Buying Istanbul Property – Language Tips

Buying Istanbul Property – Language Tips

Buying in another country where the language is not your own can be difficult and frustrating. It is important that the real estate agent helping you purchase that Istanbul property has good communication skills both in your own and the Turkish language. It is also useful to arm yourself with a good dictionary and a glossary of terms for what you need. The internet these days has numerous sites offering clear descriptions and translations of the legal terminology you will come across during your search for and purchase of Istanbul property and most of these can be downloaded to your phone or come as an App.
I have included some terms below but often it is the unexpected that causes the most frustrations. How to find a plumber or other tradesman, who to talk to regarding internet not working. All the things that you would not think twice about in your own country as that knowledge base is already there and if not you will know someone to ask!

Buying Istanbul Property

Problems when Living in Your Istanbul property

First port of call is your real estate liaison or property management (can often be one and the same) when you need to find some answers regarding property issues. Another is the ‘kapıcı’ or doorman or even the general dogsbody who does a bit of everything! Working in the apartment block or sitesi the kapacı is a normally local and can point you in the right direction for local tradesmen. A neighbour is a good a resource as any but as in any country what their knowledge base can be hit and miss, directing you to a family member or friend irrespective of their skill and expertise. You have been warned!
In today’s world of technology, the internet offers many resources for information in Istanbul and other Turkish cities. There are blogs, websites and articles, all dedicated to sharing local and ex pat information. Below is a short list of some of the terms or words you might need for assistance with your Istanbul property.


  • Carpenter - Marangoz
  • Electrician - Elektrikçi
  • Plumber -Tesisatçı or su tesisatçı
  • Draper – Perdeci
  • Hardware store - Donanım mağazası or Nalburiye


  • Police - Polıs
  • Police Station – Karakol
  • Council Office – Belediye, Council ‘police – Zabita. This is who you would contact regarding any local issues, rubbish collection, excessive noise, fallen trees etc.
  • Annual environment tax - Çevre vergisi
  • Annual property tax - Emlak vergisi
  • Chamber of Commerce - Ticaret odası
  • Customs – Gümrük
  • Insurance – sigorta

Words that may be of use:

  • Contract – Sözleşme, official when done via the Notary (Notar)
  • Rental contract - Kira Sozlesmesi
  • Sale contract - Satış sözleşmi
  • Debt – Borç,: No debt – Borç yok
  • Compensation – Tebligat
  • Guarantee – garanti
  • Account – abone, used after what for eg; water bill is su abone

These are just a few of the phrases you may find useful to know when you are settling into your Istanbul property