Useful Info

Official Name of Country Republic of Turkey
Capital City Ankara
Government Presidental System of Government
Population 82 million (2018)
Labor Force (Population) 32,3 million (2018)
Median Age 32 (2018)
Official Language Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Area 783,562.38 km²
Coordinates 39° 55' North, 32° 50' East
Time Zone GMT +3
Neighboring Countries Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
Major Cities (Population) Istanbul (15 million), Ankara (5,5 million), Izmir (4,3 million), Bursa (3 million), Antalya (2.4 million) (2018)
Climate Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters
Telephone Code +90
Country Code Top-Level Domain .tr
Electricity Voltage 220 V, 50 Hz
Currency Turkish Lira (TL)
Financial Center Istanbul
GDP USD 784 billion (2018)
GDP Per Capita USD 9.632 (2018)
Exports Value USD 168 billion (2018)
Imports Value USD 223 billion (2018)
Tourism Revenue USD 25,2 billion (2018)
Tourist Number 38,9 million (2018)
Foreign Direct Investment USD 13,2 billion (2018)
Number of Companies with Foreign Capital 65.533 (2018)
Inflation Rate 20,3% (CPI-2018)
Major Exports Markets Germany (9,6%); UK (6,6%); UAE (5,7%); Iraq (5,0%); USA (4,9%);   France (4.3%);  Spain(%4,6); England (4,3) Netherlands(%2,8); Belgium 2,4); Israel (2,3)   (2018)
Major Imports Sources Russia (9,6%); China (6,6%); Germany (5,7%); USA (5,0%);  Italy (4,9%); India (4,6); France (2,8%); Iran (2,4); South Korea (2,3%); (2018)
Traffic Flow Right

An increasing number of people from various parts of the world are moving to Turkey to start a new life, to work or even to find peace of mind for their retirements.


The country has developed dramatically in the last ten years and the pace of progress in certain fields is nothing short of astonishing.


Most of Turkey’s new residents hail from countries like the UK, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Belgium, France and the USA. 


With its unique geographical location combined with a rich and diverse history, right in the cradle of many different civilizations, Turkey is a privileged place to live for expatriates and their families.


Housing 


From flats in urban centers to villas in suburbs, there are a multitude of options to choose from when looking for housing in Turkey. Major metropolitan areas have the most modern and complete environment for an extravagant life in the city, where luxurious residence complexes offer all the daily amenities such as private security, kindergartens, sports complexes, social facilities, parking lots and shopping malls for their residents. 

 Thanks to a recent amendment in Turkey's property law that lifted the reciprocity principle, foreign homebuyers and investors from all over the world are free to purchase property in one of the most promising real estate markets in the world. 

Eating and Drinking 

Globally renowned Turkish cuisine owes its fame to the country’s unique geographical location at the crossroads of the continents, enriched by various cultures that form the history of modern Turkey. Every region of Turkey has a cooking style of its own, where one can find the authentic tastes of local delicacies, while major cities of the country have restaurants offering very fine examples of dishes from all over the world.

Specialties like pastries and desserts unique to the Turkish cuisine are all-time favorites for tourists and visitors, meanwhile the Turkish coffee, first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, never ceases to be the finishing touch to any meal, especially when accompanied by another Turkish specialty, the Turkish delight.





Transportation 

The transportation system in Turkey makes good use of the country’s highly developed infrastructure. For urban transportation, the major cities of the country are equipped with extensive rail networks both under and above ground, while public and private buses carry hundreds of thousands daily. In addition to public transport, taxi services are extremely common, offering a low-cost and expedited means of local travel. For coastal towns like Izmir and Istanbul, ferry services offer many travelers a viable choice, being both fast and far reaching. 

 For long distance travel, highways are the choice for many, as hundreds of travel agencies run daily bus shuttles to even the farthest towns and cities from major metropolitan centers. Rail is another means of low-cost and widely used transport; the rail network crosses Turkey from east to west. The railways are given special consideration, the network is enlarging and fast-trains enter service yearly.

The air travel option is becoming cheaper every year, thanks to the development of the Turkish aviation industry and the increasing number of domestic carriers. With a total of around 50 airports in all major population centers, one can fly from one city to another in Turkey in less than an hour, regardless of the distance. 

Banking and Finance 

Turkey’s significance on the world finance stage is on the rise. The financial capital of the country, Istanbul, with its rich and vibrant economy, is now slated to become a World Finance Center. The country’s banking industry demonstrated remarkable resilience to the effects of the global financial crisis without any government backing, and Turkish banks are now regarded as the soundest in Europe. With service quality matching and exceeding international standards, Turkish banks are widely acclaimed as being fast integrators of technology into their services. Many foreign banks either operate directly in the country or entered the market via mergers and share acquisitions, providing services in all aspects of banking to individuals and investors alike.

 A wide range of insurance services and products are available for both individuals and corporations with very competitive premium rates.

Education 

The extensive and disciplined education system of Turkey underwent serious reforms in the last decade, like the compulsory eight-year education, improvement of the overall quality of the Turkish education system, as well as the increase in the number of schools and related establishments. 

