The online Land Registry System in Turkey reopens for use by lawyers!

Turkish lawyers are able to obtain title deed details, information about the owners, the real estate etc. with the TAKPAS system.

What is TAKPAS?

TAKPAS is the information sharing system of the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre in Turkey. The system allows the General Directorate to share data within the organisation and with other authorities, but also, with relevant individuals, such as Turkish lawyers.

The TAKPAS system was opened to Turkish lawyers after the TAKPAS protocol was signed on July 17 2019, which set out the process under which the system could be used by Turkish lawyers.

What benefits did it offer to Turkish lawyers and their clients?

TAKPAS is an online platform accessible to lawyers on a 24/7/365 basis, that helped save a lot of time and money for Turkish lawyers (and their clients), as they did not have to go in person to the Land Registry Offices, all over Turkey, for general enquiries.

With the TAKPAS system, Turkish lawyers were able to obtain title deed details, information about the owners of properties, details about the real estate (such as the island and parcel number, which define its official address), and the transaction history of the real estate.

This was a particularly important feature for our foreign clients, as it is often the case that when a foreign citizen, who owns property in Turkey, passes away, the legal beneficiaries may not be aware of all the details of the property that they have inherited. This will create problems when they need to register the property in their names. However, with the TAKPAS system, we were able to find the details of the  property of the deceased, using his Turkish Foreign ID of the deceased, without having to go to the Land Registry Office where the property was registered. This allowed us to complete the registration process quicker and with no mistakes.

Why was it discontinued for Turkish lawyers?

Although, the system was very useful for the lawyers and significantly reduced their workload, public concern grew about possible misuse of the system on issues of data protection and privacy, as all lawyers could access all the data on the system about any property and any owner.

As a result of these concerns, access to the  system was suspended for Turkish lawyers until a new regulation could be put in place, following a decision by the Personal Data Protection Agency on the 11th June 2021.

What changes were made?

The Turkish Bar Association (TBB) made enormous efforts and finally reached an agreement with the authorities on the “Regulation on the Processing of Land Registry and Cadastre Data and Transactions to be Made in an Electronic Environment”, which was published in the Official Gazette on June 8, 2022, numbered 31860, and the system was reopened, but this time with restrictions for lawyers on the access to data on the system,

These restrictions set new rules on under what circumstances a Turkish lawyer could make a search on the system. Turkish lawyers now had to prove that they have a legal interest to do a search and to prove this by uploading into the system relative documents.

So, how does the new system work in practice?

All Turkish lawyers, before using the system, have to insert into their computer their personalised special electronic signing tool (in the form of a USB stick) and to have their e-signature infrastructure installed. After this, each lawyer is required to sign and accept the declaration on the terms and conditions for using the system. To start a transaction,  the relative documents proving the legal interest of the lawyer for making the search, e.g. a power of attorney, must be uploaded in PDF format. Finally, when making the search, the special electronic signing tool has to stay inserted into the computer,  to avoid any misuse of the system.

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