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Turkish bill bans Israelis from buying land

Milliyet report says bill in works eases restrictions on land purchase to attract foreign investment, but prohibits sale to Greek, Israeli citizens. Bill also favors Iranians, Syrians, and Saudis by exempting them from limitations

Aviel Magnezi

A bill being formulated in Turkey stipulates that Israelis will no longer be able to buy land in the country, though they will be able to continue renting apartments, the Turkish Milliyet reported Sunday.

But if the bill passes, citizens of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria will be allowed to continue to purchase land whenever they so choose.

The report says that the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered his housing and infrastructure ministry to ease conditions on land purchase in order to make it more accessible to foreigners, thus attracting foreign investments.

But while all of the world’s citizens will be able to purchase land by presenting a passport, only those with an Israeli or Greek passport will be barred from having the pleasure.

And, in another step towards Iran and its allies, the bill limits the amount of land available for purchase to all citizens except those with Iranian, Syrian, or Saudi passports, who will be able to buy as much as they can afford.

The Milliyet report says the bill has been in the works for quite some time, and that it is expected to pass through parliament in a quickened process.

An Israeli woman of Turkish background, who is affiliated with official sources in the country, told Ynet that many Israelis have purchased land there in the past, before relations between the two states had begun to deteriorate.

“Many Israelis appealed to the Turkish embassy in Israel in order to buy land in the country, to establish Israeli tourism sites,” she said.

“Before relations between the countries cooled, Israelis were told they could purchase land on the condition that they were not close to military bases or intended for agricultural use.”

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