 Many private and foundation schools, in addition to public schools, offer education services; moreover international schools, where only foreign nationals can attend, are present throughout the country. While schools providing education in European 

Languages such as English, German, French and Italian are available, there are other institutions where languages such as Russian, Japanese and Chinese are taught, as well.

Starting in 2012, Turkey is undertaking a revolutionary education initiative, the Fatih Project, which will equip all public school students with tablet PCs and classrooms with electronic boards, increasing the overall quality of primary education in the country, while setting an example for the world in the integration of the latest technologies into education.

Healthcare 

The healthcare system in Turkey mainly operates with three different types of hospitals: public, university and private. While social and health securities are governed in essence by the state, it is also possible to have private health insurance. 

 The majority of hospitals in Turkey, both public and private, are either meeting or surpassing international standards in equipment quality and expertise.

Leisure and Sports

The cultural activities that one can engage in Turkey are only limited by individual interests and capabilities. Be it arts, hobby, entertainment or other leisure activities, the possibilities are countless. In all major cities movies, plays, concerts, ballets, operas and other varieties of cultural activities are awaiting either participants or spectators. Local festivals and more traditional forms of leisure activities are also rising in popularity.

 Turkey’s rich geography and suitable terrain make the country an ideal place for alternative sports such as mountaineering, golf, scuba diving, rafting, skiing and yachting. Naturally, well-established and popular sports like football, basketball, volleyball have a considerable number of players and supporters all over the country.

Geographically located in both Asia and Europe, Turkey has a climate allowing extreme variations in climatic conditions, often in the same region or province. As such, it is possible to go skiing in a mountain resort after sunbathing on a sandy beach, both in the same day. 

Economic Outlook 

Turkey’s economy has performed remarkably well with its steady growth over the past 14 years. A sound macroeconomic strategy, prudent fiscal policies, and major structural reforms have all contributed to the integration of Turkey’s economy into the globalized world while also transforming the country into one of the major recipients of FDI in its region.

These reforms have increased the role of the private sector in Turkey’s economy, enhanced the efficiency and resiliency of the financial sector, and placed public finance on a more solid foundation. These reforms strengthened the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country, allowing the economy to grow at an annual average real GDP growth rate of 5.6 percent from 2003 to 2016.

Annual Average Real GDP Growth (%) 2003-2016

Source: OECD Quarterly National Accounts, 2017

Turkey’s impressive economic performance over the past 14 years has encouraged experts and international institutions to make confident projections about Turkey’s economic future. For example, according to the OECD, Turkey is expected to be one of the fastest growing economies among OECD members during 2015-2025, with an annual average growth rate of 4.9 percent.

Annual Average Real GDP Growth (%) Forecast in OECD Countries

2015-2025 (USD at 2010 PPP)

Source: OECD

Together with stable economic growth, Turkey has also reined in its public finances; the EU-defined general government nominal debt stock fell to 28.3 percent in 2016 from 72.1 percent in 2002. Turkey has been meeting the “EU’s 60 percent Maastricht criteria” for public debt stock since 2004. Similarly, during 2003-2016, the budget deficit decreased from more than 10 percent to less than 2 percent as a ratio to GDP, which is one of the EU Maastricht criteria for the budget balance.

As the GDP levels increased to USD 857 billion in 2016, up from USD 236 billion in 2002, GDP per capita soared to USD 10,807, up from USD 3,581 in the given period.

The visible improvements in Turkey’s economy have also boosted foreign trade. Exports reached USD 143 billion by the end of 2016, up from USD 36 billion in 2002, while tourism revenues, which were around USD 12.4 billion in 2002, exceeded USD 22 billion in 2016.

Significant improvements in such a short period of time have registered Turkey on the world economic scale as an exceptional emerging economy. It is the 17th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest economy when compared with the EU countries, according to GDP figures in 2016.

  • Institutionalized economy fueled by USD 180 billion of FDI in the past 14 years
  • 17th largest economy in the world and 6th largest economy compared with EU countries in 2016 (GDP, IMF)
  • Robust economic growth with an annual average real GDP growth of 5.6 percent during 2003-2016
  • GDP reached USD 857 billion in 2016, up from USD 236 billion in 2002
  • Sound economic policies with prudent fiscal discipline
  • Strong financial structure that is resilient to global financial crises



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Constitution

The Republic of Turkey amended its Constitution for the first time in 1924. It retained the basic principles of the 1921 Constitution, most notably the principle of national sovereignty. As in the 1921 Constitution, the Turkish Grand National Assembly was deemed the "sole representative of the nation." The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey saw further amendments in 1961 that introduced a bicameral Parliament. The Parliament was now to consist of the National Assembly of 450 deputies and the Senate of the Republic comprised of 150 members elected by general ballot and 15 members selected by the President. These two assemblies together would constitute the new Turkish Grand National Assembly under the 1961 Constitution. A third set of amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey was ratified in 1982 pursuant to a national referendum. Turkey is still currently operating under the 1982 Constitution, in which sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the nation.

