Inheritance law in Turkey

Inheritance is one of the most important ways of transferring money between people and one of the most common means of ownership, and with Turkey becoming a place of attraction for real estate investment, and since many foreign real estate investors were asking about how to limit the inheritance of a foreigner in Turkey and the details of that, we chose the Gars Consulting Company to present to you a detailed article on inheritance in Turkey:

The principle of equality in inheritance in Turkey

It is important to note that the inheritance law in Turkey equals the division of inheritance between male brothers and female sisters, which needs to be alerted to foreigners in Turkey, they can request the division of inheritance according to the laws in force in the countries from which they came.

Turkish citizen's inheritance

Regarding the inheritance of the Turkish citizen, after the issuance of a statement of the death of a Turkish citizen from the hospital, the statement is automatically sent to several specialized government departments, such as the Civil Registry Department, the Land Registry, and the title deed registry, in addition to sending it to the court competent in the inheritance order or to the notary, and then it is Issuance of a statement from the notary - the notary clerk - clarifying the share and right of each heir of the movable and immovable property of the deceased. The transfer of ownership is issued according to the Turkish inheritance law.

Inheritance of foreigners in Turkey

With regards to the inheritance of foreigners in Turkey, it is possible to divide the inheritance for them as long as the property of the deceased person is in Turkey, and there is no difference between the heirs residing inside or outside Turkey, but for this, it is necessary to submit a request from one of the heirs of the deceased person in Turkey to the competent court to divide the inheritance in Turkey, where they can request the division of inheritance either according to the law of Turkey or the inheritance law of their countries.

Types of inheritance in Turkey

  • Movable funds

Regarding the movable funds, the document of the declaration of inheritance, which is taken from the Notary Department (Notary Clerk), where the document details the shares of the heirs and the right of each of them from the movable or immovable property of the deceased.

We note that if there are movable properties such as cars, money, and others for the foreign deceased, the law of the country in which the deceased person’s estate is located shall apply.

inheritance in Turkey

  • Is the property inherited in Turkey?

About the property inherited in Turkey? The answer is that its ownership is transferred from the deceased person to the heirs, according to the Turkish inheritance law, and the foreigner has the right to distribute his real estate inheritance in Turkey to his children after him and other heirs.

  • Receivables: debts and taxes

The inheritance and transfer tax law applies to foreigners if there are inherited or transferred funds within the territory of the Turkish Republic; whether the heir lives in Turkey or abroad, if he obtains funds through inheritance or free transfer, such as gifts, prizes, and donation.

But compared to other countries in the European Union, the value of the inheritance tax in Turkey is relatively low and varies depending on the value of the investor's property, and the inheritance tax rate varies between 1% to 10%, depending on the residence status of the inheritor and the geographical location of the property.

Who are the heirs in Turkish law?

  • Wife, husband, and children

These heirs of this type receive a specific share of the estate of the deceased person, as Turkish law states that the wife or husband has half the inheritance, while the other half is divided equally between the sons and daughters of the deceased if the deceased person does not have children, which means that his heirs are his father and mother.

  • Father, mother, and siblings

In the case that the deceased person did not have sons and daughters, his legacy goes to the father and mother, but in the absence of sons and parents, the brothers and sisters have the right to inherit a share of the inheritance of the deceased in Turkey.

  • Grandparents and grandchildren

If the parents are not alive, the grandfather can inherit a share of the property, and the grandchildren and their children will be ranked last about the relatives’ inheritance according to the laws followed in Turkey.

  • In the case that the deceased does not have relatives

If the deceased person has no living relatives, all of his property goes to the husband or wife. In the absence of any heirs at all, all the property of the deceased goes to the Turkish government.

Preventing one of the heirs from obtaining his/her specified share

It is important to mention that a request can be submitted to the specialized court to prevent an heir from taking his/her share of the inheritance, but this is only in special cases, and the applicant must explain the reasons and justifications for the request, then the decision of acceptance or rejection is issued by the court as we point out that the person who has been deprived of the inheritance cannot sue the person concerned.

