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What Can I Do if a Turkish Property Title Deed is Lost?

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My mother passed away and she had a property in Istanbul that she owned. Title of deed or address are no where to be found. all I know is that the property is in Istanbul. 

there is no documentation at all about anything with relation to the property.  all we have is her death certificate and her passport and visa stamp on passport.   How can I find out about the property or obtain a new title deed document for inheritance purposes ? we are 2 sons and 1 daughter.

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I am so sorry for your loss. Let me briefly advise you in this matter; 

Properties in Turkey are registered to Real Estate Office "REO" (Tapu Sicil Mudurlugu, in Turkish) where you can reach all the records, including ownership, charges etc. So, the right place to locate your property is a REO. 

We, lawyers, are authorized to conduct a property search without limitation, however, you need to prove that you are one of the heirs of your late mother with a written document (for e.g certificate of inheritance "CoI"). Otherwise, officers would probably not allow you to do property search by name-surname due to privacy restriction.  

At the next step, after you find out the details of the property, you need to initate the procedure which helps you to do the transfer of the title (tapu) to heir's name. For this purpose, main document that you need would be a "CoI". 

With a presumption that your mother was not a Turkish citizen, you need to file a case before 1st Instance Court (Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi) in order to have a court decree which helps you to do the work at the REO.  

Once you have the court decree, then you are good to go to Tax Office where you pay Inheritance Tax (if any tax is due). IF there is no due tax, then they give you a paper which states that you are free from inheritance tax and can proceed to the final step, namely the transfer of the property to your names by the REO. 

As referred to in the preceding paragraph, final step is the REO where you apply to do the transfer of the unit to your name, along with the court ruling as well as the tax office paper.

As you would understand, that is quite a complex legal procedures for those who do not have an adequate experience on the inheritance law and its practices here in Turkey. Therefore, I would personally recommend you to consult a law firm who has experience in this field.

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Thank you so much for your prompt response and we appreciate your support in guiding us.  Meanwhile if you do work in a law firm concerning such a topic, please provide us with your contact information in case we do require legal help from you through your firm.  I am very thankful again for your thorough answer.

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  • Ken Grubb changed the title to What Can I Do if a Turkish Property Title Deed is Lost?

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