Updates on Turkey Closed areas for Foreigners Residency 2024
Recently, the Turkish authorities have taken measures to close off certain areas to foreigners. They’ve issued a law that includes a list of areas and neighborhoods affected by this ban. The law outlines the procedures for foreigners to rent, live, or own property in these areas. It also specifies whether a foreign investor is eligible to apply for real estate residency or Turkish citizenship if they own property in one of these restricted areas.
- Reasons for the Existence of Closed-Off Areas for Foreigners in Istanbul
- List of Areas Closed to Foreigners in Istanbul
- Neighborhoods Closed to Foreigners in Istanbul
- Foreign Property Ownership Law in Turkey
- Can an Arab Investor Own Property in Closed Areas in Istanbul?
- Does Buying a Property in the Neighborhoods Closed to Foreigners in Turkey Grant Real Estate Residency?
- Can a Suitable Property for Citizenship be Purchased in the Neighborhoods Closed to Foreigners in Turkey?
- Exceptional Cases in the Law Banning Areas on Foreigners
- Can a Foreigner Who Owns a Property in the Closed Neighborhoods Qualify for Turkish Citizenship?
Reasons for the Existence of Closed-Off Areas
The reason for the existence of these closed-off areas in Istanbul is due to the significant increase in the number of foreigners residing in these areas. The law on foreign property ownership in Turkey stipulates that the proportion of foreigners in any area should not exceed 20% of the population. This is to avoid any imbalance in the demographic composition, especially with the increasing demand for housing in certain areas.
Closed-Off Areas in Istanbul
As of 2024, there are 10 areas in Istanbul that are closed to foreigners according to the property ownership law in Turkey. These areas, all located on the European side of the city, are:
- Sultan Ghazi
For the Asian side of the city, the decision to close off certain neighborhoods does not encompass the entire area.
Specific Neighborhoods Where the Closure Decision Applies
In addition to the areas, there are also specific neighborhoods within certain areas where the closure decision applies. These neighborhoods do not encompass the entire area. Here are some of these neighborhoods:
- Yıldız Mahallesi in Beşiktaş
- Beylikdüzüosb Mahallesi in Beylikdüzü
- Kocatepe Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Bülbül Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Çukur Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Kamer Hatun Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Kalyoncu Kulluğu Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Yenişehir Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Katipmustafa Çelebi Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Bostan Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi in Beyoğlu
- Maslak Mahallesi in Sarıyer
- Meşrutiyet Mahallesi in Şişli
- İnönü Mahallesi in Şişli
- Ergenekon Mahallesi in Şişli
- Mecidiyeköy Mahallesi in Şişli
- Cumhuriyet Mahallesi in Şişli
- Aydinli-Kosb Mahallesi in Tuzla
- Dudullu Osb Mahallesi in Ümraniye
Foreign Property Ownership Law in Turkey
The Turkish law issued in 2017 allows many foreigners to own property in Turkey, provided that the foreign investor is at least 18 years old. However, some nationalities are still prohibited from owning real estate in Turkey under the principle of reciprocity.
The property must not be close to any security sites or military barracks within a boundary of 400 meters. The total area of property owned by a foreign citizen should not exceed 30 hectares across all regions of Turkey combined and should not exceed 10% of the total area of the administrative region where the property was purchased.
Can an Arab Investor Own Property in Closed Areas in Istanbul?
According to Turkish law, the ownership of an Arab or foreign investor is not affected by the decision issued by the Turkish government regarding areas prohibited to foreigners. An Arab or foreign investor can buy property in any area in Turkey without exception, even if it is among the areas or neighborhoods closed to foreigners in Turkey according to the previously mentioned law. The prohibition decision only includes residence under a lease contract and does not include the right to own or buy.
However, the investor will not be able to register his residence at the address of the property he bought or obtain any type of residence, whether tourist or real estate, as long as the property he bought is located within one of the closed areas specified by the law.
Does Buying a Property in the Neighborhoods Closed to Foreigners in Turkey Grant Real Estate Residency?
No, it is not possible to obtain any type of residence, including real estate residence, when buying a property in one of the areas closed to foreigners. The property that has been purchased only allows the investor to invest by renting it out, reselling it, or using it to apply for Turkish citizenship.
