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Military Approval could be lifted (voices)
HOPE is rising that military approval of every land sale to foreigners could be lifted by the end of the year.

As the new property law kicked in with greater freedom for foreigners to buy in Turkey, news was emerging that Turkey is preparing to lift a procedure that requires the approval of the General Staff for every land sale to foreigners.

All the military and security zones in the country will be determined and registered at deed offices as part of a recent joint project by the General Directorate of Land Registers and the General Staff, the Hurriyet newspaper reported this week.

This will allow a quicker sale process as it would remove the red tape of military permission, which extends the sales period by nearly 15 days.

It said the project is expected to be finalized in two or three months as a joint study on mapping land continues, according to officials.

As Didim’s Title Deeds returned to business this week after the property laws were introduced, foreigners were still facing the delay of military permission before they could get their title deeds.

By rights, Turkish citizens can obtain a title deed within a day, while foreigners have had to wait before militaty approval is passed. Even foreigners re-buying in Turkey have to go through the same process.

Six years ago, the military process was averaging about three months but that has come down to a few weeks now.

The recent law easing property sales to foreigners has created much enthusiasm in the local real estate industry, but buyers may fall out of love with Turkey if the diversity of foreign demand is not studied.

“[The new property law] is a factor that will seriously contribute to all of Turkey, particularly the Mediterranean and the Aegean coastal band. But are we real estate firms ready, and in terms projects offered?” said Gürkan Akkuş, a manager at Realty World Turkey said.

“Are [real estate firms] adequately prepared for what kind of a residence, say, an Iranian or a Kuwaiti citizen would want? Have we produced property that suits the citizens of every country?

“Or have real estate firms put together portfolios meeting demand? Real estate firms that are ready to serve such needs and promote themselves in the countries [where demand comes from] will be the winners,” he said.

Foreign language skills are not enough to meet the needs of foreign buyers in Turkey, according to Akkuş.

Firms should study the culture of buyers and sellers and should know how to behave to different buyers from different cultures and have a good idea of the type of residence they want.

Akkuş said, however, that construction firms should also ask themselves the same questions.

A decree listing the countries whose citizens are eligible to acquire property in Turkey was released on Aug. 6. Citizens of 183 countries are allowed to acquire fixed property, buildings and land in Turkey, with the exclusion of some countries such as Armenia.

Meanwhile, Turkish investors are interested in marina and port privatizations in neighboring Greece, according to a Greek official, as a Turkish business group has called on local companies to invest in the neighboring country.

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