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TAPU : The first Turkish word you need to learn when buying a property in Turkey

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TAPU : The first Turkish word you need to learn when buying a property in Turkey

This is a comprehensible guide for you to fully understand what a Title Deed (Certificate of Ownership) is in Turkey.

If you are considering to buy a property in Turkey, TAPU is and must be the first Turkish word you should know and understand before putting your signature anywhere near a contract!

TAPU (Short for TAPU SENEDİ) is the Turkish translation for Title Deed and the single and ONLY record showing that you have taken full ownership of your property purchased in Turkey.

The equation is simple: No TAPU No Ownership!

Whatever you’ve been told, or whatever you think you are doing, never forget that without a valid TAPU registered to your name, you will not be considered as the legal owner of your property.

That’s why it is worth well understanding what a TAPU is, how to read it, where to look and naturally what to understand out of it!

So in order to well understand all the way leading to a TAPU registered to your name lets go step by step;

What does a TAPU look like;

As seen from the picture below, a TAPU is a piece of paper where all information about your property is written. Lets start with some plain translation;

Lets go step by step


1 – İLİ / PROVİNCE

If you are in Istanbul, you should read Istanbul there, if you are in Antalya , you should read Antalya there. In short, this is where the name of the province should be written (FYI there are 81 provinces in Turkey)

2 – İLÇESİ / BOROUGH-TOWN

You are in Antalya and maybe buying a property in Alanya , so this is where you should read Alanya. The same goes with, for example, if you are in Beylikduzu , which is a town of the main province Istanbul.

3 – MAHALLESİ / NEİGHBORHOOD
The neighbourhood in which the property is located. While this is an important part of the TAPU, do not worry if it is empty since its use has perished over time in many location.

4 – KÖYÜ / VİLLAGE

Going deeper in specifying the exact location of the property. Following the example used above, if you are buying property in Istanbul , Beylikdüzü , the village name may be Merkez (centre). Or if you are buying a property in Antalya, Alanya, the village name might be Mahmutlar , Oba , Cikcilli and so on.

5 – SOKAĞI /STREET NAME
The name says it all. This is also one detail in the TAPU which, depending on the location where you buy a property might be empty. No panic, this is normal.

6 – MEVKİİ / LOCATION
Additional information on location which may stay empty depending on the location where you buy.

7 – PAFTA No. / MAP No.

This is another critical part of the TAPU, along with No: 8&9 below. This is the codename for the city-planning map on which your property is located.

8 – ADA No. / BLOCK No.

The block number in which your property is located.

9 – PARSEL No. / PLOT No.

This is the final detail about the location of the property on the city map, the No. of the plot of land on which the property is located.

10 – NİTELİĞİ / FEATURE

Small description of what all these location details lead to, in our case, a building block and the land on which the building has been built.

11 – FOTOĞRAF / PİCTURE

Passport size picture of the owner(s) of the property.

12 – YÜZÖLÇÜMÜ / AREA

Details about the size of the land on which the property is located as described from No.13 to 15 below.

13 – ha / HECTARES

1 hectare = 10.000 m2 or approximately 2,471 acres

14 – m2 / SQUARE METERS

1 m2 = 10,7 square foot

15 – dm2 / DECİMETER SQUARE

1 dm2 = 0,01 m2

16 – SINIRI / BOUNDARİES

The confirmation that the building (or the complex), in which the property is located, has been properly built within the authorized boundaries.



17 – KAT MULKİYETİ / CONDOMİNİUM

If checked, it means that the developer has properly finished the construction of the building, got all the necessary approval from local authorities allowing life and residency to begin in the complex as well as in each independently owned unit.

TAPU of a completed unit should be delivered with this box ticked.


18 – KAT İRTİFAKKI / CONSTRUCTİON SERVİTUDE


If ticked, it means that the developer (i.e construction company) has fully divided each independent unit within the complex and issued a separate TAPU for each of them. If this box is ticked, it means that you are the full owner of the independent unit, but that the complex has not received yet full approval from authorities allowing life to begin in the complex.

Many, not to say most of the TAPUs issued have this box checked instead of CONDOMİNİUM as described above. Is that something you should worry about? The answer is a bit tricky and involves YES and NO at the same time;

NO you shouldn’t be worried in regards to your ownership of the property. You have received full ownership of your property and legally confirmed.

