Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project (LRCMP)
General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre (Turkey)

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Turkey has a long history of protection of property rights. More than 95% of land in Turkey is mapped and registered, and Turkish Land Registry and Cadastre Agency (TKGM) plans to complete the registration by 2008. Nevertheless, significant improvements are needed to fully modernize the TKGM and bring it to European standards. In the last years, Turkey has experienced an economic growth with an average rate of 7.5% per annum since 2001. The housing and construction sector has been very active and is growing at a 7% rate. In major cities, the residential, industrial and commercial Construction is taking place at a rapid pace and all support services, including property surveys and subdivision, are stretched to keep-up with increasing demand. Most secondary city areas have grown in size, some approaching 50% into rural areas in last decade. The resulting demand for cadastral survey services from both the public and private sectors continues to grow. While the Turkish Cadastre and Registration system is considered one of the most effective in the region as registration of property transaction is done within one day in many offices, there are still many shortcomings that require to be addressed to ensure that the system modernizes to reach the same service level as in the European countries. Still, many of the Cadastre and Land Registry offices rely on manual systems, with old documents, some of them dating back to the Ottoman times. The TAKBIS (the computerized Cadastre and Land Registry Software) runs in only 140 out of the 1000 offices. There are plans to expand the computerization to other offices in coming years. The most challenging aspect is that cadastral maps continue to be in a paper format, vary in accuracy and consistency, and are not linked to the national network. This makes it difficult to support e-government applications as cadastre maps serve as a base mapping for many government applications. Over time, several different geographical coordinate systems for the cadastre have been used in Turkey. Coordinates are central to digital spatial information systems, and at present, there is no standard system in use for the country’s cadastre. This lack of a consistent coordinate system is a critical shortcoming for both developers, spatial analysts and users, and it will take several years to rectify. Property valuation for taxation is less developed in Turkey than in similar economies. Land administration agencies are substantially the most common type of agency to have responsibility for mass valuation of real estate and maintenance of the appropriate databases. There is no property valuation law in Turkey which would assign institutional responsibilities or provide the framework for property valuation guidelines and grievances procedures. Current property taxation relies on the minimum value (in many cases less than 10% of the fair market value) of property provided by local governments. This significantly reduces the taxes the government collects on real estate transactions. The government has enacted several regulations to improve property valuation for accounting purposes as well as property appraisal to support mortgage lending.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Government of Turkey is aware of the outstanding needs and decided to modernize the cadastre in order to realize the economic and social benefits of up-to-date information for future development. The E-government initiative, of which the cadastre and registration is a central part, is one of key government priorities. The transition from the paper-based to the computer-based land registry and cadastre i s aimed at improving customer services, supporting E-government initiatives, and making information available to other government and private users. The digital cadastre information provides the base maps and related information for many E-government functions such as municipal services, emergency management, land use planning and development control, postal services, real estate monitoring, utilities management and property taxation. Most countries in Europe, including many of the transition economies, have moved from paper-based to computer-based land registry and cadastre systems. The success of the Turkish transition to a uniform digital environment will require significant efforts to deal with data renovation and updating, building the IT and communications infrastructure in the TKGM central and field offices, and significant human resources development program to upgrade the skills of TKGM staff to operate effectively in the new environment.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The overall goal of the project is to contribute to government agenda to improve quality and effectiveness of public services through spreading and making effective e-government applications. The specific objective of the proposed project i s to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the land registry and cadastre services. This objective will be achieved through: (i) renovating and updating cadastre maps to support digital cadastre and land registry information; (ii) making the digital land registry and cadastre information available to public and private entities; (iii) improving customer services in land registry and cadastre offices; (iv) improving human resources in the TKGM; (v) developing policies and capacity to introduce in Turkey best international practices in property valuation.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