Can a Suitable Property for Citizenship be Purchased in the Neighborhoods Closed to Foreigners in Turkey?
A property that meets all the conditions that qualify the investor, the property owner, to obtain Turkish citizenship can be purchased, and the law did not mention any condition that prevents the property from being in one of the closed and prohibited areas for foreigners, provided that the property meets the following conditions that qualify the investor, the property owner, to obtain citizenship:
- The value of the property registered in the real estate evaluation report equals 400 thousand dollars.
- Commitment not to sell the property before the expiration of 3 years after its purchase.
- The owner of the property that the investor seeks to buy is a Turkish person or company, and the purchase of a property that has been previously used to obtain Turkish citizenship is not accepted.
- Transfer the value of the property in foreign currency.
Exceptional Cases in the Law Banning Areas on Foreigners
Most laws often include a clause that covers a set of exceptions to the basic law text. According to the closure decision approved by the Turkish Ministry of Interior, there are exceptions to these places that include the following:
Exceptions to the Law
- University Students: If they have obtained study seats in a university located in a closed area.
- Real Estate Investment or Citizenship: When buying the property for investment or obtaining Turkish citizenship.
- Health-Related Matters: Matters related to family safety.
- Family Reunification: Allows foreigners to register in closed areas.
- Work Permit: When a foreigner obtains a work permit in Istanbul and the work location is within a closed area.
Can a Foreigner Who Owns a Property in the Closed Neighborhoods Qualify for Turkish Citizenship?
There is no prohibition in Turkish law that prevents qualification for obtaining Turkish citizenship even if the property purchased is located in one of the areas closed to foreigners. The Turkish authorities will study your application to ensure that there are no security or judicial problems and the presence of the property in one of the closed areas does not constitute a violation of the conditions for applying for Turkish citizenship or a reason for refusal as long as the price condition has been met.
You can buy one or more properties, but their total value must be 400 thousand dollars or more in the real estate evaluation report from a company accredited by the Turkish government, and the report must be issued within three months from the date of application for citizenship. You can buy any type of property, whether residential, commercial, or land as long as it is not agricultural land, and it is new or renovated and not registered in the name of any other foreigner.
There are other conditions and steps that must be ensured to follow as stipulated by the law, so you always need to seek the help of a consultancy and real estate company that has a group of experienced lawyers to proceed with the application steps smoothly to avoid falling into any error that may be a reason for rejecting your application.
Our team at Damas Group Real Estate helps you submit the application and explains all the steps in detail to you and we book the appointment for you and assist you in providing all the required documents and we attend with you to your appointment to ensure that all procedures go correctly and we stay with you until you receive your Turkish passport.
We are always happy to answer all your inquiries and put years of experience to help you achieve success and reach your ultimate goals.
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The restricted areas for foreigners in Istanbul are Küçükçekmece, Avcılar, Bağcılar, Sultan Gazi, Bahçelievler, Fatih, Esenyurt, Esenler, Zeytinburnu, and Başakşehir.
The Turkish law issued in 2017 allows foreigners to own property in Turkey, provided that the foreign investor is at least 18 years old and that the property is not located near any security sites or military barracks within a 400-meter radius. Additionally, the total land owned by the foreign citizen should not exceed 30 hectares in all of Turkey combined, and it should not exceed 10% of the total administrative area in which the property is purchased.
Yes, Arab investors can purchase property in any area in Turkey without exception, even if it is in regions or neighborhoods that are restricted for foreigners.
No, it is not possible to obtain any type of residency, including real estate residency, when buying property in one of the closed areas for foreigners.
Yes, it is possible to purchase property that meets all the conditions qualifying the property owner for Turkish citizenship, and the law does not specify any conditions prohibiting the property from being in one of the closed and restricted areas for foreigners.
University students when obtaining scholarships in a closed area. • When purchasing property for investment or obtaining Turkish citizenship. • Health-related matters related to family safety. • In the case of family reunification, foreigners are allowed to register in closed areas. • When a foreigner obtains a work permit in Istanbul and the workplace is within a closed area.