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Many times people leave a country as if they will come back but never return home again, leaving their properties unattended. After several years of absence, the person comes back and finds out that the city he left no longer exists as it was, and many things have changed in the long amount of time that has elapsed.

In some cases the person does not return, but his inheritors do come back to the place that was once the home of their ancestor If this city is Istanbu

Many times people leave a country as if they will come back but never return home again, leaving their properties unattended. After several years of absence, the person comes back and finds out that the city he left no longer exists as it was, and many things have changed in the long amount of time that has elapsed.

In some cases the person does not return, but his inheritors do come back to the place that was once the home of their ancestor If this city is Istanbul it is very likely that the properties left behind are worth much more than these people can imagine.

What happens if you leave a property unattended for too long a time?

In some cases the authorities check the Land Registry records and see if the property owner is still alive or not.

It is the right and duty of the state to find out if this person has passed away without inheritors or not. In the event one dies without inheritors, the estate of that person is transferred to the Treasury — unless this person left a will or donated the property to a charity.

What if the property owner passed away abroad and his inheritors would like to claim the properties?

First, the inheritors must confirm the details of the identity of the person in question. I know several cases where the person claiming a property could not prove that his ancestor was the same person who owned the property.

Second, the inheritors should know where the properties are located. It is very difficult to find the location of a property without having any details.

The details should in the very least include the province where the property is located. Stating that the property is in Istanbul may significantly delay the investigation.

Third, the inheritors must prove that they are the legal heirs and inheritors of the person who owns the property. Once this is verified they will be able to claim the property.

What happens if the property now belongs to someone else?

This needs legal action beyond simply claiming the property at the Land Registry. At this time the inheritors may have to initiate legal action against the property owner if there is strong evidence suggesting this person acquired the property illegally.

What happens if the property is taken for public use?

In this case, the value of the property should have been determined and deposited in the name of the person who owned it. Otherwise, compensation can be claimed from the authority or its successors.

The inheritors can claim that the value determined at the time of the decision was low and they can ask for the difference.

Certainly, this kind of claim usually requires certain legal procedures, if not a lawsuit, to claim ownership or monetary compensation for the property in the event it has been transferred to public use.

If you have any property in Turkey you would like to claim or to investigate, you should start your search first by proving that you are the inheritor of the person who owned the property.

NOTE: Berk andCcedilektir is a lawyer and is available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey.

Please send inquiries to bcektir@todayszaman.com If a senderand#39s 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.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman