Client Alert:

Land Registry Records in Turkey Will Henceforth Be Kept Under an Electronic Environment

The new Land Registry Communiqué (“Communique”) has been issued by virtue of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers dated July 22, 2013. The Communiqué was issued in the Official Gazette dated August 17, 2013 and introduced a new concept to the Turkish legislation namely Land Registry and Cadaster Information System (“TAKBIS”).

However, there were no reference to TAKBIS under the repelled Land Registry Communiqué (“Repelled Communiqué”) dated February 17, 1994. TAKBIS is the result of drastic improvements in the field of technology within the past decade.

There was no need for the Repelled Communiqué to include any provisions regarding land registry records to be kept within an electronic environment. It can be said that this Communiqué actually fills both a legal and practical gap created by the technological developments.

As of the moment, 957 land registries have adopted the TAKBIS system.

The main purpose of TAKBIS is to transfer all land registry and cadaster records into an electronic environment and perform all transactions through this electronic environment ensuring that both private and public real estate is controlled and tracked efficiently.

TAKBIS project aims to provide a safe electronic environment through which the transactions with regard to land registry and cadaster records are being performed in a standardized fashion.

For the time being, TAKBIS is only used for recordkeeping and communication purposes amongst the land registries and also between land registries and certain public organizations such as Ministry of Justice, Treasury, Social Security Institution, Municipalities etc. The reason for this is that the Communiqué does not include any provisions stating that the land registry and cadaster transactions (e.g. purchase and sale transactions, mortgages, easements and etc.) have to be performed through TAKBIS. However, may be possible in the future to perform these transactions through TAKBIS if the necessary amendments are made to the relevant legislation.

In terms of legal proceedings, TAKBIS will significantly ease the burden of both courts and prosecutors. Since TAKBIS will be connected to the National Judiciary Network Project (“UYAP”), the judges, prosecutors or their officers will have the opportunity conduct their research into real estate or any rights in rem related to real estate more efficiently and swiftly. This will also reduce the duration of preliminary investigations.

This being said as an introduction of TAKBIS, a closer look into the provisions of the Communiqué would be helpful to understand this system.

Pursuant to Article 13 of the Communiqué, transactions such as procurement of records or documents which are not subject to an official form as determined by the General Directorate Land Registry and Cadaster (“General Directorate”) through an electronic environment by means of using an electronic signature or other authentication systems.

Article 14 of the Communiqué contains provisions on how the right to access the data kept under TAKBIS shall be practiced. In this respect, the first paragraph of Article 14 provides that courts, chief public prosecutors offices, execution offices and public organizations can access the data with a protocol to be executed with the General Directorate given that the data to be accessed by these judicial authorities is relevant to their duties.

Moreover, pursuant to the third and fourth paragraphs of Article 14, separate agreements must be executed between the General Directorate and (i) persons seeking to perform any inquiries from TAKBIS and (ii) the landlords holders of any rights in rem related to real estate seeking to access the data in TAKBIS. The principles and procedures on how ordinary persons, landlords or right holders will practice their rights through TAKBIS will be determined under this aforesaid agreement.

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