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FAQ - Northern Cyprus Property

Q: How big is a donum of land in North Cyprus?
A donum is one third of an acre or 1,338m². Land measurements in North Cyprus are generally calculated in donums, evleks and square feet. There are 4 evleks in one donum and 3,600 square feet to an Evlek.

Q: How do we know when our payments are due and how do we make payments to you?
We will notify you in writing (ie e-mail) and will also post most recent pictures on our web site when a stage of construction has been completed. We will also give you our details of how to transfer the funds.

Q: Who will look after my property and pay my bills while I am away from North Cyprus?
We require our clients to engage a Property Management company together with the other owners in the apartment block to look after their properties when they are away from North Cyprus. We will advice you a few alternatives of suitable Property Management companies as the project approaches finish.

Q: Can I purchase a property in North Cyprus from overseas?
We have had a few overseas buyers who due to their busy programme were unable to visit in the first instance but do not want to miss out. If you do want to buy remotely this is a very easy process and we will be happy to guide you through it.

Q: Is there an International School in North Cyprus for my children to attend?
Yes, there are a few who teach following the English National Curriculum with Turkish as secondary.

Q: Do we need to make a Will in North Cyprus?
You must have a Will prepared in Northern Cyprus as a UK Will will not be accepted here. This can be done on completion of your property purchase.

Q: Can we use our own UK solicitor to buy property in North Cyprus?
No, you have to use a solicitor based here in Northern Cyprus. You can use a solicitor of your choice, however, we can advice you to see a few solicitors that we know. For more information please click on Legal Advice.

Q: Will I need permission to live in Northern Cyprus, and if so how do I obtain this?
Yes you are required to submit an application to obtain a residency permission in Northern Cyprus. This is in fact a formality but is essential for peace of mind. When you arrive to North Cyprus you will be automatically given a 90 day visa and if you intend staying more than 90 days you must apply to the immigration office for a temporary residency permit. The process can last up to 3 months and will involve some travelling between government offices but it is worth it in the end. Should you like a little help with this process, please contact a solicitor.

Q: What are the costs involved, when buying a property in Northern Cyprus?
Please see our Buyer’s Guide section.

Q: How much is the V.A.T. on immovable properties in North Cyprus?
Upon obtaining the legal permits for the acquired immovable property from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Police and Security Investigation and lastly from the Board of Ministers of North Cyprus, it is time for the transfer of the title deed of the immovable property to the name of the alien at the relevant District Land Office. The buyer is liable to pay Vat at 5%.

Q: What are the required documents when purchasing a property in North Cyprus?
You will only need your passport when purchasing a property in North Cyprus.

Q: Can I bring my personal belongings from overseas to my home in Northern Cyprus?
Yes you can bring your belongings to North Cyprus, and we can advise you a number of freight companies who offer door to door service.

Q: Who will do all the paperwork for our purchase in North Cyprus?
We advise all our customers to appoint a solicitor to deal with the paperwork for your permission to purchase.

Q: Will I need to open a bank account in Northern Cyprus?
You don't have to open a bank account in Northern Cyprus as stage payments can be made via wire transfers, but it can be useful for standing orders etc.

Q: Can I purchase more than one property at a time in North Cyprus?
At present you (individually) are only allowed to own one property at a time, unless you have a local company registered in Northern Cyprus. Please see our Buyer’s Guide section for more information.

Q: What is the Annan Plan?
The Annan Plan prepared by United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan and which until very recently lit the way for the Cyprus problem is for now shelved as a result of a referendum to which Turks said “yes” and Greeks said an overwhelming “no”. However, it is very important that this plan, which shall constitute the basis of any solution proposal to come in future, is well examined and understood by those property owners in North Cyprus who have questions about the property problem.

Q: According to the Annan Plan, how many Greek Cypriots shall be able to move to North Cyprus?
In the event that the number of residents who came from the other constituent state reach 8% of the population of a village or town between the 5th and the 9th years and 18% between the 10th and 15th years, in line with the Constitution, the relevant State can limit the residence of persons who do not have the internal citizenship statue. The constituent states (North Cyprus and South Cyprus) can only bring a limitation in the event that the number of persons coming from the other constituent state reaches 28% of the population. Therefore, the number of Greek Cypriots who can come to North Cyprus cannot exceed 28% of the Turkish Cypriot population and this number can only reach that amount in a 25 year time period. In the same way, the Turkish Cypriots who want to live in South Cyprus have the right to reach a number of population not exceeding 28% of the Greek Cypriot population. (Bearing in mind the current populations, this is currently not possible.)