YES you should be “a little” worried since it also means that the developer has not yet received full authorization from local authorities. Some developer avoid to go all the way through in order to escape from taxes and fees, and leave it up to each property owner to go and take it and pay the fees instead.

Can life and habitation start even if this box is checked?

YES, many, probably the majority of completed projects deliver TAPU with this box checked.


19 – DEVRE MÜLK / TİME SHARE (Property)

If this box is ticked, it means that you have bought yourself a time share apartment. If true than no problem, but if you thought, instead, getting the full ownership of your property, you might be in trouble. Time Share is based on the principle of selling a share of a property to many buyers, which will use the property for a pre-agreed period of time.

20 – SATIŞ BEDELİ / SELLİNG PRİCE

The price paid for the purchase of this specific property.

21 – NİTELİĞİ /FEATURE
Description of what the TAPU has been issued for (i.e apartment, land etc..)

22 – ARSA PAYI / SHARE IN LAND

When buying a property in Turkey, you do not only buy the apartment only, but also get a share in the land the property has been built on. What is written here mentions how much share you have on the land.

23 – BLOK NO. / BLOCK No.

In case you have bought a property in a complex with more than one block, here will be written the block number in which your apartment is located.

24 – KAT No. / FLOOR No.

Mentions the floor at which your apartment is.

25 – BAĞIMSIZ BLM No. / DOOR No.

Mentions your door number.

26 – BAĞIMSIZ BÖLÜM / INDEPENDENT SECTİON

Specific details about the property itself

27 – EDİNME SEBEBİ/ REASON OF ACQUİSİTİON

Short explanation of why this TAPU has been issued. This is one of the most crucial parts of the TAPU where your name will be clearly written for the first time.

You will read a sentence resembling to;

While previously registered unto (NAME OF PREVİOUS OWNER) the aforementioned property has been registered under (NAME OF NEW OWNER).

28 – SAHİBİ / OWNER

If you read your name here, it means that you are now legally the owner of the property.

Below that point are details of where to find (i.e in which book, page etc) details about the ownership of your property, following the signature from the Director of the local title deed office.


Now that we have clarified point by point a TAPU, let’s move on with the most frequently asked questions and points you should be careful when getting a TAPU.

1 – Who can issue a TAPU?

TAPU can only be issued at the local Land Registry & Cadastre Office. On time and day of delivery of the TAPU, both the Seller and the Buyer meets at the local Land Registry and Cadastre Office and sign the delivery papers under the supervision of the government employee. No TAPU can legally be issued without your (or your authorized representative) signature at the local Land Registry & Cadastre Office.

2 – When Am I supposed to get my TAPU?

TAPU is supposed to be delivered once full payment for the purchase of the property has been made. Although the TAPU may be delivered before full payment, this entirely depends on negotiations during the purchase process. If accepted by the Seller, the Buyer may get the TAPU before full payment in return of an Collateral Clause added by the Buyer to the Tapu.

3 – What is the Collateral Clause?

Whenever a Seller agrees to deliver a TAPU without getting full payment for the property, he/she has the right (and will never miss) to put a clause on the TAPU for as much as the Buyer is due to pay in order to secure the full payment. In other words, if the Seller is still due 20.000 TL.- payment, he/she will put a Clause, mentioning that the amount due will be paid at a later determined date, date at which, if the amount due is not paid, the Seller has right to ask for the sale of the property immediately. This naturally doesn’t mean that, if the Buyer fails to pay the due amount in agreed date, he or she will loose both the property and the already paid money. In such a situation, the property is sold, and the Seller receives what he or she is due, and the Buyer receives what remains.

4 - Can I get a TAPU for an off plan property?

YES, if you have paid the full amount for your purchase AND assuming that the developer has already issued the TAPU for each unit independently, you are allowed to get the TAPU even if the project is off plan and/or under construction.

5 – How can I make sure that the TAPU is valid?

If you are about to proceed by yourself, you are free to ask for a copy of the TAPU of the property you are about to buy and go to the nearest Land Registry & Cadastre Office and ask for proof.

If you are one of our Clients, no worries,we will provide you with both proof and take you there without even you asking for it.

6 – I lost my TAPU, should I be worried?

Absolutely NOT. What you have in hand is just a piece of paper with details written for your own convenience. Should you loose it, and absolutely want or need to have a printed copy of it, just go to the nearest Land Registry & Cadastre with your ID and ask for a new copy (which they will be happy to provide you with in return of 50 TL.-)

7 – Can I register my wife/kids/friend to the TAPU?