After The Government of Turkey is aware of the outstanding needs and decided to modernize the cadastre, Turkish Land Registry and Cadastre Agency (TKGM) was given the task of starting The Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project (LRCMP). The project is begun in 2008 treaty between with TKGM and The World Bank. The project includes the following components: Component 1: Cadastre and Land Registry Renovation and Updating The component will support (through cadastre renovation) the conversion (into digital format), updating and integration of existing analogue and digital cadastre information, land registry and related data, into updated, accurate, consistent and standardized legally agreed cadastral renovated digital map and data sets, that will be available for entry into TAKBIS. The component will update around 4.1 million priority parcels over the 5 year Project period with the goal to complete cadastre renovation of settlement areas primarily in five high priority regions (Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir, and Gaziantep) and initiate cadastre renovation in the remaining regions in the country. The resulting renovated parcel informations will be entered into the national cadastre and land registry systems thereby increasing the fidelity and security of the parcel information and the title overall. The component will include the following activities: • Cadastre renovation (in line with articles 22/a of Law no.3402); • Base mapping in selected areas; • Supervision and quality control. Component 2: Improved Service Delivery The component will support the modernization of the TKGM infrastructure so as to improve TKGM’s ability to provide core services to the Government and citizens of Turkey. It includes consultancy services to provide strategic advice on critical issues affecting the national implementation of TAKBIS in Land Registry and Cadastre Directorates. Model offices will be established in three regions so as to provide examples of office layouts that support streamlined, improved and integrated workflows involving both Land Registry and Cadastre Directorates of TKGM and the operation of the integrated version of TAKBIS. This component will also support procurement of furniture and equipment that may be required for the new model land offices. Furthermore, the component will support the government’s e-Government initiative through making available an E-Cadastre data through the planned Turkish National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It will provide access to land registry and cadastre data. The component will include the following sub-components: • Cadastre integration consultancy support; • Provision of furniture and office equipment; • Model Office construction/renovation. Component 3: Human Resources and Institutional Development The component will support the development of strategic plans and human resources development plans to ensure that the TKGM personnel skills match the strategic needs of the organization. The component will also finance training, study visits to countries which have undertaken similar modernization programs in the last few years, and support the development of video conferencing capability between regional directorates and HQ for management, core and specialized training. The component will include the following activities: • Development of Human Resources Development Strategy; • Business Planning and Strategic Planning including stakeholder analysis and the private sector roles; • Training and Study visits. Component 4: Property Valuation The component will investigate and develop policies and institutional options for the introduction of the property valuation function in Turkey in line with international best practices. The component will also finance the development of interim guidelines and piloting of property valuation in two municipalities and support the building of the required capacities. It will include the following sub-components: • Policy development (proposals on legal, institutional and technical arrangements); • Pilot implementation; • Capacity building. Component 5: Project Management This component will finance the project management costs, including the procurement and financial management consultants, the incremental operation costs to supervise the central and field activities, and the monitoring and evaluations costs including the costs of customer surveys.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The most important stakeholder in the leadership of the Republic of Turkey, of course, is TKGM. The other important stakeholder is World Bank. World Bank is contributing to the financial and technical aspects of the project. In Turkey the basic pre-requisites for land administration (LA) are in place - a viable and strong single agency and a comprehensive and coherent legal framework. The Government of Turkey has approached the Bank for support for further improvements to its LA system with the goal to modernize the cadastre and registration system and integrate it into the E-government initiative. World Bank is currently financing several similar projects in the region and will bring to Turkey a wide regional and global experience in land policy and administration reforms. Up to this day, Tasks related to services from our institution are private and corporate parties, public institutions - private sector organizations and provides engineering services representatives. Take advantage of this service sectors and disciplines are close to fifty.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Improving quality and effectiveness of public services is one of the key government goals identified in the 9th Development Plan for 2007-13 (Republic of Turkey). The proposed project will contribute to this goal through: (i) supporting the computerization of land registry and cadastre and thus improving the services of the TKGM; (ii) making the land registry and cadastre information available to public and private entities, and thus contributing to the overall government program of spreading and making effective E-government applications; and (iii) contributing to the establishment of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The property valuation component will enable the government to develop guidelines and implement property valuation standards in line with international practices, thus, improving real estate tax collection and supporting the expansion of mortgage lending. Land Registry and Cadastre Project budget is US$ 207.92 million. World Bank is contributing to the financial and technical aspects of the project. % 97 of project financing is provided from World Bank loan-credit. TKGM, % 3 of project budget is provided from own budget. The project includes the five components and these components in the budget breakdown are as follows: • Component 1: Cadastre and Land Registry Renovation and Updating (US$ 175.39 million) • Component 2: Improved Service Delivery (US$ 19.35 million) • Component 3: Human Resources and Institutional Development (US$ 6.02 million) • Component 4: Property Valuation (US$ 4.96 million) • Component 5: Project Management (US$ 2.2 million)

