What is Tapu? – Full ownership of the real estate in Turkey

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In Turkey, the only official state body performing and controlling the processing of paperwork for purchased real estate is the Office of Cadastre and Tapu. It is this organization that is the state guarantor of the legality and transparency of a transaction.

What are the procedures?

After the conclusion of the contract and performance of all the procedures required to start the processing of the real estate, the agency, under a power of attorney from the client submits his documents to the Office of Tapu and Cadastre of the city and the district where the property was acquired.

After the arrival of positive responses from the relevant inspection bodies for foreign citizens and the payment of the relevant taxes and duties, the Buyer receives a master document, recording the title to the property (TAPU), confirming that the transfer of title from the seller to the new owner has been performed.

TAPU, which means title in Turkish, establishes a timeless and absolute right of ownership that may not be challenged by anyone in court after the conclusion of the purchase and sale contract. One or more individuals or legal entities may be real estate owners.

What kind of data are specified in the Tapu?


  1. Province
  2. City
  3. District
  4. Settlement
  5. Street
  6. Locality
  7. Number of development lot
  8. Real estate type *
  9. The total area of the development
  10. Boundaries
  11. Type of Ownership
  12. Cadastral value
  13. Purpose of the real estate**
  14. The share in real estate in a land lot with several owners
  15. Block
  16. Floor
  17. Apartment number
  18. Former owner and the reason for the transfer of the title***
  19. Real estate owner
  20. Date of the transfer of the title (registration of the Tapu)
  21. Number in the cadastral register
  22. The signature of the Head of the Tapu Office or a person authorized to sign on his or her behalf.

Technical terms:

* When registering a first apartment, as a rule, ARSA (meaning a land lot) is indicated here, i.e. they register the share in the plot of land allocated to the apartment specified below. If the apartment is purchased a few years after the commissioning of the house, then MESKEN (flat) may be written there. It is also possible that DUKKAN will be written there when it comes to commercial real estate.

** KAT MULKIYETI means that the real property is fully transferred into the housing stock.

KAT IRTIFAKI means that on the basis of a building permit, the tapu for the building site was divided into a per-apartment tapu.

DEVRE MULK means that the owner buys only the right to use the real property for a short period of a year (a kind of timeshare).

*** A reason for the transfer of title may be as follows:  sale (including using a mortgage),  inheritance, gift, and others.

Registering and completing formalities with tapu for a foreign citizen, if there already are foreign owners in the house/complex, takes 1-3 days, depending on the workload of the Tapu Office. If you are the first foreigner, then you must first obtain permission from the War Department in Izmir. It takes 1.5-2 months, and then you can also register tapu in a general manner.

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