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I am posting this translation as a sample of my work. It is the English translation of Law 5444 as it was promulgated in the Official Gazette on 7 January 2006. You should be aware that laws in Turkey may be amended or abrogated by parliament, so that the presence of this text on my website does not neccessarily imply that the law has the same wording, or is in force at all, at the time when you view it. You should also be aware that in legal proceedings in Turkish courts of law, interpretation will be made from the original Turkish language text. In some cases there are no precise English language equivalents for Turkish legal terminology so that only a Turkish legal expert working from the original text is competent to give advice based on this law. This translation is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
You can access the original Turkish language text of the law at Law 5444 in Turkish
Translated from Turkish by Tim Drayton.

Law

Law Concerning Changes to the Title Deed Law

Law Number 5444
Adoption date: 29.12.2005

ARTICLE 1. The Title Deed Law number 2644 dated 22/12/1934 has been amended such that Article 35, which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, reads as follows:

Article 35. Natural persons of foreign nationality may, on condition of reciprocity and compliance with legal restrictions, acquire for use as business premises or a residence real property in Turkey that is registered as having been designated for such purposes in a land-use development plan or locality development plan. The granting of easements shall be subject to the same conditions. The total land area of real property along with easements of an independent and permanent nature that may be acquired on a nationwide basis by one natural person with foreign nationality shall not exceed two and a half hectares. The Council of Ministers is authorised to increase the amount of such land area, subject to the conditions set forth in this paragraph, to no greater than thirty hectares.

Commercial companies that have the status of juristic persons and that have been established in foreign countries under the domestic legislation of their own countries may only acquire ownership of real property and easements over real property within the scope of the provisions of specific legislation.

The rules and restrictions of paragraphs one and two shall not apply to the creation of pledges over real property in Turkey in favour of natural persons of foreign nationality and commercial companies that have the status of juristic persons and that have been established in foreign countries under the domestic legislation of their own countries.

Persons other than natural persons of foreign nationality and commercial companies that have the status of juristic persons and that have been established in foreign countries under the domestic legislation of their own countries may not acquire real property in Turkey, nor may easements be granted in their favour.

The rules and restrictions of paragraph one shall not be applied to real property that is legally inherited by citizens of countries with which reciprocity with the Republic of Turkey applies. The rules and restrictions of the above paragraphs shall be applied in the case of testamentary disposition. In the case of real property and easements that are legally inherited by citizens of countries with which reciprocity with the Republic of Turkey does not apply, these shall be disposed of once transfer procedures have been completed.

The determination as to whether reciprocity applies shall be based on the legal and de facto situation. The crucial factor in determining whether this principle applies to citizens of countries in which land ownership rights are not granted to individuals shall be whether the foreign country grants the same property acquisition rights to citizens of the Republic of Turkey as it does to its own citizens.

The Council of Ministers is authorised, in response to appeals lodged by the appropriate public establishments or institutions accompanied by plans and coordinate maps that have been registered with competent authorities, in areas that require special protection due to their significance for irrigation, energy, agricultural or mining purposes or for reasons of conservation, faith or culture; areas under special protection along with sensitive areas that require protection due to their flora and fauna, and strategic locations; to designate areas in which for reasons of national security or the public good natural persons of foreign nationality and commercial companies that have the status of juristic persons and that have been established in foreign countries under the domestic legislation of their own countries may not acquire real property, nor secure easements in their favour; and to determine the proportion of the land area of each province that may be acquired by natural persons of foreign nationality, which shall not exceed five parts per thousand. Requests by public establishments and institutions pursuant to this article shall be studied and appraised by a commission exercising the authority vested in the Council of Ministers pursuant to this article that shall conisist of representatives of administrative bodies within the Ministry to which the Directorate General of Land Registry and Cadastre is affiliated, and shall be submitted to the Council of Ministers.

In the event that, following the date on which this Law shall take effect, areas are designated as prohibited military zones, military and special security areas or strategic areas, or decisions are taken to alter such areas, the Ministry to which the Directorate General of Land Registry and Cadastre is affiliated shall without delay be furnished by the Ministry of Defence with maps and coordinate values relating to these.

Notification to land registry offices shall be made by the appropriate administrative authority with respect to plots that, due to their inclusion within the areas stated in the above paragraphs, require to be made subject to compulsory purchase orders or in respect of which entry requires to be made in the property register.

In the case of real property and easements that are acquired in breach of the provisions of this article or that are determined to have been used for purposes other than those for which they were acquired, except when this is necessitated by the law, should disposal not be made by the owner within the time period allotted by the Ministry of Finance, disposal shall be conducted by sale and the proceeds of such sale shall accrue to the rightful party.

ARTICLE 2 The following provisional article has been been appended to Law number 2644.

PROVISIONAL ARTICLE 2 The Ministry of National Defence shall within the space of three months provide the Ministry to which the Directorate General of Land Registry and Cadastre is affiliated with comprehensive maps and coordinate values relating to decisions concerning prohibited military zones, military and special security areas along with strategic areas that are in existence on the date that this Law shall take effect.

Title deed transactions shall be conducted, until such time as map and coordinate values relating to the above-mentioned areas have been presented to to the Directorate General of Land Registry and Cadastre and these have been transferred in digital form to local units, by means of liasing with the authorised military authorities; and once such procedures have been completed, by means of consulting the documents and data thus submitted.

ARTICLE 3 This Law shall take effect retroactively as of 26/7/2005 with its promulgation.

ARTICLE 4 The Council of Ministers shall enforce the provisions of this Law.

6 January 2006