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Five concrete outputs that contributed to the success of The Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project are shown below. • update around 4.1 million priority parcels and 40.000 km² basic map production to complete cadastre renovation, • Model Office construction/renovation , • External users access to online data provision and Creation of access/pricing policy, • Staff productivity and training, study visits, • Piloted in Property Valuation, policy and capacity development.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring and evaluation will be essential in determining the results of the project. The monitoring will include two areas: (i) regular performance monitoring of project outputs; this will be supported by a computerized monitoring and evaluation system to be established for project implementation. The system will monitor number of properties renovated and other aspects of the projects; and (ii) two rounds of customer surveys/social assessment (first assessment just before the mid-term review and the second by the end of the project) to monitor customer satisfaction and compliance with service standards as well as issues related to cadastre renovations and their impact on people. A base line customer survey was recently completed by TKGM. The Project Coordination Team will be responsible for regular reporting to the senior management of the TKGM. Output and outcome indicators will be also monitored on a semi-annual basis, both to the senior management of the TKGM and the World Bank supervision team.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Turkey has one of the most secured property rights in the ECA region. Almost all land is registered, and a simple transaction, such as registering an apartment, can be completed within a few hours (in offices that are already computerized). Modernizing the cadastre and moving towards digital cadastre and registration system to support E-government initiative have, however, several risks. These include: Legal Recognition of E-signature and Digital Data (Moderate). To gain the full benefit of the computerized registry system (TAKBIS) several steps need to be taken including government approval of legal authorization for electronic signature, digital archiving instead of paper records, and in time a computerized title as the legal title within the registry system (instead of a document). At present, the digital system runs in parallel to the paper based (manual) system since only the documents created through the manual system constitute legal documents under the current laws. This dual system creates a large burden in the registry offices and over time, there may be some deviation between the digital and the manual system-produced records. The government is addressing the issue of e-signature outside the scope of this project as it is an essential component of the overall e-government initiative. Data Sharing Policy (Moderate). Agreement on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure format, pricing, and access rights, standards for data formats and information sharing among the various government agencies i s needed to ensure that the spatial data generated under the project can be used by other government agencies and private sector entities. The government already established a task force that i s chaired by TKGM and included membership of 17 agencies to develop this policy. The TKGM already hired consultants to help them to prepare the policy. It is expected that a draft policy be prepared around December 2008. Capacity of Private Sector (Low). The Turkish private sector firms performing surveying and mapping are well established. They were successfully engaged with the cadastre surveys undertaken under the ARIP and the MEER projects. In fact, there are around 60 on-going contracts for cadastre surveys performed by private sector simultaneously in the last year under ARIP project. It is anticipated that the existing private sector will expand to meet the demand. The project will also encourage the participation of foreign firms through the increase of contract size, which will make it attractive for foreign firms to bid for the contracts or to associate with Turkish companies which will extend additional financial resources for Turkish firms to expand to meet the demand. Human Resources of TKGM (Moderate). The agency is operating efficiently using a manual system. A computerized registration system is being introduced gradually to TKGM offices since 2003. The change from the manual to the computerized system will require changes in the operating culture of TKGM, including changes in work flow procedures, diversification of skills, human resources policies and policies related to provision of real estate cadastre information, including privacy and liability issues. The project will support TKGM to prepare a strategic plan and a human resources development plan in the first two years of the project. Government has requested all government agencies to prepare strategic plans before December 2008. Communications Network (Low). The computerized land registration system is a centralized system that operates on a server in the TKGM headquarters. With the increase in a number of offices connected to the system and the integration of the cadastre information, the system performance may be affected by the available communications network. Rolling out the computerization to the various offices will take into consideration the availability of the communications network. Furthermore, regional servers may be installed to improve performance.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project consists of five components . These are listed below: Component 1: Cadastre and Land Registry Renovation and Updating Component 2: Improved Service Delivery Component 3: Human Resources and Institutional Development Component 4: Property Valuation Component 5: Project Management Provides the following benefits depending on these components; • Increasing the satisfaction of the users of the cadastre services, • Related services from TKGM that cadastral income increases, • Obtaining data for TAKBIS (the computerized Cadastre and Land Registry Software), Preparation of Spatial Information Systems Layer (frame), • To increase access to land-related data to public and private sector institutions, • Decreasing the duration of cadastral data services to public and private sector institutions. In addition, MEGSİS (Spatial Property System) has been developed for Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project (LRCMP) Component 4 "Property Valuation” studies to be conducted within the TAKBIS (the computerized Cadastre and Land Registry Software) / Cadastral layer or different words in order to establish