With the recent amendment, conditions relating to obtaining Turkish citizenship through property ownership have been eased. In this piece, we will describe the current conditions and the procedure involved in acquiring citizenship.
Rules governing the obtaining citizenship through property ownership are outlined in the Regulation of Implementation of Code of Turkish Citizenship article 2 subsection 2. In the article, it is stipulated that: “a foreigner meeting any of the conditions below can acquire Turkish citizenship, with the decision of the President within the scope of subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Law:
a. has made at least 500.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira worth of fixed capital Investment, verified by the Ministry of Industry and Technology,
b. has purchased a real estate with worth at least 250.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira with the annotation of not being sold for 3 years shown in the land registry, verified by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,
c. has provided employment for at least 50 people, verified by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Security,
d. has deposited at least 500.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira worth of savings in the Banks operating in Turkey, with the condition of not withdrawing for 3 years, verified by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
e. has invested in at least 500.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira worth of Turkish governmental debt instruments, with the condition of holding for 3 years, verified by Ministry of Treasury and Finance,
f. has acquired at least 500.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent Turkish Lira worth of real estate investment fund participation share or venture capital investment fund participation share, with the condition of holding for 3 years, verified by the Capital Markets Board.
Upon meeting any one of the criteria above; the foreigner is now eligible for applying for exceptional acquisition of citizenship. From this point, the foreigner must apply to the relevant authority with the documents mentioned below:
1. Application Form (VAT-4),
2. 2 50x60 mm biometric photograph,
3. Passport or similar document showing the nationality of the applicant, if the person is stateless then a relevant document showing the circumstance.
4. Certificate of civil status; if married: the marriage certificate, if divorced: the divorce document if widowed: the death certificate of the spouse.
5. Birth certificate showing person's credentials or a document like certificate of identity, if married; document proving family ties of spouses and the children.
6. If the persons birth day and month are not shown; a document from the country of origin for the completion of the date of birth, if the document cannot be obtained; signed statement accepting to be processed in accordance to the Law of Population Services numbered 5490.
7. Receipt of service fee paid.
Applications must be done in person as an application by mail is not accepted. It is sufficient that the documents; such as diplomas, passports obtained from the foreign authorities submitted by the foreigners, who wish to obtain Turkish citizenship at the time of application, are translated to Turkish and notarized.
Especially the criterion of interest is the subsection-b regarding purchase of real estate worth at least 250.000 dollars. Before the September 18 amendment, the criterion was “at least 500.000 dollars’ worth of real estate”. The current regulation is very compelling for foreigners who like to spend their holidays in Turkey due to the extraordinary nature, rich cuisine and delightful shopping possibilities. In this respect for foreigners considering buying a real estate in Turkey, obtaining Turkish citizenship will be a welcome addition.