The Constitution emphasizes that the Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity, and a secular, democratic, social state under the rule of law. All individuals are equal without any discrimination before the law, irrespective of language, race, skin color, gender, political orientation, philosophical creed, religion, sect, or any such considerations. The 1982 Constitution recognizes all basic human rights and freedoms. These rights and freedoms include the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of residence and movement, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of thought and opinion, freedom of expression and dissemination of thought, freedom of association, freedom of communication, the right to privacy, the right to property, the right to hold meetings and demonstration marches, the right to legal remedies, guarantee of lawful judgment, and the right to acquire information.

Parliament has ratified many constitutional amendments to make the 1982 Constitution more democratic and to expand democratic rights and freedoms in the country. These efforts gained significant momentum after the EU recognized Turkey as a candidate country in 1999 and later agreed to start full membership talks with Turkey in 2005.

Legislature

Legislative power is vested in the Turkish Grand National Assembly on behalf of the Turkish nation and this power cannot be delegated. The Turkish Grand National Assembly is composed of 550 deputies, with Parliamentary elections being held every four years. Deputies represent the entire nation and must take an oath before assuming office.

The functions and powers of the Turkish Grand National Assembly include the adoption of draft laws; the amendment and repeal of existing laws; the supervision of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) and the Ministers; the authorization of the Council of Ministers (by a separate authorization act where the scope and purpose of such authority are clearly set forth) to issue governmental decrees having the force of law on certain matters; the debate and approval of the budget draft and the draft law of final accounts; making decisions on the printing of currency; declaring war, martial law, or emergency rule; ratifying international agreements; making decisions with 3/5 of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on the proclamation of amnesties and pardons in line with the Constitution.

Judiciary

Judicial power in Turkey is exercised by independent courts and high judicial organs on behalf of the Turkish nation. The judicial section of the Constitution is based on the principle of the rule of law. The judiciary is founded on the principles of the independence of the courts and the security of tenure of judges. Judges work independently; they rule on the basis of personal conviction in accordance with constitutional provisions, law, and jurisprudence.

The legislative and executive branches of the Turkish government must comply with the rulings of the courts and cannot change or delay the application of these rulings. Functionally, the Constitution called for a bipartite judicial system that was divided into an administrative judiciary and an ordinary judiciary.

The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Council of State, the Supreme Military Court, the Supreme Military Administrative Court, and the Court of Jurisdictional Conflicts are the supreme courts stipulated in the judicial section of the Constitution. The Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors and the Court of Accounts are two additional organizations having special functions that are set out in the judicial section of the Constitution.

Executive

The executive branch in Turkey has a dual structure. It is composed of the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers (Cabinet).

President

The President of the Republic is the head of state and represents the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish nation. The President is elected by popular vote among the Turkish Grand National Assembly members who are over 40 years of age and have completed higher education, or among ordinary Turkish citizens who fulfill these requirements and are eligible to be deputies. The President's term of office is five years and one can be elected for two terms at most.

The President of the Republic has duties and power related to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Constitution and the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of state.

Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers (Cabinet) consists of the Prime Minister, designated by the President of the Republic from members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and various ministers nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President of the Republic. Ministers can be assigned either from among the deputies or from among those who are not members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly but who are qualified to be elected as a deputy. Ministers can be dismissed from their duties by the President upon the proposal of the Prime Minister when deemed necessary.

The fundamental duty of the Council of Ministers is to formulate and implement the internal and foreign policies of the state. The Council of Ministers is accountable to the Parliament in the execution of this duty.



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Luxury shopping malls, historical and cultural heritage, touristic facilities, world's leading food cultures, religion with modern lifestyle –all that belongs to Turkey, which is the new favorite in the world.Turkey has similar culture with arabic countries which is of a great importance.Turkey has a significant number of foreign universities, colleges and kindergartens and more than 30,000 students from 147 countries that are involved in the transportation, storage, production, communications, education and health areas in various student programs.These are approximately 5.000 students from the Arabic countries among them.

İstanbul is not just a city nowadays,it’s gigantic metropolis, a small country.It has become a brand on its own, one of the most desired cities to live in the world due to many factors such as its geopolitical position, historical heritage, economical state and many more

After the law of reciprocity was adopted in 2012 between Turkey and Eropean and Arabian countries, Turkey has become one of the top 3 countries with the most attractive investment climate in the world, thus bringing sufficent funds to the economy.

The country offers,

-Successful economy

-Qualified and competitive work force

-Innovative investment environment

-Population

-Infrastructure

-Central location

-Europe's energy corridor and terminal must be

-Low taxes and incentives

-S banking services

-Internal market

WHY REAL ESTATE

The real estate sector overlapping with urban regeneration and qualified investments supported by government brings one of the biggest revenues to the market of Turkey.Comparing to the stock market, gold and the currency that are easily fluctuating, the real estate market is stable in all respects.The real estate prices, comparing to those in the EU are very attractive.Apart from that, Turkey allows a one year residence permit for the foreign property owners, that can be extended to 5 years.

