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New legislation on agricultural reform.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- A new bill amending Law No. 5403 on the Protection of Soil and Use of Land and the Turkish Civil Code (Law No. 4721) has been passed by the Turkish Parliament.

This legislative change has been characterized as Turkey's biggest-ever agricultural reform. These changes basically aim to prevent agricultural land from being divided by the portioning of inheritances and to combine agricultural plots together so that the minimum size requirement for such plots is met.

It is an undeniable fact that in recent years the productivity of Turkey's farmlands has decreased as a result of the division of these plots through the portioning of inheritances. There is no developed country in which agricultural plots are divided and distributed among heirs. The abolishment of this practice by way of amendments to laws No. 5403 and No. 4721 is meant to increase the productivity of agricultural plots.

In line with the new amendments, four alternatives will be offered to heirs. Accordingly, first of all, the heirs can decide together to assign their portions to one heir in the land registry offices.

Second, the heirs can register the inherited plots under a family property partnership in the land registry offices. Third, the heirs can establish a limited company in which they own stock proportional to their share of the inheritance; then the inherited land is registered under the company, which administers it. It is important to be aware of the fact that there may be exemptions from the stamp tax and other responsibilities. Last, the heirs can transfer the inherited land as a whole to a third party. If the heirs cannot agree on one of the aforementioned alternatives, the court will decide how to assign the land to competent heirs, which the court will determine, and pay the original heirs the agricultural income value of the land. The rules and procedures regarding the determination of competent heirs will be set forth in a new regulation.

Besides the prevention of the division of agricultural plots through the portioning of inheritances, the new legislation also aims to combine agricultural plots that aren't large enough to meet the minimum size requirement. In fact, Turkey has been making efforts to consolidate land ownership since 1961. With the new amendments, this consolidation will be accelerated.

With the implementation of these new changes, the division of agricultural plots will be prevented and agricultural productivity will be improved.

NOTE: Berk Ecektir is a Turkish lawyer and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to If a sender's letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise is expressly stated by the sender.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.

BERK EcEKTyR (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:May 7, 2014
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