paint and redecorate the basement.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Minimum Wages Turkey 2013 (2nd period)

The Turkish Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, has announced the minimum wage for 2013, the 1st period of 2013, (1st January 2013 - 30 June 2013).

Every year on the 1st of  January and the 1st of  July the government announces the new wages for the next coming 6 months.

Structure minimum salary
The statutory minimum wage is based on the gross salary for normal working hours, without overtime. You receive this wage on the agreed payment period, f.e. weekly, monthly or every 4 weeks. The gross salary may consist of:
  • the (basic) salary in your employment contract has been agreed;
  • the allowances for performance, shifts, irregular hours, standby duty and working conditions;
  • the fixed bonus for the sales you make any payment and you will receive;
  • the rewards of third parties caused by the work.

The total of these amounts shall not be less than the minimum wage.

Pay slip
To avoid problems in the future with the tax authorities, es we recommend to pay the wages exactly as mentioned on the pay slip. If you pay in cash, let your staff monthly sign the pay slip (your accountant will create the slip monthly).

Apartments staff
The legislation distinguishes apartments staff. There are more than 200,000 people who are registered as apartment staff (kapıcı). The government has made ​​an exception for this group allowing an exemption from income tax (gelir vergisi) and withholding tax (withholding tax). The exemption creates a higher net income. The total cost to the employer will remain the same.

(Period 01.07.2013-31.12.2013)
16 years and older
Apartment personnel (kapıcı)
Gross salary
1021,50 TL
1021,50 TL
Social insurance employee
143,01 TL
143,01 TL
Unemployment insurance contribution employee
10,22 TL
10,22 TL
Income tax
56,84 TL
Cost of living allowance (aig)
(Single and no children)
73,40 TL
Stamp tax
6,74 TL
Total deductions
216,81 TL
153,23 TL
NET SALARY (incl aig)
804,69 TL
868,27 TL
Total cost for employer
1.190,05 TL
1.190,05 TL

Friday, May 31, 2013

Obligatory Books and Records Union Meetings

Probably everybody knows by now that the head of the board of the Homeowners Association is obliged to keep a decision book, but did you know he also needs to keep a cash book and that there is also a book for the auditor?

The cash book and the decision book
Under articles 32 and 36 of the Apartment Law the head of the board is required to keep a decision book and a cash book. All decisions of the general meeting and internal management decisions have to be included in the decision book and all income and expenditure of the association have to be included in a cash book.

All pages of both books must be validated by a notary before they can be used. The head of the board must make sure these books are closed by a notary every year before January 31st.

It is important that the decisions of the Homeowners Association are translated properly into the Turkish language and recorded in the decision book. It is also wise to ensure that the names of the appointed directors or auditors are correctly and fully registered. A notary will not automatically ratify and accept pages written in a foreign language or abbreviated names and nicknames.

Invoices, receipts, quotations and official documentation, such as notices of default, letters of formal notice, agreements and so on should be kept in a folder. I also think it is wise for the head of the board to keep a copy of the management plan of the building. This can be obtained on request at the Tapu office.

The auditor book 
Article 41 of the Apartment Law clearly describes that an auditor must keep an auditor book. Members of the Homeowners Association may choose one person or a committee of three persons from their midst for this function. The auditor must control the cash book of the head of the board within the prescribed time or when no period is known at the end of the financial year and report his findings through an auditor book.

Also the auditor book, just like the other books, must be validated by a notary before it can be used.

If the board does not live up to its obligations it can be penalized with a fine of 250,-TL and can incur to 2000,-TL. The request to impose an administrative sanction can be made by one of the members of the Association. Furthermore he can be prosecuted for improper use of common money. Sanction is imprisonment of 1 year of more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Manual Healty and Security for Appartment Employees


The 1st of January, 2013, employers with staff employed are legally required to do a risk assessment at their workplace. In other words, all apartments or residential parks with a caretaker, gardener and/or security men have to do the risk assessment according the new labor safety rules before the end of 2013, under penalty of a large fine. For a whole year, the total amount of fines can be up to 60.000 TL.

The manuals are available in Dutch and English language.
Read more on:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No more visa problems in Turkey!

Good news for homeowners in Turkey. 
Today the Turkish Vice-President Ali Babacan has stated that foreigners with property in Turkey could get visa exemption for Turkey. The necessary preparations and draft law was recently submitted to the Minister.

According to Babacan, the visa issue will be resolved in a short time. The new law will give the opportunity for foreign investors to stay for more than three months in Turkey.

Please follow us and you will be informed about the changes.
Push the Like button on our facebook site.

Sümela Monastry, Trabzon- Turkey Google Maps

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mandatory Risk Assessment at the Workplace

Directors of an owner association be aware!

The 1st of January, 2013, employers with staff employed are legally required to do a risk assessment at their workplace. In other words, all apartments or residential parks with a caretaker, gardener and/or security men have to do the risk assessment according the new labor safety rules before the end of 2013, under penalty of a large fine. For a whole year, the total amount of fines can be up to 60.000 TL.

This is prescribed by the amended Occupational Health legislation at 1 January 2013. The purpose of the Occupational Health legislation is to regulate the duties, powers, responsibilities, rights and duties of employers and employees with a view to improve and enforce the health and safety care at the workplace.

What is a risk assessment?

Risk assessment covers a report relating to the nearer establish and analysis of existing hazards as well the chance on possible hazards at the workplace, factors that can convert these hazards into risks or maybe aggravate, analyzing the risks in quantity and grade, and determining control measures in this.

The law does not distinction between an employer with 100 employees or 1 employee. Those who do not meet this obligation will be fined with 3.000 TL for January 2013 and for each following month 4.500 TL per month. The inspection will be carried out by the labor inspectorate. By determination of non-compliance, the local Occupational Health department will cash the fine.

Risk assessment should be carried out in groups. The department needs to be formed by the employer. According to the amended regulations, this department must consist of:  the employer or his representative, a representative of the employees, support staff, a knowledgeable representative of the employees about risk analysis, a labor doctor and an expert on occupational safety. The employer may, if desired, take off services from outside.

The presence of a labor doctor and a safety expert is not required (until 30 June 2014). These are not required for employers with less than 50 personnel and workplaces be termed as non-dangerous.

If you need advice and guidance, we can assist you in drawing up this risk assessment and other questions in this regard.

You can find the new laws regarding to Healthy and Safety at Work at the law database of the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Changed VAT rates for Property sale per 2013

Sale of immovable property by enterprises has to be invoiced including VAT of 18%. This is the general rule, but the VAT rate for sale of immovable property by enterprises in the capacity of contracting firms has been adjusted since the 1st of January 2013.

Contractors who build and sell their houses c.q. apartments to consumers will pay much more VAT than they have done until now. With the amendment the VAT rate is not merely depended on the total square meter of a house, but is related to the m2-value calculated on the property value provided by the municipality.
For properties up to a value of 500TL per m2 applies a VAT rate of 1%, between 500 and 1000TL per m2, a rate of 8%, values higher than 1000TL per m2 and for plot land a VAT rate of 18% has to be applied.

Before 2013 the VAT rate was respectively 1% and 18% for floor area less than 150 m² and for area larger than 150 m².
The introduction of the new VAT rate was needed to create equity in the housing market due to that the same VAT rate of 18% was applied for every kind of house without making any difference in places. A contractor who builds an apartment with the same square meter in Istanbul paid the same VAT as another contractor who builds the same apartment in Samsun or Konya. Although the value of the houses could change considerable.

The new rate took effect on the 1st of January 2013, with many objections from the business society!