REAL ESTATE

Turkey is one of the most promising real estate markets in Europe, and the mantra “location, location, location” rings especially true for this country. Strategically situated at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and home to almost 78 million people, Turkey offers great opportunities for real estate developers and investors by combining a large construction sector with growing commercial and industrial output.

Some key facts and figures in the Turkish real estate sector include:

  • The real estate sector accounted for approximately 5 percent of GDP in the last decade. On the investment side, FDI inflow rose to USD 16.5 billion, with real estate and construction garnering USD 4.1 billion (24.8 percent) of total FDI in 2015.
  • Urban renewal and mega projects dominate the agenda for the foreseeable future, particularly in Istanbul. Some projects in the city include the Marmaray, Canal Istanbul, the third Bosphorus Bridge, and Istanbul’s third airport.
  • It is estimated that around 6.7 million residential units nationwide will be demolished and rebuilt over the next 20 years, meaning an average of 334,000 units per year. Around USD 15 billion of financing will be required each year for urban renewal projects. In total, a budget of USD 400 billion has been allocated for this initiative, with the private sector taking the lead role.
  • According to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, Turkey ranked first in the 55-location index in Q4 of 2015 in terms of annual price growth index. Turkey saw a year-on-year increase of 18.4 percent and thus emerged as the top-performing housing market in the world, ahead of New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.
  • The total number of houses sold in the Turkish property market reached 1,289,320 units in 2015; likewise sales of real estate to foreigners began to increase following the abolishment of the reciprocity law in 2012. In 2015, 22,830 houses were sold to foreigners in Turkey, marking a year-on-year increase of 20.4 percent. With regard to house sales to foreigners, Istanbul was the top-performing province with 7,493 sales in 2015, followed by Antalya with 6,072 sales, Bursa with 1,501 sales, and Yalova with 1,425 sales.
  • Office construction licenses obtained throughout Turkey increased by 27 percent, and together totaled 7 million square meters of additional planned office space in 2013. Class-A office space supply is expected to reach 6.5 million square meters by the end of 2017 with the completion of projects such as the Istanbul Finance Center, which, according to projections, will provide employment for 30,000 people.
  • 368 shopping centers are operational in Turkey with a total gross leasable area of 10.89 million square meters. 108 shopping centers in Istanbul with a total gross leasable area of 4 million square meters represent 37 percent of the total leasable shopping center area in Turkey.
  • According to JLL’s Cross Border Retailer Attractiveness Index 2015, Istanbul is the 7th most attractive market in Europe after London, Paris, Moscow, Milan, Madrid and Rome.
  • In spite of the growth in recent years, Turkey is still below the average of total leasable area per person compared to the European average. This indicates potential for further retail growth in Turkey.
  • By the end of 2015, there were 13,615 registered accommodation facilities. 9,188 of these facilities were licensed by their respective municipalities, while the remaining 4,427 held tourism operation licenses. The combined total bed capacity of these facilities exceeds 1,250,000, although there is still a gap between supply and demand, particularly in Istanbul.
  • There are currently 281 projects in the pipeline that would add 74,130 much-needed beds to Turkey's short supply.



  1. SUCCESSFUL ECONOMY
  • Booming economy; more than tripling its GDP, reaching USD 857 billion in 2016, up from USD 231 billion in 2002 (TurkStat)
  • Stable economic growth with an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5.6 percent between 2002 and 2016 (TurkStat)
  • Promising economy with a bright future as it is expected to become one of the fastest growing economies among the OECD members during 2017-2020 with an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent (OECD)
  • 13th largest economy in the world and 5th largest economy compared with the EU in 2016 (GDP at PPP, IMF WEO)
  • Institutionalized economy fueled by USD 145 billion of FDI in the last decade (CBRT)
  • A dynamic and mature private sector with USD 143 billion worth of exports and an increase of 300 percent between 2002 and 2016 (TurkStat)
  1. POPULATION
  • A population of 79.8 million (2016, TurkStat)
  • Largest youth population compared with the EU (Eurostat)
  • Half the population under the age of 31 (2016, TurkStat)
  • Young, dynamic, well-educated and multi-cultural population
  1. QUALIFIED AND COMPETITIVE LABOR FORCE

  • Over 30.5 million young, well-educated and motivated professionals (2016, TurkStat)
  • Increasing labor productivity
  • Approximately 800,000 students graduate annually from over 183 universities (2016, CoHE)
  • More than 950,000 high school graduates with around half from vocational and technical high schools (2016, Ministry of National Education)
  1. LIBERAL AND REFORMIST INVESTMENT CLIMATE

  • The 2nd biggest reformer among OECD countries in terms of its restrictions on FDI since 1997 (OECD FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index 1997-2016)
  • Business-friendly environment with an average of 6.5 days to set up a company (World Bank Doing Business Report 2017)
  • Highly competitive investment conditions
  • Strong industrial and service culture
  • Equal treatment for all investors
  • Around 52,700 companies with international capital in 2016 (Ministry of Economy)
  • International arbitration
  • Guarantee of transfers