Q:How are the rights of Aliens in North Cyprus reserved until the transfer of the title deed?
If the necessary permits from the authorised government offices are not ready by the time the title deed is to be transferred, the Alien person and/or Company may have to take some measures to reserve his/its rights because in such a case, although the Alien has paid almost all the amount due, the title deed of the immovable property is still under the name of the previous owner. The Alien person and/or Company, with the help of his/its solicitor can mortgage the relevant immovable property in his own favour at the relevant District Land Office through his advocate. That way, until the permit process is complete, the sale and/or transfer to another person and/or its being put under any sort of liability, which is still registered under the name of the previous owner, can be prevented.

Q:How would the Republic of Cyprus structure according to the Annan Plan?
According to the Annan Plan, Cyprus is a sovereign state with a non-annullable partnership structure that consists of one Common state and two constituent states; one being the Greek Cypriot state and the other the Turkish Cypriot state. Cyprus shall be a member to United Nations with its single international identity and sovereignty. The Government of the Common State of Cyprus uses all its powers stated in the Constitution that ensures that it fulfils its liabilities as a member of the European Union and allows it to speak and move as one in the international arena including the European Union. The common state and the constituent states of Cyprus, should show full respect to each other’s powers and functions and should not violate each other’s powers and functions. There is no hierarchy among the laws of the common state and the Turkish and the Greek states of Cyprus. Any process that is against the Constitution is ruled to be null and void.

Q: Is property acquisition unrestricted in the regime that will be established after the Annan Plan is accepted? If not, what are these restrictions?
There will be some level of restriction. Private and legal persons who have not resided in the Turkish Constituent State for 3 years are restricted from acquiring property without permission from the competent authorities. (In other words, those who have resided for 3 years can acquire property freely.)

Q: Is it possible for foreigners to establish a company and buy immovable property in North Cyprus as a company? A: Limited or joint stock Companies established in foreign countries can be registered as a Foreign (or Overseas) Company in North Cyprus and establish an office (or branch) here, provided that the consent of the Ministry of Economy and a permit from the Board of Ministers are obtained.

The registration of companies by non-subjects in the North Cyprus is also possible under Cap 113 Companies Law. The acquisition of immovable property by aliens by way of establishing a company in the North Cyprus is covered under the Law Regulating the Acquisition of Immovable Property by Aliens (Cap 109). All the provisions with respect to property acquisition in effect for Alien Persons are also valid and are exactly the same for Foreign Companies. In other words, although a Turkish Cypriot Company has the right to acquire unlimited immovable property, Foreign Companies (just like foreign persons) can only acquire property of 1 donum at most. For a company to be considered as a Foreign Company, at least 51% of its registered shares must belong to non-subject persons.

Q: Is it possible for foreigners to have shares in Turkish Companies?
For a company to be considered a Local Company of North Cyprus, at least 51% of its shares must belong to TRNC subjects. There are no legal restrictions regarding the remaining 49% belonging to one or more foreign persons. However, if these persons (foreigners) shall be directors of the local company, they are required to obtain from their own countries of residence, a “no conviction” report from the police and a Tax Credibility Statement from the Tax Authorities of North Cyprus by blocking at a local bank in North Cyprus, the portion of the 30,000 USD minimum paid up capital that meets the ratio of the shares he/she holds until the establishment process of the company is complete.(ie money is blocked temporarily until the registration process is completed)

Q: What language is spoken in Northern Cyprus?
The official language in Northern Cyprus is Turkish but English is widely spoken in official and commercial circles.

Q: What is the Law regulating the Acquisition of Immovable Property in the North Cyprus by Aliens?
The details of this law are as follows:

Law regulating the Acquisition of Immovable Property in the TRNC by Aliens (Cap 109)


1 – This law is the Immovable Property Acquisition (Aliens) Law.

