With Portugal and Spain luring wealthy foreign buyers with special ‘golden visa’ residency permits that allow them to travel throughout Europe, Turkey has launched a campaign of its own to attract international investors — or at least try not to discourage them so much.

As of October, foreign buyers of some properties will no longer need military approval for their purchases, Spot Blue International Property reports.

That’s right — as a website operated by Turkish-based Armaya International explains, “Buying a property in Turkey is a relatively simple process but it takes a while due to the military checks.”

After details about a property and the buyer are provided to Turkey’s Land Registry Office, “an official transfer application is made and all documentations get sent to the Izmir Aegean Army for approval,” the website explains. “This is to check that the property is not located in a restricted zone for foreign purchase etc.” (In this instance, etc. apparently means, “Really, you do not want to know.”)

“Military approval” normally takes six weeks to two months, Armaya says, and the cost is “approximately 1,250 to 1,500” Turkish lira (about $620 to $750 U.S. dollars).

But don’t get too discouraged about house hunting in Turkey. Spot Blue crows that a “slicker system” has been introduced: Foreign buyers purchasing property in Turkey don’t have to obtain military approval if the property was previously granted approval after May 5, 2011. (In other words, if the property was granted military approval before that, the buyer will still have to ask the Izmir Aegean Army to weigh in again.)

Or, if you’re purchasing a home in a new development where an existing buyer has already been granted military approval, you don’t need the army’s OK yourself.

Now if that’s not quite as exciting as the “golden visa” residency permits offered by Portugal and Spain, it gets better. Next year, Turkish police will hand over to dedicated government agencies the process of issuing residency permits to homeowners allowing them stay in the country for up to 180 days (up from 90 days last year)!

As Spot Blue Director Julian Walker says, “It’s encouraging to see Turkey rolling out changes like this, showing commitment to attracting foreign buyers.” Source: spotblue.com

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