  1. INFRASTRUCTURE

  • New and highly-developed technological infrastructure in transportation, telecommunications and energy
  • Well-developed and low-cost sea transport facilities
  • Railway transport advantage to Central and Eastern Europe
  • Well-established transportation routes and direct delivery mechanism to most of the EU countries
  1. CENTRALLY LOCATED
  • A natural bridge between both East-West and North-South axes, thus creating an efficient and cost-effective outlet to major markets
  • Easy access to 1.6 billion customers in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa
  • Access to multiple markets worth USD 24 trillion of GDP
  1. ENERGY CORRIDOR AND TERMINAL OF EUROPE

  • An important energy terminal and corridor in Europe connecting the East and the West
  • Located at a close proximity of more than 70 percent of the world’s proven primary energy reserves, while the largest energy consumer, which is Europe, is located right to the west of Turkey, thus making the country a linchpin in energy transit and an energy terminal in the region
  1. LOW TAXES & INCENTIVES
  • Corporate Income Tax reduced from 33 percent to 20 percent
  • Tax benefits and incentives in Technology Development Zones, Industrial Zones and Free Zones, including total or partial exemption from Corporate Income Tax, a grant on employer’s social security share, as well as land allocation
  • R&D and Innovation Support Law
  • Incentives for strategic investments, large-scale investments and regional investments
  1. CUSTOMS UNION WITH THE EU SINCE 1996

  • Customs Union with the EU since 1996 and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with 27 countries (Ministry of Economy)
  • More FTAs underway
  • Accession negotiations with the EU
  1. LARGE DOMESTIC MARKET
  • 62.2 million broadband internet subscribers in 2016, up from 0.1 million in 2002 (ICTA, TurkStat)
  • 75.1 million mobile phone subscribers in 2016, up from 23 million in 2002 (TurkStat)
  • 58.8 million credit card users in 2016, up from 16 million in 2002 (The Interbank Card Center of Turkey)
  • 181 million airline passengers in 2015, up from 33 million in 2002 (TurkStat)
  • 25.3 million international tourist arrivals in 2016, up from 13 million in 2002 (TurkStat) 

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Foreigners who intend to stay in Turkey for a period longer than permitted in their visa, visa exemption, or for more than ninety days must obtain a residence permit.

  1. Short-Term Residence Permit for Foreigners

To apply for a short-term residence permit, foreigners who own real estate in Turkey or will establish a business or commercial connections in Turkey must submit the following documents to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Immigration Administration (Göç İdaresi) after the application is made through the e-residence system. Short-term residence permits are issued for a maximum of two years. A residence permit is invalidated if it is not used within six months.

1.1. Initial Application

  • Residence permit application form
  • The original and a copy of the passport or travel document
  • Four passport-size photographs
  • Declaration regarding sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay (Stated in the application form. The authority may request supporting documents.)
  • Official document regarding the applicant’s ownership of the residence*
  • An invitation letter or documents of such written by the person or companies to be contacted**
  • Valid medical insurance (one of the following shall be sufficient):

o Document facilitating health services in Turkey within the scope of bilateral social security agreements

o Provision document issued by the Social Security Institution

o Document regarding the application made to the Social Security Institution to be covered by the general health insurance

o Private health insurance

1.2. Application for Extension

Applications for an extension of the residence permit may be made within sixty days prior to its expiration, but under no circumstances may this be done after the expiry date.

For the extension, foreigners are required to apply for a residence permit through the e-residence system. The completed application and required documents should be sent to the related Provincial Immigration Administration Office (Göç İdaresi) by mail within five days. 

  • Residence permit application form
  • The original and a copy of the passport or travel document
  • Submission of the previous residence permit document
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Declaration regarding sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay (Stated in the application form. The authority may request supporting documents.)
  • Official document regarding the applicant’s ownership of the residence*
  • An invitation letter or documents of such written by the person or companies to be contacted**
  • Valid medical insurance (one of the following shall be sufficient):

o Document facilitating health services in Turkey within the scope of bilateral social security agreements

o Provision document issued by the Social Security Institution

o Private health insurance including the extension period

*required for foreigners owning immovable property in Turkey

**required for foreigners that will establish business or commercial connections in Turkey

  1. Long-Term Residence Permit for Foreigners

For a long-term residence permit, foreigners that have continuously resided in Turkey for at least eight years should submit the following documents to the relevant Provincial Directorate of Immigration Administration (Göç İdaresi):

2.1. Initial Application

  • Residence permit application form
  • The original and a copy of the passport or travel document
  • Submission of the previous residence permit document
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • The document showing that the applicant has not received any social aid from governmental institutions and organizations in the last three years
  • Declaration regarding sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the duration of the stay
  • Police record document
  • Valid medical insurance (one of the following shall be sufficient):

o Document facilitating health services in Turkey within the scope of bilateral social security agreements

o Provision document issued by the Social Security Institution

o Document regarding the application made to the Social Security Institution to be covered by the general health insurance

o Private health insurance

  • Document showing that the applicant is registered with the Address Registry System

2.2. Application for Extension

Long-term residence permits are issued indefinitely.

