An amendment to the sale of property law to foreigners misses a deadline but promises have been made to correct the situation.

In July 2005 the Constitutional Court suspended the sale of property to foreigners following a challenge brought by one of the opposing political parties. A new bill was finally brought to Parliament in December 2005 and sales were resumed soon after.

However, legal wrangling continued and further legal challenges were brought. The court made a further ruling and two regulations within the deeds law were annulled. However, the court gave the Government 3 months, from January 16, to submit amendments before suspension would be enacted.

Unfortunately 3 months wasn’t enough time for the Turkish Land Registry Directorate to amend the law and take it before the Government for approval, and now all sales to foreigners have been suspended.

The Finance Minister Kemal Unakıtan said that a new regulation to lift the ban is underway and it has been approved by ministers. However, he gave no indication of how long it would take to formally approve the changes and for sales to resume.

With thousands of properties laying empty, developers feeling the effects of the credit crunch and some private owners desprate to sell this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Of course there are always winners and losers and the opposition party that brought the legal challenges will be rubbing their hand with glee if only for a few months.