2 – Some definitions cited in this law:

“alien” means any person not being a Turkish Cypriot and includes an alien controlled company but does not include an alien native of Cyprus;

“alien controlled company” means any corporation –

(a) where the majority of the directors are aliens; or

(b) where the majority of the voting power is in the hands of persons who are foreigners, or who exercise their voting powers directly or indirectly on behalf of persons who are aliens; or

(c) where the control is by any means in the hands of persons who are aliens;

“alien native of Cyprus” means –

a- any person, not being a person who became a British Subject under the Cyprus (Annexation) Orders in Council, 1914 and 1917, born before the 4th November, 1914, of parents who at the time of birth were ordinarily resident in Cyprus;

b – the wife of a person to whom paragraph (a) applies, not living apart from such person under a decree of a competent Court or a deed of separation.

3- The Governor in Council may, by Order to be published in the Gazette, declare that with the consent of the Governor first obtained, no alien shall, after the date of the order, acquire, otherwise than by inheritance, ownership of any immovable property situated within any area prescribed in the order, and any registration affected in contravention of the terms of such order shall be null and void.

4- (1) The Governor in Council may produce regulations to be published in the Gazette –

(a) prescribing the minimum size of plot/(s) into which an alien may sub-divide his immovable property for the purpose of sale;

(b) generally for the better carrying into effect of the purposes of this Law.

(2) Any registration of immovable property affected in contravention of any Regulations made under subsection (1) shall be deemed null and void.

(3) Any regulations made under this section may enable the Governor to exempt, in such manner as the Regulations may prescribe, any alien or class of aliens from the operation of such Regulations and of the provisions to Section 5.

5- Nothing in section 3 contained shall be able to prevent an alien from acquiring from another alien ownership of any immovable property, which such other alien has lawfully acquired:

Provided that where such immovable property is sub-divided by or at the instance of the owner thereof into plot/(s) for the purpose of sale, such plot/(s) shall be of the minimum size prescribed by Regulations made under this Law.

Q: What are the Money and Banking regulations in Northern Cyprus?
Northern Cyprus offers a well-organised banking system, with many banking facilities catered for. Some local banks operate their own branches in London and others have arrangements with major UK banks. HSBC has a full service presence here in North Cyprus. A deposit account can be opened with ease whether in Sterling pounds or any other major currency and funds can be drawn in that denomination or in Turkish Lira (TL), which is the local currency of North Cyprus.

Q: Do I need a passport and/or a Visa to enter Northern Cyprus?
A valid passport is necessary to enter and a visa is granted on entrance to Northern Cyprus. Since 1993 Turkish citizens (of Turkey) are allowed to visit Northern Cyprus with their identity card.

A foreigner coming to Northern Cyprus to live and/or work is required to apply for a temporary visitors permit from Lefkosa, which involves the completion and submission of a form and the supply of three or four passport size photographs. A full permanent resident's permit is not usually issued by the authorities until the recipient has been in residence in the TRNC for at least five years. For retired persons, a resident’s permit is all that is required. Retired persons may bring into the country a full household of furniture for virtually tax-free - a nominal 2 - 3% tax is levied.

Q: What are the Postal Services like in Northern Cyprus?
The outgoing postal system in North Cyprus is reliable. Incoming mail must still be suffixed “Mersin-10, Turkey”.

Q: What are the regulations on the residence permits in North Cyprus for aliens?
It is possible for an alien who has bought immovable property in the North Cyprus to obtain a residence permit. In order to do this, he/she should apply to the closest police station where they reside with their passports, next should apply to the Customs and Excise Office with a health report taken from Lefkoşa Devlet Hastanesi (Nicosia State Hospital) in person or via a solicitor.

