ANKARA: Opp. MP concerned over rural land purchase by foreigners

Turkish opposition MP concerned over rural land purchase by foreigners

Milliyet web site, Istanbul
11 Jul 04

Text of report by Saliha Colak in Ankara, “Western landlords on the
way”, published by Turkish newspaper Milliyet web site on 11 July

The citizens of countries that have the right to purchase land in
Turkey are rapidly acquiring village property here. To date, 43,521
people have acquired 299,880,979 square metres of land.

Following the lifting of the provisions that prevented foreigners from
purchasing village property, 43,521 individuals from countries that,
in accord with the principle of reciprocity, have the right to
purchase land in Turkey, have acquired a total of 299,880,979 square
metres of land.

CHP opposition Republican People’s Party Mugla parliamentary deputy
Gurol Ergin, who brought the topic up in the Planning and Budget
Committee of the TBMM Turkish Grand National Assembly , emphasized
that foreigners have been purchasing village land at a rapid
rate. Ergin stated that it is wrong to make land sales free when there
are still countries that claim various regions of Turkey, which itself
is in a strategic position. Ergin also reacted to State Minister Ali
Babacan by saying: “It is clear from the way you are selling off our
land piece by piece that you are the real owners of the country.”

Ergin, who read out the response that Public Works and Housing
Minister Zeki Ergezen had provided to his parliamentary question,
stated that, since July of 2003, 43,521 foreign citizens have
purchased land and residential property in Turkey, that the number of
buildings bought by foreigners is 41,901, and the number of lots is
15,685, consisting of 298,240,368 square metres. Ergin also noted that
the total area of the buildings and plots of land purchased by
foreigners amounts to 299,880,979 square metres.

Babacan, who defended the practice, explained to Ergin that in a
globalizing world, foreigners can also purchase property, and that the
world is now turning into a global village; he told him: “Update your

Ergin, pointing out that Syrians have bought land in Hatay, which they
show as their own territory on their maps, and which they still claim,
stressed that Armenians have demands in the east and Kurds in the

Ergin said: “Our providing foreigners the chance to buy agricultural
land, which had been prohibited for 80 years, has nothing to do with
globalization. It has to do with standing up for our country, and with
sensitivity. If things continue like this, a great portion of our
territory will pass out of our hands.”