In order to have it officially confirmed that you are the owner of a property in Turkey it’s necessary to have a TAPU. This is actually equivalent to the Title Deeds of a house in the UK and as such is regarded as an official document signifying ownership. Here at Oceanwide Properties we’ll go on to explain the TAPU and its significance on the Turkish property buying process:
How a TAPU Should Look
The document itself will display a photograph of the owner of the property (on the top right hand corner of the page) as well as his or her name. This can be checked against any identification (such as a passport) that the seller can bring along with them on signing.
The TAPU will also contain information about the Turkey property such as the location of the entire apartment building or housing estate and a more detailed write-up on the individual unit or villa. The former will be an extract from the Turkish Land Registry although it’s always worth double checking since sometimes the information can be out of date.
The document should be sealed with a stamp in the centre of the paper near the bottom of the page. It is this stamp that will be signed by the designated TAPU officer.
In the event the TAPU isn’t the original document but a photocopied page then it should have been signed by a notary public to prove that it is in fact a genuine TAPU. If not, any intended buyer should walk away at that point.
Different Types of TAPU
There are two different colours of TAPU – red and blue. A red TAPU is for a house or apartment while a blue TAPU covers farmland or building land. Most Turkish non-residents who buy property in Turkey receive a red TAPU.
Yet even then there are distinctions between an Irtifaki Kat and a Kat Mulkiyeti. The former testifies that the individual owns the land and unfinished building, while the latter is for the land and finished building.
How The Two Types of TAPU Work
In the case of the Irtifaki this usually involves the buying of an apartment in a complex or a complete villa in an estate. The developers list the complex or estate as a commonhold and which is then divided into separate units (each requires a separate TAPU).
Once the work is completed (ie the building is then classed as ‘finished’) the buyer should receive the second form of red TAPU, the Kat Mulkiyeti.
The Actual Transfer of The TAPU
This is a far more formal matter than in the UK (where you can simply receive the Title Deeds through the post). In Turkey the exchanging of the TAPU must be witnessed by a TAPU officer at the TAPU office and where it is officially signed.