For detailed information about residence permits, please visit:

www.goc.gov.tr

As per the new regulations published in the Official Gazette on January 12, 2017, foreigners who meet any of the following conditions may be eligible for Turkish citizenship, subject to the proposal of the Ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers:

  • Proven by the Ministry of Economy to have made a minimum fixed capital investment of USD 2,000,000
  • Proven by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to have acquired a real estate worth a minimum of USD 1,000,000 with a title deed restriction on its resale for at least three years
  • Proven by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security to have created jobs for at least 100 people
  • Proven by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency to have deposited at least USD 3,000,000 in banks operating in Turkey with the condition of not to withdraw for at least three years
  • Proven by the Undersecretariat of the Treasury to have bought at least USD 3,000,000 worth of government bonds with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years
  • Proven by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey to have bought at least USD 1,500,000 worth of real estate investment fund share or venture capital investment fund share with the condition that they cannot be sold for at least three years



Overview

Turkey’s FDI Law is based on the principle of equal treatment, allowing international investors to have the same rights and liabilities as local investors.

The conditions for setting up a business and share transfer are the same as those applied to local investors. International investors may establish any form of company set out in the Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), which offers a corporate governance approach that meets international standards, fosters private equity and public offering activities, creates transparency in managing operations, and aligns the Turkish business environment with EU legislation as well as with the EU accession process.

Company Types under TCC and Alternative Forms

There are corporate and non-corporate forms for companies under the TCC, which states that companies may be established under the following types:


  1. Corporate forms
  • Joint Stock Company (JSC)
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Cooperative Company


Although some financial thresholds (i.e., minimum capital) and organs differ from each other, the procedure to be followed for establishing a JSC or an LLC are the same.


  1. Non-corporate forms
  • Collective Company
  • Commandite Company


Although companies may be established according to these five different types, JSC and LLC are the most common types chosen both in the global economy and Turkey.


In addition to these types of companies, branches and liaison offices may also be considered as two further alternatives when setting up a business in Turkey. However, branches and liaison offices are not considered to be legal entities.

Establishing a Company


When establishing a company in Turkey, one needs to adhere to the following rules and regulations:


  1. Submit the memorandum and articles of association online at MERSIS


Pursuant to the Trade Registry Regulation, trade registration transactions must be fulfilled through MERSIS (Central Registry Record System).

MERSIS is a central information system for carrying out commercial registry processes and storing commercial registry data electronically on a regular basis. A unique number is given to legal entities that are actively involved in business. Online establishment of new companies is possible on MERSIS, and already-established companies may operate through the system after the transfer of their records.

  1. Execute and notarize company documents


The following documents are required for registry application at the relevant Trade Registry Office:

  • Notarized articles of association (four copies, one original)
  • In case the foreign partner is a real person, the required documents are:
    o For each real person shareholder, two copies of their passports
  • In case the foreign partner is a legal entity, the required documents are:
    o The Certificate of Activity of the legal entity designated as the shareholder issued by the relevant authority in the investor’s country. The certificate must bear information regarding the current status and signatories of the company.
    o Resolution(s) of competent corporate organ of legal entity shareholder(s) authorizing the establishment; if there will be any specific condition for the prospective company to be incorporated (name of the company, field of activity, etc.) it must be stated in the resolution for the sake of clarity.
    o In case a legal entity is going to be appointed as a member in the board of directors of the prospective company to be incorporated, the name of the real person who will act in the name of the legal entity and the legal entity board member’s appointment must be stated within the same or with a separate resolution for the sake of clarity. 
    o If the process is going to be followed by proxy, a notarized copy of a power of attorney authorizing the attorneys who will follow up the application before the competent Trade Registry Office and other official authorities in order to proceed with the application (where applicable).
  • Notarized signature declarations (two copies)
  • Notarized identity cards of the company managers (one copy)

It should be noted that, except the first item above, all the necessary documents that will be issued and executed outside Turkey must be notarized and apostilled or alternatively ratified by the Turkish consulate where they are issued. The original executed, notarized, and apostilled documents must be officially translated and notarized by a Turkish notary.

  1. Obtain potential tax identity number


A potential tax identity number for the company, non-Turkish shareholders, and non-Turkish board members of the company, must be obtained from the relevant tax office. This potential tax identity number is necessary for opening a bank account in order to deposit the capital of the company to be incorporated.


The documents required by the tax office are as follows:

  • Petition requesting registration
  • Notarized articles of association (one original)
  • Copy of the tenancy contract showing the registered address for the company
  • If the process is going to be followed by proxy, a power of attorney must be issued specifically showing the authority to act on behalf of the company before the tax authority in order to obtain a tax identity number or potential tax identity number
  1. Deposit a percentage of capital to the account of the Competition Authority 

Original of bank receipt (from Halk Bank, Ankara corporate branch) indicating that the 0.04 percent of the capital has been deposited to the account of the Competition Authority at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) or a public bank, or the EFT receipt signed and stamped “collected” (account no: 80000011 - IBAN no: TR40 0001 2009 4520 0080 0000 11), which shows an amount equal to 0.04 percent of the company’s capital has been paid to the account of the Competition Authority.


