There may be a time when you need to perform a legal or financial task or sign a document in Turkey, but you're not in Turkey. Instead of spending the time and money to travel to Turkey, you can appoint someone else to do such things for you, using a power of attorney.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document in which you (the principal) designate and authorize another person (the agent) to perform one or more tasks on your behalf. Once you give this power, your agent can legally do whatever the power of attorney document says, as if they were you. Powers of attorney are frequently used in Turkey, and you can get one from any noter (notary). In Turkish, a power of attorney is called a vekaletname (veh-kah-let nah-meh). There are two general types of powers of attorney: general and specific.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney can involve more than one person, more than one task, or both. It can give a wide range of powers, or certain powers to a group of people, such as a management team.
Specific Power of Attorney
A specific power of attorney empowers a single person to perform a single, specific task.
As a rule of thumb, you should only give only those powers required to achieve your goal and no more. Additionally, your agent can only do what you specify in the power of attorney. For example, if your agent is supposed to convey ownership of a property from a seller to you, your agent can do those things required to convey ownership. They can't do anything else, such as transfer the title into their name or anyone else's name.
Common Uses of the Power of Attorney
You can use a power of attorney for practically anything. Most foreigners use them to hire a lawyer and have the lawyer sign documents on their behalf. They might empower a property agent to take care of various details in a property purchase. Or they might empower a trusted friend or family member to take care of an issue in the foreigner's absence. Below are some of the common uses of a power of attorney in Turkey:
Hiring a Lawyer
If you're going to do anything connected with the courts, you'll need a lawyer to represent you. The lawyer will need power of attorney to act on your behalf, to handle matters such as:
- Filing court documents
- Purchasing property and signing documents
- Conveying a property title deed from the seller to you
- Selling property
- Making investments and conducting financial transactions
- Managing tax issues
- Handling your inheritance
- Opening and registering a company for you
- Filing papers and performing tasks which don't involve the court
Lawyers have a fiduciary responsibility under the law to act with due diligence and honesty, so they're usually the safest people you can give power of attorney.
Working with a Property Agent
Property agents often need power of attorney for:
- Arranging Appraisals
- Taking out Insurance
- Applying for military clearance
- Preparing, signing, and filing documents
- Paying taxes and fees
- Setting up your utilities
- Renting a property you own
- Managing your property
Having a Person You Trust Take Care of a Legal or Financial Matter for You
If you have a trusted relative or friend in Turkey, you can also give them power of attorney. They must be over 18 years of age and legally authorized to perform the task. Some of the things a trusted friend or relative can do for you include:
- Buying or selling your motor vehicle
- Receiving your residence permit from the PTT (post office)
- Withdrawing and spending your money
- Setting up your utilities
- Managing your business
- Making investments or financial transactions for you
- Signing legal documents
Where and How to get a Power of Attorney in Turkey
Notaries issue power of attorney documents, and the procedure for getting one is the same for both Turkish citizens and non-citizens. Notaries have a collection of templates to fit various situations, which they can modify to suit your specific needs.
You can go to your local notary office and ask for a power of attorney. The person you're giving power of attorney to doesn't need to be there. You'll need the following documents:
- Identification, such as a residence permit or passport
- Tax number, if you don't have a residence permit
Proof of address, such as your
- Address registration document
- Property title deed
- Rental contract, or
- Utility bills
Copy of the ID card of your agent
If your agent is a foreigner, you'll also need the agent's
- Place and date of birth
- If your agent is a foreigner, you'll also need the agent's
For powers of attorney involving family law, divorce, property purchases, and property sales, you'll need four biometric photos.
If you're getting a power of attorney on behalf of a company, you'll need proof of the company's existence and a document showing you have signature authorization.
Getting a Turkish Power of Attorney in Another Country
From a Turkish Embassy or Consulate
If you're not in Turkey, you can get a Turkish power of attorney from any Turkish embassy or consulate.
From a Notary in Your Country
You can also get a power of attorney from a notary registered in your own country. Doing it this way is more complex and expensive because a foreign power of attorney must then be legalized for use in Turkey with an apostille. After you get the apostille, you must have both the power of attorney and the apostille translated into Turkish by a sworn Turkish translator.
Cost of a Power of Attorney
The cost will vary according to how many words it contains. Notaries in Turkey have a fixed price schedule for all of the documents they produce and notarize, so there's no arbitrary pricing or bargaining involved.
Expiration or Termination of a Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney can have a limited or unlimited time period. In most cases, your power of attorney should have a clause saying it expires as soon as the task is completed, or have a fixed expiration date. If you want to terminate it before its natural expiration, go back to the notary office or to the Turkish embassy or consulate where it was created, and the notary will terminate it for you.
Assistance and Support
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