YES you can! While it is not quite clear how many people can be registered on the same TAPU, authorities generally don’t mind registering 3 to 4 people all at once.

8 – Can I apply for a residency permit once I get my TAPU?
 Yes you can, and let us know should you need any assistance with the paperwork.

9 – I am a citizen of (X Country), can I buy a property in Turkey and get the TAPU of it?

Citizen of almost all countries are allowed to buy a property in Turkey except a few ones.Please contact us if you have any doubts and we’ll tell you if you can buy a property in Turkey and get the TAPU of it.

You can also click here to download our FREE Buying Guide with extensive details on who can buy a property in Turkey

10 - I still haven't got my TAPU although I have made all my payments, what should I do?

You should, in principle, and unless mentioned otherwise during negotiations, get your TAPU once you have completed and made the full payment for your property. Lawyering up is an option, but our recommendation is that if you find yourself in such a situation, never loose the communication with the developer and try to find out an amicable solution to the situation. Laws are in your favour, but justice in Turkey may take months, if not years before coming to a conclusion, and personal efforts and dialogue with the Seller may help you to solve the situation much faster.

11 – Should I pay legal fees on delivery of the TAPU?

YES, you will be asked to pay 4% of property purchase tax based on purchase price on time of delivery of the TAPU + service and translation fees.

12 – How will I know that I am signing the valid papers on time of delivery of the TAPU?

As a foreigner you have right to ask (and should ask) for a sworn translator to be present on time of signature, who, right before signing the final papers, will give you a brief of what you are about to do and translate for you the papers to be signed.

13 – What should I bring with me on time of delivery of the TAPU?

You have made all your payments and its now time to start the TAPU delivery procedure. The procedure itself is pretty straightforward, and no worries our professional Team is here to guide you through the process.

There are basically 2 major steps ahead before getting your TAPU:

STEP 1: You will be asked to hand over your passport (not the copy, the real one) and 2 passport size pictures.

That’s all what is needed from you to start the procedure. Our Team will than join your papers with those from the Seller and hand the whole lot to the Land Registry & Cadastre Office and ask for a signature date.

Based on the location where the local Land Registry & Cadastre Office is located, getting a date for the final signatures might take anything in between a couple of days up to 10 days, all depending on how busy the local office is.

In small holiday towns like Alanya and Bodrum , it usually takes a day or two, while in Istanbul, it may take up to 10 days and even 2 weeks before getting a date.

STEP 2: Once the Land Registry & Cadastre Office gives a date, it’s time now to get ready to head up to the Office and sign the papers. You will be asked to pay the 4% Property Purchase Tax (in cash) and other service fees, which will be paid to the bank on your behalf. And that’s it, you are ready to sign the papers.

This 2nd step is usually the most exciting part of your purchase, and one that we always love to share with our Clients. Although it’s just a matter of 10 minutes to sign the papers, make sure to free at least half of your day because of waiting times and other final paperwork to be ready on time of signature.

14 – Do I have to be personally present on time of delivery of the TAPU?

NO, you can assign an authorized person to come and sign the papers on your behalf. For this, you will need to go to the nearest Notary and legally ask to assign anyone you want to come and sign the final papers on your behalf. You should not be worried of assigning someone as long as you MAKE SURE that the Power of Attorney is ONLY to sign for the Delivery of the TAPU.

15 – Should I use a Lawyer to get my TAPU?

This answer to this question is not quite easy. While using a Lawyer in quite advisable, and we can recommend you many good lawyers in all the areas where we operate, you should also know that it is not mandatory in Turkey. So what does that mean? Laws in Turkey regarding ownership of a property are dealt at the Land Registry & Cadastre Office, with the presence of both the Seller and the Buyer, and of course the government representative. Unlike in countries like the UK or the US, where attorneys deal with the purchase procedure, in Turkey the governmental office is directly and unavoidably involved in the process. 

All this is to say that, although lawyering up may add some extra peace of mind to the process, you will ultimately end up signing the final papers yourself (or your representative as described in No.14). All and all, the decision is yours, and should you wish to use a lawyer, than just say it and we’ll recommend you the best ones.

Have more questions? Need more information? Just contact us on the +90 242 522 22 66 or email us to info@capitolestate.com for any of your queries!



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Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TOLGA OZCAN

TOLGA OZCAN is the Co founder of Capitol Estate. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook, subscribe to our blog and be first to read when he posts a new article in the blog.

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