If you apply for a residence permit in Turkey, you may be required to provide a notarized copy of a document, such as your rental contract.
By submitting a notarized copy with your application package, the Turkish government can be sure it's an authentic copy, and it allows you to keep the original.
What is a Notarized Photocopy?
A notarized copy is a photocopy made by a notary, which the notary certifies as being an exact copy of the original document. The copy is then stamped with the notary's stamp containing a document number, then signed. A second copy of the original document is also made and added to the notary's archives. A notarized copy doesn't prove the authenticity of the original document. It's only a certification that the copy is an authentic reproduction of the original.
Foreign Documents Must Have an Apostille and Then be Translated into Turkish
If your document was issued by a foreign government, it must be internationally "legalized" for use in Turkey. This is done with a stamp or separate document called an apostille. Apostilles are governed by the international Apostille Convention, of which Turkey is a member. Briefly, you must learn which office in your country issues apostilles, then send the document to them. They'll attach the apostille and send it back to you. Once you get the document and it's apostille, you must have them both translated by a sworn translator. The translator will take the translation (which will include a copy of your document) to the notary and the notary will stamp it. Your foreign document will then be legally recognized in Turkey.
Learn more about apostilles and legalizing foreign documents for use in Turkey.
Passports Don't Require an Apostille
A passport is already an internationally-recognized document, so it doesn't need a separate apostille. However, to get a notarized copy of your passport, you must have it translated by a sworn translator. The translator will take their translation (which will include a copy of your passport) to the notary and have it stamped.
Insider Tip: For residence permit applications, if you're given an appointment, you can take your original passport and a regular (non-notarized) copy to your appointment. The immigration specialist will examine your passport and return it to you, and keep the regular copy. If you're mailing in your residence permit application, you must mail in a translated, notarized copy of your passport.
Learn more about sworn Turkish translators.
Be Sure to Record the Document Number
After you get your notarized copy, record the document number contained in the notary's stamp on the back. If later you need the same notarized copy again, you can return to the same notary, give them the document number, and they'll pull the official copy from their archives and give you another notarized copy. There's no need to take the original document. You only need the document number to get another copy. It's cheaper than having a new copy made and notarized again.
How to Find a Notary in Turkey
Most cities and towns have more than one notary. You can find their offices near the center of town by looking for the big red "Noter" signs. You can also find them using the website of the Türkiye Noterler Birliği, or Turkey Notary Association, at http://www.tnb.org.tr/.
You can also use Tum Noterler, (All Notaries), at http://www.tumnoterler.com/. Use the Şehir Seçiniz (select the city) drop-down list, which produces a list of provinces and cities. When you click on your province, the page will refresh and display a drop-down list of İlçe (districts). Select your district, then your neighborhood in the same way. The site will also display an increasingly zoomed-in map with markers showing the location of notary offices as you go through the process. Below the maps, you'll see their addresses and contact information.
Legalizing Foreign Documents for Use in Turkey
If the document has been issued by a foreign country, it must be legalized for use in Turkey with an apostille. Then both the document and the apostille must be translated into Turkish by a sworn translator.
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