  1. Deposit at least 25 percent of the startup capital in a bank and obtain proof thereof


25 percent of the share capital must be paid in prior to the new company registration. The remaining 75 percent of the subscribed share capital must be paid within two years. Alternatively, the capital may be fully paid prior to registration.


  1. Apply for registration at the Trade Registry Office


Pursuant to gathering the following documents, founders may apply for registration:

  • Petition requesting registration
  • Four copies of incorporation notification form
  • Four copies of the notarized articles of association (one original)
  • Bank deposit receipt with respect to the payment made to the bank account of the Competition Authority (0.04 percent of the company's share capital)
  • For each person authorized to represent the founders of the limited liability company, two copies of the signature declarations
  • Founders' declaration (one original)
  • Chamber of Commerce registration form (two different forms for two different shareholder types: real person shareholder or legal entity shareholder)
  • The written statement of non-shareholder members of board of directors that states acknowledgement of this duty
  • Bank certificate of the paid-in minimum capital deposit (at least 25 percent of subscribed capital). If there will be any capital contribution in kind:
    o The expert report regarding the capital in kind
    o The statement of the relevant registry indicating there is no limitation on that capital in kind
    o The document indicating the annotations have been done to relevant registries regarding the capital in kind


o The written agreements between founders, other persons, and the founding company regarding the foundation of the company

Following completion of the registration phase before the Trade Registry Office, the Trade Registry Office notifies the relevant tax office and the Social Security Institution ex-officio regarding the incorporation of the company. The Trade Registry Office arranges for an announcement in the Commercial Registry Gazette within approximately 10 days of the company registration. A tax registration certificate must be obtained from the local tax office soon after the Trade Registry Office notifies the local tax office.

A social security number for the company must be obtained from the relevant Social Security Institution. For the employees, a separate application has to be made following the registration of the company with the Social Security Institution.


  1. Certify the legal books by a notary public


The founders must certify legal books the day they register the company with the Trade Registry Office. The notary public must notify the tax office about the commercial book certification.

  • Journal
  • Ledger
  • Inventory book
  • Share ledger
  • Manager's meeting minutes book
  • General assembly meeting minutes book

  1. Follow up with the tax office on the Trade Registry Office’s company establishment notification


The Trade Registry Office notifies the tax office and the Social Security Institution of the company’s incorporation. A tax officer comes to the company headquarters to prepare a determination report. There must be at least one authorized signature in the determination report. Trade Registry Officers send the company establishment form, which includes the tax number notification, to the tax office.

Issuance of signature circular:After the company has been registered before the Trade Registry the signatories of the company must issue a signature circular.


Branch Office

  • No shareholder
  • Not an independent legal entity. Its duration is limited to the duration of the parent company
  • No capital requirement, however, it would be wise to allocate a budget for the operations of a branch office
  • A branch office may be incorporated only for the same purposes as those of the parent company
  • Repatriation of branch profit is allowed. The branch profit transferred to the headquarters is subject to dividend withholding tax at a rate of 15 percent, which may be reduced by Double Taxation Prevention Treaties

Getting registered at the Trade Registry Office


An application with the following documents must be submitted to the relevant Trade Registry Office for the registration of a branch:

  • Petition (must be signed either by an authorized signatory under the company seal or by proxy; if signed by the latter, then the original or the notarized copy of the power of attorney must be attached to the petition)
  • The resolution of the competent organ of the parent company to open a branch
  • A certified original copy of the parent company’s articles of association
  • Certificate of Activity of the parent company or any equivalent documentation that sets forth registration and current status of the parent company
  • A power of attorney granted by the parent company in favor of its resident representative, assigning full representation and accountability
  • Five copies of the Establishment Declaration Form (the related fields must be filled and signed by the authorized person)
  • Two copies of the power of attorney stating the representative in Turkey
  • If the branch representative is a Turkish national, a notarized copy of his/her ID card. If not, a notarized copy of the authorized representative’s passport translated into Turkish
  • Two copies of the signature declarations of the branch representative under the branch title
  • A letter of commitment (signed by authorized person)
  • A Chamber Registry Declaration Form Statement to be obtained from the Trade Registry Office (including photographs of the branch representatives)


It should be noted that all the necessary documents that will be issued and executed outside Turkey must be notarized and apostilled or alternatively ratified by the Turkish consulate where they are issued. The original executed, notarized, and apostilled documents must be officially translated and notarized by a Turkish notary.