How to limit inheritance in Turkey?

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  • Limiting the inheritance for the Turkish citizen

When an application is submitted to limit the inheritance in Turkey, the laws of inheriting the real estate in force in Turkey are applied as we mentioned earlier, but if one of the legal heirs objects to the method of distributing the inheritance, he/she can apply for the inheritance limitation according to the laws of the country of the deceased, then the inventory decisions are adopted Inheritance after making sure that there is no will officially be certified by the Notary.

  • How is the limiting of the inheritance of a foreigner in Turkey?

With regards to limiting the inheritance of a foreigner in Turkey, it can be according to Turkish law or according to the law applicable in the countries of the heirs, as previously mentioned. The division of inheritance is possible as long as the property of the deceased is on Turkish territory and there is no effect that the heir resides outside or inside Turkey.

  • If the country of the deceased was within the Hague Convention

The heirs of the foreign deceased can bring the inheritance information and family data from the country of the deceased, then translate them into the Turkish language, and then certify them from the Notary Department, so that the heirs can carry out the distribution of the inheritance in the corridors of the Turkish courts, but provided that the country of the deceased inheritor is among the countries that signed the Hague Convention.

How to limit inheritance in Turkey?

  • If there is a reciprocity agreement between Turkey and the country of the deceased

If the country of the foreign bequeather is not one of the countries of the Hague Convention, the court competent to consider the inheritance issue takes into account whether the country of the deceased treats Turkish citizens residing on its lands according to the principle of reciprocity if the principle of reciprocity prevails between the two countries, then the heirs can bring Inheritance notification data and family data from the country of the foreign inheritor in or too thor toosh inheritance courts after the documents have been translated and certified by the notary public.

  • If none of the first cases

If the country of the inheritor is not among the countries of the Hague Convention and there is no reciprocity between it and Turkey, then in this case the heirs can file a lawsuit in the Turkish court to demand the issuance of a statement of inheritance from Turkey, where the court will verify the death statement, and determine who are concerned with the division of inheritance and who are entitled to inherit by making contacts with the competent authorities in the country to which the deceased inheritor belongs, so that the competent Turkish court can then proceed with the process of distributing the inheritance in Turkey naturally.

Documents required to determine the inheritance of a foreigner

As for the documents required to limit the foreigner’s inheritance in Turkish courts, the death notification statement and the family statement should be submitted after their translation and certification by the notary, in addition to submitting a valid passport and personal photos.

Inheritance processing fees in Turkey

When talking about inheritance treatment fees in Turkey, we recall what we had previously referred to, which is known as the inheritance tax in Turkey. This tax includes percentages related to the residence status of the foreign heir, and is he a long- or short-stay resident? Does he have the right of temporary protection in Turkey or the right of asylum there? Or is he not residing in Turkey, and there is an addition to the ratios related to the geographical location of the inherited property.

Shares of heirs according to Turkish law

Regarding the inheritance division schedule in Turkey, we note that the distribution of the heirs’ shares is not according to what is stipulated in Islamic law, but according to the Turkish civil law, where the share of the wife is half and the children half, and the shares of males and females are equal. It must be noted that foreigners can follow the laws of their country in distributing Inheritance, which is permissible provided it is applied to all heirs.

Shares of heirs according to Turkish law

The will in Turkey

The division of the inheritance in Turkey is not carried out until verifying the implementation of the will of the deceased, or verifying that the deceased did not leave a will recommending the transfer of ownership of some of his money to specific people outside the limits of the inheritance, and here it must be noted that in the event of a will, it should be Attested by the Notary Department, and for foreigners, the will of one of them should be recognized in Turkish law and certified by the Notary as well.

Gars Consulting Company and its services

Gars Consulting Company is ready to provide its services in legal matters related to inheritance in Turkey, the division of inheritance for foreigners in Turkey, and the follow-up of cases and lawsuits, through professional legal staff with extensive knowledge of the laws in Turkey.


Edited by Gars Consulting Company

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