the base of Spatial Information Systems. Medium and long-term needs of the institution cadastre automation infrastructure creation along with a multipurpose cadastre data collection and property information needed to be shared across Turkey, with MEGSİS is planned. MEGSİS is an open-source application developed by Turkish Land Registry and Cadastre Agency, where cadaster data are collected by the center system from de local users in the cadaster offices in digital “.cad” format and are harmonized with land registry data in order to be submitted to stakeholder institution, organization, municipalities and citizens by e-government link. Studies held under Spatial Property System (MEGSİS) are collected under four main topics. i) Web-based application software ii) International standard map services iii) E-Government Services iv) Orthophoto Services. • Web-based application software ,it can be used for different levels and requirements and by the administrative frame of identification/authorization , internal and external users can input data, collect data, integrate land registry data and make queries using this software. It includes also modules for following-up and controlling a process. • International standard map services, collected cadastral data within MEGSİS requested by institutions, organizations, municipalities within protocol is shared in standard format, which is open source and tested by commercial products. • E-Government Services, collected cadastral data combined with land registry data as a map service is offered to the citizens for information purposes. These services offered by the internet address have the characteristic to be the one and only geographical service. • Orthophoto Services, ortophoto maps produced in 1/5000 scale are offered via prepared services by the open source GDAL Library in TileMapService (TMS) standards. MEGSİS serves as webGIS. Web page is and further information about the system is available on the web page.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Sustainability of project gains will be determined by the success of completion of the cadastre renovation and by improvement in service delivery of TKGM, including the ability of the agency to provide real estate information to government and private sector. Because of the changes in TKGM operations from manual to the computerized system, the project will provide significant resources for training of TKGM staff in working in a computerized environment. The ability of TKGM to use the revolving funds to maintain the computer systems reduces the budgetary uncertainties often faced by other similar institutions.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The project design is based on the Turkish Cadastre Agency experience in cadastre modernization, renovations as well as the experience of other countries in similar programs. Key lessons incorporated in the design include: Focus on improving government services. While most of project investments are oriented towards renovation of cadastre, the ultimate objective of the proposed operation is to improve government services in registering property rights and in providing land and real estate information to public and private sectors. A base line survey was conducted before the start of the project and surveys of customer satisfaction will be conducted in the mid-term of the project and at its end. This will provide information to the TKGM whether the objectives of the project are being achieved and to guide the agency on a possible need for adjustments in the project during the mid-term review. Use of private sector surveyors. The number of cadastre parcels that require renovation is about 10 million, of which 5 million parcels will be renovated using the project funds. The capacity of the public sector to undertake this massive task i s limited. Experience under the Marmara Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction (MEER) and the Agricultural Reform Implementation (ARIP) projects has shown that the private sector in Turkey i s fully mature and capable of providing the services under this task. In fact, in 2006 and 2007, about 100 contracts for cadastre surveys/renovations, each around US$1 million in value, were issued by TKGM to private sector surveyors. Other countries’ experience also shows similar positive results in using private sector surveyors. Involvement of local government. Cadastre renovation is very important for local governments as it provides base maps that support many local government functions, including land use planning and development control, utilities management, property taxations, etc. Because of this importance, several local governments have initiated cadastre renovations with support from TKGM. In the course of the cadastre renovation process, TKGM will need information from local governments to carry out the cadastre renovation. Therefore, it is important that the agency reaches out to local authorities to seek their support. To facilitate this cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed with each municipality which will outline obligations of both parties. Building on best international practice. The project will incorporate, where possible, European best practice in land registration and cadastre systems including: (i) business driven approaches with cost recovery; (ii) the systems put in place that can be sustained and maintained; (iii) ‘joined-up government’ with related government agencies sharing information where possible (through NSDI); and (iv) involvement with the private sector, including partnerships. Use of new technologies. New technologies speed up the cadastre surveys, map digitization, data entry and transformation, and minimize the chances of errors. In the course of project implementation, both TKGM and the private sector contractors will be using modern technologies which entail: active GPS (CORS), digital mapping techniques, digital aerial cameras, OPMs (orthophoto maps) and high resolution satellite imagery, information systems, and data base management systems. The products of the project will be delivered on CDs, DVDs, and hard drives with paper copies, as appropriate.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre (Turkey)
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   İsmail DURSUN
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +903125514406 / +903124136402
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Dikmen Cad. No:14 Bakanlıklar
Postal Code:   06100
City:   Ankara

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