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Tapu: the "title deed" or “proof of ownership certificate” to your property in Turkey

What is the Tapu?

Everyone who has ever been involved in real estate in Turkey, or got into contact with a real estate agent in Turkey; was faced with the Tapu word. Sometimes it seems like the whole real estate business in Turkey is just about the word Tapu ... Is the Tapu really so important and what does Tapu actually means? Well, the Tapu is – like the Iskan – very important; but it is not something magical as it might look like sometimes. The Tapu is actually nothing more or less than the title deed; the proof that you are the registered as the official legal owner of a registered real estate in Turkey. In other words: when your name is on the Tapu; it means that you are the rightful owner of your property in Turkey.

The Tapu is, in fact, nothing more or less than the title deed to your villa or apartment in Turkey

The only competent institution in Turkey to issue the Tapu is the Office of Tapu and Cadastre. In this government agency, the entire administration of all real estate in Turkey is tracked and monitored. In other words, this means that, by issuing the Tapu; the Turkish state itself gives you the guarantee that you are the rightful and legal owner of the property that you have bought in Turkey. Of course, this document is internationally recognised.

How to obtain your Tapu?

Once the sales contract for your property in Turkey is signed, RealProinvest starts up the procedure to obtain your Tapu by means of a power of attorney which empowers us to handle this procedure on your behalf; see also the purchasing process. If you wish, you can of course, do it yourself. We provide the necessary documents and send these to the Office of Tapu and Cadastre.

Following the approval of the transfer of ownership by the competent authorities relating to the acquisition of real estate by foreigners – which is, of course, only a formality since we include only properties in our portfolio of which all documents are in order 100% – and after payment of the taxes due; the buyer receives the certificate of ownership registration, the Tapu. This is the confirmation that the title deed has been transferred from the previous owner to the current. The Tapu gives the buyer the full, perpetual and unlimited right of ownership, which cannot be disputed by anyone in any way. Either one or more natural or legal persons can be the owner(s) of property in Turkey.

RealProinvest only sells real estate of which both the Iskan and the Tapu are in order 100%

What is stated on the Tapu?

The Tapu consists of three main parts. The upper part of the Tapu mainly concerns the location of the property (1 to 13). The middle section of the Tapu contains the details of the property itself (14 to 24); and the lower part of the Tapu relates to the registration information of the Bureau of Tapu and Cadastre (25 to 27).

  1. Province
  2. City
  3. Municipality
  4. District
  5. Street
  6. Location
  7. Photograph of the owner
  8. Card number
  9. Number of the area on the map
  10. Plot number
  11. Type of real estate (building, building land, ...)
  12. Total surface area
  13. Boundaries of the plot
  14. Kat Mülkiyeti: Title deed of the building and the land
  15. Kat Irtifaki: Title deed of the property to be built and the ground; also known as the demerger title deed. Once the contractor has obtained his building permit, he needs to split up the plot in such a way that each apartment gets its share of the plot. On the basis of the building permit, a part of the land will be allocated to each apartment. Through this splitting, each apartment will be registered as an individual home, with its own share of the plot.
  16. Devre Mülk: This is actually a kind of timeshare. The owner buys the right to use the property for a short period each year.
  17. Official value of the property in the registry of the Office of Tapu and Cadastre; which is almost always significantly less than the fair market value. Why is that? Well, there are several reasons … First, the value on the Tapu is determined by the Office of Tapu and Cadastre, and they set a much lower value than the fair market value. “And why is that?” you will be probably wondering now ... Well, that's just the system; this is how it works in Turkey. Secondly – and this is probably part of the explanation for the preceding – this system brings several advantages: the taxes to be paid by the construction company at the sale of a new home are lower, the tax by the transfer of the title deed (read: sales and purchases) for a property in Turkey is lower, the annual real estate tax is lower, the cost of the compulsory DASK insurance is lower … because all these things are calculated based upon the value of the property according to the Tapu. In other words, this lower value on the Tapu was and is good for everyone (apart from the Tax Office of course).
  18. Type of property (villa, apartment, ...)
  19. Part of the land plot that belongs to this building
  20. Number of the building
  21. Floor
  22. Property number (number of the apartment)
  23. The data of the buyer and the seller, and the reason for the transfer of the title deed to this property (e.g. sales, donation or inheritance)
  24. Name of the new owner of the property
  25. Data about the registration (including the number of the transfer of the title of ownership, the coordinates of the registration in the registry of the Bureau of Tapu and Cadastre ...)
  26. Date of the registration
  27. Stamp and signature of the Director of the Bureau of Tapu and Cadastre or another authorized official.

In contrast to some European countries; the selling of real estate in Turkey is not executed by a notary. Only an official at the Office of Tapu and Cadastre is entitled to register a transfer of ownership of real estate in Turkey. Consequently, it is therefore useless to turn to a notary; except of course for the notary ratification of the translations of the documents required for the purchase of real estate in Turkey, and as such for drawing up a will (See also the services of RealProinvest, the drawing up of a will on the legacy of your villa or apartment in Turkey and the purchase procedure). A pleasant side effect is that the real estate purchase process in Turkey is much cheaper. A complete list of expenses can be found on our information page about the purchase costs and a summary of the annual cost for your apartment or villa in Turkey.

It goes without saying that RealProinvest only sells real estate in Turkey of which the Tapu is in order for 100%. The handling of the Tapu procedure for foreigners runs nowadays very fast and takes only a few days (see also our blog “simplified purchasing process of property in Turkey for foreigners”). Only if you are the first foreigner who purchases a property in that residence, you must obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence in Izmir; which is normally just a formality. Obviously, RealProinvest handles the processing of this application; which takes about one and a half to two months. After approval, the normal standard procedure for obtaining the Tapu will be applied. In addition to the Tapu, the Iskan is also a very important document when buying property in Turkey.