The rights of inheritance in Turkey, documents.

rights of inheritance in Turkish law
inheritance in Turkey

The number of foreigners who buy real estate in Turkey is constantly increasing. Many older people who get retired move to Turkey to enjoy the mild climate, wonderful nature and rich culture of this country. The question of transferring the rights of inheritance becomes rather topical in the legal practice. In other words what the heirs should do to join the rights of inheritance in case when the testator, who possessed the movable assets, immovable assets or a bank account in Turkey,dies.


In this article we will try to give a short summary of the heirs' rights the list of measures necessary for legalization of inheritance rights in Turkey.

According to the Laws of Turkish Republic, to join the right of inheritance, it is necessary to present a probate certificate. However, in practice, if a foreign citizen provides a certificate of inheritance, received in his country he might face certain difficulties while the probate procedure Turkey.

In case the document certifying the rights of inheritance is the court's decision of another country, this decision must be primarily recognized in the court of Turkey. In some countries, the probate certificate can be only issued by a notary or government institutes. In this case, starting a lawsuit on the recognition of these documents at the Turkish court is not possible. In this situation, the heir can request issuing the inheritance certificate in the Magistrate's Court of the province, where the assets of testator are registered.

This request can be made on the basis of the following laws.

The private international law and procedural law of the Republic of Turkey.

(1) In accordance with Article 20 of this Law, if the assets of the testator are in Turkey, the probate procedure is carried out according to the laws of Turkish Republic.

(2) The opening of the inheritance, adoption and division of inherited property can be carried out according to the laws of the place where the assets are situated.

During the trial, the Turkish court should request the data from the population register office of the testator's native country, and then issue the probate certificate. Having the probate issued by the court of Turkey, it is possible to handle the probate procedure in the Cadastral Chamber without any difficulties in future.

In this article, we would also like to tell our readers about the inheritance tax. While transferring the ownership to the heirs on the territory of Turkey, it is imperative to pay this tax.

According to the rules, if the heirs have not started the probate proceedings within 4 months from the date of testator's death, the penalties will start being accrued.

However, if the testator is not a citizen of Turkey and his death occurred outside of Turkish Republic, the penalties will start being accrued to the sum of the tax only after 8 months. To find out the amount of the tax and pay it, at first it is necessary draw up a declaration, then submit it to the tax chamber. This declaration should contain a list of the testator's assets except personal things, interior and household items. The declaration may also be made up by a lawyer in Turkey by means of the power of attorney. Later this document must be attached to the certificate of inheritance. It is important to note that if the monetary equivalent of the heir's share is less than a certain amount, the heir will not pay the tax, but the declaration still be necessary. This amount for 2014 is 146.306 TL per heir. If the share of the inheritance exceeds this figure, the heir is obliged to pay the tax, the amount of this tax may vary.

We would also like to focus your attention on the fact that the necessary legal steps for registration of inheritance rights in the cadastral Chamber can not be satisfied without the inquiry about absence of tax debts from the tax chamber.

An example from our legal practice, the decision of Turkish Supreme Court concerning the rights of foreign citizens to obtain inheritance certificate for assets situated in Turkey via Turkish court, if the testator passed away in his native country.

In our legal practice there was a case when a foreign citizen acquired real estate in Turkey, and some time later passed away in his native country. His two heirs applied to our law office in order to get the owner certificate of their fathers property in Turkey.

Before staring legal proceedings of ownership shares' registration in Turkey, our lawyers, having power of attorney from the heirs, have applied to the court of Kumluja City in order to obtain inheritance certificate. However, the claim has been rejected on the grounds that the Turkish court is not authorized to consider this kind of processes. Our lawyers have appealed to the Supreme Court of Turkey, specifying all the legal nuances mentioned above in their official statement. The lawsuit has been considered in 14 judicial collegium of the Supreme Court, which has reached a decision to review the Kumluja city court decision according to the appeal provided by the lawyers of Hakan Üncüoğlu law office.

In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court No: 2016/449 for appellate lawsuit No: 2015/12853, foreign nationals who are the heirs of movable and immovable property or financial assets in Turkey, have the right to request a certificate of inheritance by filing an application to the courts of Turkish Republic.

Hakan Üncüoğlu law firm provides legal advice and full support of the probate proceedings in Turkey, for a free consultation, please contact our lawyers.