Q: What is the Loizidou case? (What are the cases brought related with the immovable property in Northern Cyprus and their scope?)
The Loizidou decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), with the satisfaction by Turkey as was due, has been removed from the agenda at the meeting of the European Council Representatives Committee on 2nd December 2003. The European Court of Human Rights gave a decision of violation against our Government in December 1996 on the grounds that Titina Loizidou, a national of South Cyprus Greek Administration, has not been able to use her property rights on her immovable properties in Kyrenia, North Cyprus. In July 1998, the Court decided that Turkey indemnifies, on the grounds that Loizidou has not been able to use her property rights on her immovable properties in Kyrenia (North Cyprus) since 1974. Emphasising that the satisfaction of this decision is directly related with the solution of the problem of Cyprus, Republic of Turkey has not performed this up until now. The Loizidou decision, which is the only ECHR decision North Cyprus has not satisfied, has shown a progress that goes beyond our relations with the European Council (EC) and affects our relations with the European Union in an unfavourable way. The issue of satisfaction of the Loizidou decision, which has a significant effect on our relations with the EU, has also taken place in the EU Development Report. Although Turkey judges the decision as unjust and wrongful, with a view to show the importance it attributes to the satisfaction of the common liability to preserve the respectability of ECHR we undertake, and to clear away a matter that prevents the improvements our relations with the European Council and the EU, she has satisfied the decision of the ECHR. In this respect, our attempt that initiated with the cooperation of the European Council Secretariat with the support of the important European Council member states, with a view to ensure that the Loizidou decision is off the agenda, to prevent the conclusion of the similar cases before the ECHR against us and to direct towards the TRNC organs, has resulted in the envisaged way in the European Council Representatives Committee meeting on 2/12/2003. In the European Council Representatives Committee meeting about the Loizidou case being removed from the agenda, in our declaration where our understanding about the satisfaction of the decision was emphasised, the Decision consented by the Committee was also recorded. Thus, the view that the satisfaction of the decision of the Loizidou case would not constitute a precedent for future was adopted. In our said declaration, information was given on the view that constituted the basis for our indemnifying Loizidou, the fact that this indemnification shall not constitute a precedent for the future was emphasised, the municipal law established in the TRNC was described, explanations were given on the Immovable Property Determination, Evaluation and Compensation Commission and it was stated that the property problem in Cyprus was a part of the political solution and that the TRNC municipal law would not affect a future political solution to be attained.

Another important issue about the Decision is that the conference on the satisfaction of the decision given in the year 1996 related with the principle of the Loizidou subject shall not begin until the end of the year 2005. Thus, it has been aimed that any possible progress that may influence the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are prevented.

When analysed from all these aspects, the decision taken at the European Council Representatives Committee is of a nature that meets our country’s needs and is in line with our approach. The removal of the Loizidou case from the agenda with the support of 34 member states of the European Council in spite of all the persistent efforts two countries spent to prevent a settlement on this issue, is considered to be an important progress in favour of North Cyprus.

Q: What do Allocation Property and Allocation Title Deed mean?
After the division of Cyprus into North and South in 1974, support has been sent by the Turkish Republic to the Turkish side whose population had lessened as a result of the war, and some Greek property has been allocated to Turkish subjects from Turkey, to be used as their residence. Different from the equivalent title deeds, title deeds of these properties were not given to Turkish subjects who came from Turkey. However, as a result of not being given the title deeds, Turkish subjects of Turkey have not done any repairs and/or investment on these properties. Hence, a consensus (public opinion) was reached, and as a result of this consensus, Allocation Title Deeds have been given for Allocated Properties under the ITEM Law.

Q: What is the definition of equality according to the Annan Plan?
According to the Annan Plan, the three states to be formed (the Turkish, Greek and the Common States) are all of equal status. They are prescribe to be independently structured under their own Constitution, within the limits stipulated by the Constitution and using the powers that remain over from the ones given to the Common State by the Constitution.

Q: What is a TRNC Freehold - Title Deed?
Property or land that was in Greek Cypriot ownership pre-1974. These properties were transferred to Turkish Cypriot Citizens either in exchange of their lands left in South Cyprus or for economical development purposes. When the Turkish Cypriot refugees came to the safety of the north after 1974, they left all their possessions behind in the south. Accordingly, the Government then assessed on a points basis, the value of the refugee's forsaken assets left in the south.

With these points, the Turkish Cypriot refugees were allowed to take a relinquished Greek Cypriot house or land in compensation for his lost properties. He/she would then sign over his properties in the south to the NORTHERN CYPRUS government, who would then hold them pending a negotiated settlement between the north and south Governments. The refugee is then given a title deed for his newly recompensed property. Until he received this title, he would not be allowed to sell. Our feeling is that as the island is heading, albeit slowly, for some sort of solution of the problem, then the NORTHERN CYPRUS title deed properties can be considered safe to purchase.

Q: What is a Turkish (Foreign) Freehold – Title Deed?
Properties that were Turkish Cypriot, British or foreign owned pre-1974. These deeds are considered 100% safe.

