The Turkish government promises a new Property Act within three months
The Government spokesman, Cemil Cicek, said there will be a new Property Act within the three months the Constitutional Court has given the government to change the existing Act.
The statement came just after the Turkish Constitutional Court had annulled the changes made by the government in the Property Act in July 2003. The Constitutional Court argued that the new paragraph (§35) in the law does not include sufficient restrictions concerning the sale of larger areas of land to foreigners and that the law does not include sufficient consideration regarding the reciprocal policy of Turkey. (An agreement which allows mutual rights of property ownership for the citizens of participating countries.)
Citizens of 64 countries are allowed to buy
According to the Property Sale Authorities in Turkey, citizens of 64 countries are allowed to buy property in Turkey - all the European countries and also Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and UK. Also some of the more security sensitive neighbouring countries like, Iraq, Iran, Israel and Bulgaria also have the right to buy property and land in Turkey. Probably it is the last group of countries that is seen as a security risk in the eyes of the Constitutional Court.
The Turkish government has a huge interest in continuing the sale of property to foreigners. Within just two years it is estimated that the sale of property to foreigners has given the country a total foreign currency reserve of 2.3 billion dollars. It is mainly the tourist cities on the south and west coasts that have enjoyed the sales boom.
For this reason on 19 March the Alanya Municipality, Trade and Industry Organisation (ALTSO) and the Organisation of Real Estate Agents presented a special report to the Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan.
The Report emphasises:
- The significance of a Region which contributes around 1 billion dollars to the state budget as a result of income from tourism.
- That the sale of property to foreigners did not just contribute to the foreign currency income, but also affects tourism, the construction sector and trade in the area.
- Each year approximately 1500 properties are being sold to foreign citizens. There are approximately 6000 Europeans living permanently in Alanya. According to the report this gives a better link with the EU.
The Report also had some economic and macro economic warnings for the Government:
- That this kind of sudden change in the legislation gives the country an image of being unstable and untrustworthy both in trade market and concerning legislative procedures
- That this image could result in other countries such as Croatia, Slovenia and Bulgaria attracting potential tourists and investors etc.
- That the decision made by the Constitutional Court could harm tourism in 2005 and in the future.