Liaison Office

  • Main activity is to conduct market research and feasibility studies and to oversee investment opportunities in the Turkish market on behalf of the parent company
  • Not allowed to carry out any commercial activity
  • Required to obtain permit from the Ministry of Economy, General Directorate of Incentive Implementation and Foreign Investment
  • The condition of being operational for at least one year might be sought for permit
  • The initial permit is issued for three years and can be extended depending on the activities in the past three years and the future plans of the parent company
  • Applications of international investors to establish liaison offices to operate in sectors that are subject to special legislation, such as money and capital markets, and insurance, etc., are assessed by the relevant authorities


Permit from Ministry of Economy


The documents required by the Ministry of Economy for establishing a liaison office in Turkey are as follows:

  • Application form
  • The Letter of Commitment indicating the liaison office’s field of activity, a written statement that the liaison office will not carry out commercial activities, and the authorization document of the parent company official who signed the letter
  • The Certificate of Activity of the parent company
  • Activity report or balance sheet and income statement of the parent company
  • The certificate of authority issued in the name of the person/persons who is/are appointed to carry out the operations of the liaison office
  • The power of attorney in case another person will carry out the establishment transactions of the liaison office

It should be noted that all the necessary documents issued and executed outside Turkey must be notarized and apostilled or alternatively ratified by the Turkish consulate where they are issued. The original executed, notarized and apostilled documents must be officially translated and notarized by a Turkish notary.



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Turkey’s investment legislation is simple and complies with international standards, while it offers equal treatment for all investors. The backbone of the investment legislation is made up of the Encouragement of Investments and Employment Law No. 5084, Foreign Direct Investments Law No. 4875, the Regulation on the Implementation of the Foreign Direct Investment Law, multilateral and bilateral investment treaties and various laws and related sub-regulations on the promotion of sectorial investments.

Legal Framework of Foreign Direct Investment

  1. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law No. 4875

The aim of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law No. 4875 is:

  • to encourage FDI in the country
  •  to protect the rights of investors
  • to align the definitions of an investor and investment with international standards
  • to establish a notification-based system rather than an approval-based one for FDI
  • to increase the volume of FDI through streamlined policies and procedures

The FDI Law provides a definition of foreign investors and foreign direct investments. In addition, it explains important principles of FDI, such as freedom to invest, national treatment, expropriation and nationalization, freedom of transfer, national and international arbitration and alternative dispute settlement methods, valuation of non-cash capital, employment of foreign personnel, and liaison offices.

The Regulation on the Implementation of the FDI Law consists of specifying the procedures and principles set forth in the FDI Law. The aim of the FDI Law with regard to the work permits for foreigners is:

  • to regulate the work carried out by foreigners
  • to stipulate the provisions and rules on work permits given to foreigners
  1. Bilateral Agreements
  1. a. Bilateral Agreements for the Promotion and Protection of Investments

Bilateral Agreements for the Promotion and Protection of Investments were signed from 1962 onwards with countries that show the potential to improve bilateral investment relations. The basic aim of bilateral investment agreements is to establish a favorable environment for economic cooperation between the contracting parties by defining standards of treatment for investors and their investments within the boundaries of the countries concerned. The aim of these agreements is to increase the flow of capital between the contracting parties, while ensuring a stable investment environment. In addition, by having provisions on international arbitration, they aim to prescribe ways to successfully settle disputes that might occur among investors and the host state. Turkey has signed Bilateral Investment Treaties with 94 countries. However, Turkey is a dualist country, where an international treaty has to be ratified and promulgated in order to become part of the national legal system. Within this regard, 75 Bilateral Investment Treaties out of these 94 have gone into effect so far.

75 countries

Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium-Luxembourg, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Source: Ministry of Economy

  1. b. Double Taxation Prevention Treaties

Turkey has signed Double Taxation Prevention Treaties with 80 countries. This enables tax paid in one of two countries to be offset against tax payable in the other, thus preventing double taxation.

80 countries

Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Source: Revenue Administration

Turkey is continuing to expand the area covered by the Double Taxation Prevention Treaty by adding more countries on an ongoing basis.

  1. c. Social Security Agreements

Turkey has signed Social Security Agreements with 26 countries. These agreements make it easier for expatriates to move between countries. The number of these countries will increase in line with the increased sources of FDI.

26 countries

Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada and the Province of Quebec, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Libya, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, United Kingdom

Source: Social Security Institution (SSI)

  1. Customs Union and Free Trade Agreements (FTA)

A Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the European Union has been in effect since 1996. The agreement allows trade between Turkey and the EU countries without any customs restrictions. The EU-Turkey Customs Union is one of the steps toward full Turkish membership of the EU itself.

Turkey has FTAs with 37 countries, creating a free trade area in which the countries agree to eliminate tariffs, quotas and preferences on most goods and services traded between them. This framework explains why many global companies are now using Turkey as a second supply source and manufacturing base, not only for the EU and rapidly growing Turkish markets, but also for the Middle East, Black Sea and North African markets, with the added advantage of a relatively low-cost but well-educated labor force, coupled with cost-effective transportation.

37 countries

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, EFTA, Israel, South Korea, Macedonia, Morocco, Malaysia, Mauritius, Palestine, Jordan, Syria*, Tunisia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile

Countries that have finalized the negotiation process: Faroe Islands, Ghana, Kosovo, Lebanon, Moldova, Singapore

Countries in the negotiation process: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Gulf Cooperation Council, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Mercosur, Peru, Seychelles, Ukraine

*suspended

Source: Ministry of Economy

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