What is TAPU in Turkey

Lilia Altop

Founder & Executive Director

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TAPU (“Tapu Senedi̇”, “Turkish title”) is a document that gives full and undeniable ownership of real estate in Turkey. The owner of the property receives this document after the completion of the purchase and sale transaction. It is issued by the Turkish Cadastral Office (Tapu ve Kadastro Genel Müdürlüğü (TKGM) - a government agency responsible for maintaining the land cadastre, real estate registration and related processes. TKGM is the only government agency authorized to issue TAPU.

Types of TAPU in Turkey

There are 2 types of titles:

  • Red
  • Blue

Red Tapu

What Red TAPU looks like

Red TAPU is issued when purchasing residential real estate (apartment in a complex or hotel, house, villa) or commercial real estate. The title contains the following information:

  • Address of the plot of land.
  • Photo of the owner.
  • Plot data from the Office of the Register and Cadastre.
  • Condition of the land plot.
  • Land area.
  • Object type.
  • Property value.
  • Details of past owners and date of purchase of the property.
  • Details of the new owners and date of purchase of the property.
  • Old registration number of the certificate of ownership.
  • Tapu number.
  • Seal.
  • Signature of the authorized employee performing the registration.

Additionally, the red TAPU contains the following items:

  • Kat İrtifakı (“Kat İrtifakı”) - means that the developer registers plans for an apartment project in the cadastre as part of a residential complex, receiving documents for individual apartments.
  • Kat Mülkiyeti (“kat mülkiyeti”): issued after receiving the Iskan (technical passport) for the building, transferring the status of the apartments from Kat İrtifakı to the status of final registration (mesken).
  • Bağımsız bölüm (“bagymsız belyum”): designation of the temporary status of apartments in a residential complex that is under construction. This status is valid until their final registration.
  • Mesken (“mesken”) - the status of the final registration of apartments in the housing stock, after completion of construction and confirmation of this by the Cadastral Department.

Blue Tapu

What does Blue TAPU look like

A blue TAPU is issued for an undeveloped plot of land. The document contains the following information:

  • region, city, district, quarter, locality, street, location,
  • photo of the owner,
  • TIN,
  • the estimated value of the site,
  • area and plot number,
  • the border of the site,
  • the reason why the buyer is purchasing the land,
  • owner details,
  • old TAPU number,
  • date of purchase of the plot by the previous owner,
  • registration details of the new TAPU,
  • date of acquisition of the site by the new owner,
  • seal,
  • signature of the authorized employee performing the registration.

There is an important point to note here. If you are going to purchase real estate and not land, then you should get a red title. Otherwise, you will only receive the right to own a plot of land, but not the residential property itself. An exception is the acquisition of real estate at the excavation stage, when the developer himself has not yet formalized the TAPU, but already has all the necessary documentation.

Terms in the certificate

  • Ana Gayrimenkul - Location of the object.
  • Ada No - Site number.
  • Ilcesi - District, province.
  • Mahallesi - Microdistrict.
  • Koyu - Town, village.
  • Mevkii - Place.
  • Sokagi - Street.
  • Block No - House number.
  • Parcel Kat No - Floor.
  • Yuzolcumu - Land area.
  • Niteligi - What is the real estate used for?
  • Devre Mulk - Temporary/shared ownership.
  • Arsa payi - Share of proportional ownership of land.
  • Bagimsiz Bölüm - Information about the real estate unit.
  • Sahibi - Name(s) of the current owner(s).
  • Edinme sebebi - Buyer's name, reason for purchase.
  • Documents for obtaining TAPU
  • In order to issue a TAPU, you must prepare the following documents:
  • A valid passport with at least 6 months remaining.
  • Three photographs measuring 3x4 cm.
  • Conclusion on the estimated value of the purchase object.
  • Turkish Identification Number (needs to be obtained in advance from the Turkish Tax Authority).
  • Certificate of foreign currency exchange into Turkish lira, which is required from January 24, 2022.
  • A correctly completed application for renewal.
  • Evidence of ownership by the current owner.
  • Seller's identity document.

Procedure for obtaining TAPU

The process of obtaining a TAPU consists of several steps:

  • Choose accommodation.
  • Conclude a purchase and sale transaction.
  • Make a deposit.
  • Conduct an expert assessment of real estate.
  • Prepare a package of necessary documents.
  • Submit an application to the Cadastral Service.
  • Pick up the finished TAPU from the Department of Land Registry and Cadastre.

An important point: if you are the first foreigner to buy a property, you will need to obtain a certificate from the Military Committee. It serves as confirmation that the purchased housing is not located near important strategic sites in Turkey. Otherwise, the procedure is the same for both primary and secondary housing.

The entire registration process takes about 3 days. The document is issued after full payment of the cost of housing, but by agreement of both parties to the transaction, it can be received after the down payment.

How much does it cost to issue a TAPU?

The cost of registration of TAPU in Turkey for 2023 is 4% of the cadastral value of the property.

Additional expenses:

  • Contribution to the cadastral department - 3,750 Turkish lira.
  • Services of a sworn translator - from 2,000 liras.
  • Expert assessment of real estate - from 6,000 liras.
  • DASK insurance costs about 120 liras.
  • Currency exchange certificate - from 150 to 5,000 euros.
  • Certificate from the municipality (Emlak beyan değeri) - 150 liras.
  • Notification to the municipality of a change of owner (sahip değişikliği beyanı) - 1,000 liras.

It is worth noting that often sellers deliberately greatly underestimate the value of the property in order to avoid paying income tax.

For whom can a TAPU be issued?

The certificate can be issued to both an individual and a legal entity, regardless of whether the person is a Turkish citizen or a foreigner. Up to 10 people can be entered into a TAPU. Typically, only 10% to 50% of the actual cost of the property is officially declared. The remaining portion is paid in cash and is not reflected in official documents.

How to check TAPU for authenticity?

There are 3 ways to verify the authenticity of a document:

  • Through the State Cadastral Administration.
  • Online, through the state system TAKBİS.
  • Check the identity of the data in TAPU with the owner’s passport data.

The most convenient way is to use the TAKBİS system. To check, just enter the TAPU number and get information about the property, including information about pledges.

If the deed is genuine, all details will be displayed in the system. If the data does not match, the system will issue a warning.

Answers to frequently asked questions

What to do if you lost your TAPU?

If you lose your TAPU, in order to restore it, you will need to contact the Cadastral Office and pay a small fee. Property registration information is maintained in both print and digital formats.

What is TAPU Kaida?

Tapu kaydı (Tapu Kayıt Belgesi) is the electronic version of TAPU. You can obtain the document on the e-Devlet portal.

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