6. Obtaining Turkish Citizenship

How to obtain Turkish Citizenship?

The process to obtain Turkish citizenship by investment involved several options, primarily through purchasing real estate or making a significant financial investment in Turkey. Please note that immigration laws can change over time, so it’s essential to verify the most up-to-date information with official Turkish government sources or consult with a qualified immigration lawyer. Here’s a general outline of the process as of my last knowledge update:

Application Requirements

The application requirements and necessary documents for Turkish citizenship vary depending on the route through which the application is made. Although we have discussed acquiring citizenship through marriage and investment, detailed information should be obtained by consulting with a lawyer.

The conditions for the application are listed in the Law on Turkish Citizenship No. 5901. Without meeting these conditions, the application cannot be made.

The general requirements for citizenship application are as follows:

• Being of age and having the capacity to distinguish right from wrong.

• Demonstrating the intention to live in Turkey with their behaviors.

• Not having a disease that poses a threat to public health.

• Having good moral character.

• Having sufficient income and a profession in Turkey.

• Being able to speak Turkish at a sufficient level. (This requirement does not apply to citizenship through investment.)

• Not having a situation that will disrupt public order and undermine national security.

These are the general requirements. After this, there will be additional requirements specific to the reasons for applying for Turkish citizenship, which we have mentioned below.

Through Marriage

According to the law, it is possible to acquire Turkish citizenship through marriage. Those who have been married to a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years can apply for citizenship. The application is evaluated by the relevant authorities and, if deemed suitable, it is accepted.

The requirements for acquiring Turkish citizenship through marriage for foreigners are as follows:

• Being married to a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years.

• Living together in a family unity.

• Not engaging in actions that are inconsistent with the marriage relationship.

• Not having a situation that will disrupt public order or threaten national security.

For more details on the subject, you can read our article titled “Becoming a Turkish Citizen Through Marriage.”

Through Investment

With the recent regulations, it has become much easier for foreign investors to acquire Turkish citizenship.

There are several ways to obtaining through investment:

  1. Making a fixed capital investment of at least 500,000 USD.
  2. Creating employment for at least 50 people.
  3. Acquiring real estate with a minimum value of 400,000 USD and placing a non-sale annotation on the title deed for three years.
  4. Depositing at least 500,000 USD in Turkish banks for a period of three years.
  5. Purchasing government bonds worth at least 500,000 USD and holding them for three years.
  6. Buying shares of venture capital investment funds or real estate investment funds worth at least 500,000 USD and holding them for three years.

The authorities from which the investor needs to obtain an eligibility certificate vary depending on the chosen investment path. Additionally, the procedures differ from other methods of acquiring citizenship. For these reasons, individuals who wish to obtain Turkish citizenship through investment are advised to seek the assistance of a lawyer to facilitate the process.

Through 5 Years of Residency

There are various ways to acquire Turkish citizenship, as we have discussed in our previous writings. If a foreign individual does not qualify for citizenship through any of these routes, they can still obtain it through the general method, which is gaining citizenship through residency. This process is also known as acquiring citizenship through residency requirements.

According to Article 11 of the Citizenship Law, in order to acquire citizenship through the general method, a foreign individual must reside in Turkey for at least 5 years. By meeting this requirement, they can apply for Turkish citizenship. It is essential to have lived in Turkey for a total of 5 years up until the application date. During this 5-year period, the individual should not spend more than 12 months outside of Turkey.

Through Parentage (By Descent)

Citizenship by descent is acquired when either the mother or the father is a Turkish citizen at the time of the child’s birth.

To acquire Turkish citizenship through parentage, it is sufficient for either the mother or the father to be a Turkish citizen at the time of the child’s birth, and the other parent being a citizen of a foreign country does not prevent the child from acquiring Turkish citizenship.

How do Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Citizens Acquire Turkish Citizenship?

Individuals who are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) by birth can apply to acquire Turkish citizenship if they wish to do so.

Acquiring Turkish citizenship by these individuals does not affect their spouses, but their children will be subject to the provisions of Article 20 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship No. 5901.

Other Ways to Acquire Citizenship:

We have discussed the most common ways above. However, briefly mentioning other methods:

• Acquiring Turkish Citizenship as an Immigrant

• Acquiring Turkish Citizenship Through Adoption

• Acquiring Turkish Citizenship Through the Right of Option

• Acquiring Turkish Citizenship Through Exceptional Cases

Please feel free to contact our legal department to get more information and consult about this process.