Q: What is the Value Added Tax in Northern Cyprus?
Value Added Tax was introduced in North Cyprus in 1996 as a Consumption Tax. 6 VAT rates are applied in accordance with VAT rates regulation. Applied VAT rates are: 0%, 3%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%.

Q: What does equivalent title deed mean in North Cyprus?
Until 1974 Turks and Greeks lived together in Cyprus. In 1974, after the division of Cyprus as North and South, the Turkish government in the North has assigned to its nationals, who had left property in the South of the island, property with equivalent quality on the North. Hence, the title deeds were given to Turkish subjects for these properties, have gained the form of equivalent title deeds.

Q: What does Turkish title deed mean in North Cyprus?
Turkish title deed, as can be understood from the term, is a document that shows that the first owner of an immovable property is a Turkish subject person and/or Company.

Q: What are the consequences of acquiring immovable property through allocation or with points granted for the military or national resistance services in the Northern Cyprus?
If the properties held by these persons or their heirs or persons who acquired them by way of donation-sale, with the title deeds given by the authorities in the Northern Cyprus are among those that shall be returned, they shall be returned to their pre-1974 Greek Cypriot owners. Their sale or exchange or lease by their Greek owners is in question. However, it is stipulated that these persons should be indemnified by the Turkish Constituent State, considering that these persons acquired these properties in line with laws in effect within North Cyprus. If the Greek owners of these properties do not fall within the above mentioned, and fall under the scope of indemnification, the ownership of Turkish owners shall continue as it is and the Greeks shall be indemnified.

Q: What is to be understood from the "1 donum" limitation for aliens acquiring immovable property in North Cyprus?
Cap 109, the law regulating the acquisition of immovable property by aliens in the North Cyprus, prescribes some limitations for aliens. The right of aliens to acquire immovable property in North Cyprus is limited with 1 donum. However, it should be noted that the “1 donum” stated above should be considered as “1 donum at the most”. It should not be understood that the total size of more than one property doesn’t exceed 1 donum. In other words, what is basis is only 1 immovable property. An alien can acquire any other immovable property after he/she has bought a flat and/or villa and/or land of less than 1 donum.

Q: According to the Annan Plan, what kind of regulations will be applied for Greek Cypriot immovable properties acquired by Turkish Cypriots through equivalent points in return of the immovable property they owned in South Cyprus?
Turkish owners who had left immovable property in the South of the island shall have some choices.

a- Acquiring the title deed of the equivalent property they hold in North Cyprus, which is in line with international law.

b- Acquiring the valid title deed of the property held by paying the balance even if the value of the property left in the South side is up to 50% more than the value of the property held.

c- Getting the ownership or the possession of the property in the South side– he may or may not move to South – by returning the property held.

d- Petition for indemnification from the property commission to be formed by returning the property held or selling, exchanging or leasing it.

Q: According to the Anna Plan, what will happen in cases where new buildings were made on Greek Cypriot property or where unfinished Greek Cypriot owned buildings were completed or where Greek Cypriot properties were improved/developed in any other way?
Those who have improved any Greek property in North Cyprus by the real value of the property, those who have constructed new buildings on a Greek owned land, and those who have completed unfinished buildings, can continue to have the property provided that the original value of the property is reimbursed to the Greek Cypriot owner. Naturally, the payments are to done by the Turkish Constituent State.

Q: What will happen to Greek Cypriot public buildings or ones on Greek Cypriot property located the North Constituent State?
If the public buildings in the North Constituent State are on Greek property, these properties shall be expropriated and the Greek Cypriot owner shall be indemnified.

Q: What will happen to immovable properties acquired through equivalent property and then sold to third persons? A: These persons, just like those who have equivalents, shall be treated as though they themselves had left property in South Cyprus.

Q: Will the decisions of the Property Commission (to be formed according to the Annan Plan) be final?
The decisions by the Property Commission (Ownership Committee) shall only be subject to the supervision of the Immovable Property Court to be established in Cyprus. Those whose lawful right have been affected by the decision of the Property Commission, should petition to the Court within 60 days as of the publication of the decision. The Court will compose of an equal even number of Turkish and Greek judges and 3 foreign judges.

Q: Will the economic embargoes and sports embargoes removed for North Cyprus with the Annan Plan?
With the coming into effect of the Foundation Agreement of Annan Plan, it is ensured that both the economic and the sports embargoes are removed.
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