Tens of millions of tourists visit Turkey and its tourist and business hub, Istanbul, located on the Bosphorus Strait, each year to enjoy its attractive nature, historical landmarks, and the finest investment prospects that cannot be found elsewhere on the globe. It could cross the thoughts of Istanbul admirers who have visited it repeatedly to the point of being overwhelmed: what is the best way to stay close to Istanbul’s beautiful surroundings and historic sites? Or, to put it another way, how can we acquire Turkish citizenship and enjoy its advantages?
Damasturk Real Estate Company, one of Turkey's most significant and largest leading real estate firms, will address all of your questions and queries in this regard. In order for you to be pleased with living in Turkey, this article will walk you through the best and fastest ways to become a Turkish citizen, along with the requirements, stages, and connections to real estate investment.
Qualifications for Turkish citizenship
In principle, foreign nationals who live in Turkey are eligible to become citizens of Turkey if they fulfill all of the requirements listed below:
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must be an adult who is in good mental health and is either of legal age or in the custody of a guardian, such as a parent or adoptive parent.
- Depending on how he plans to gain Turkish citizenship, the potential citizen must have resided in Turkey for a continuous period of three to five years.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must be free of any illness that might endanger the country's public health.
- A candidate for Turkish citizenship must be of excellent morals and character and possess a good history.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship should, at the very least, interact with others and speak Turkish.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must not be a danger to the country's public order or national security.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must have documentation confirming the reason for residency in Turkey and the desired aim, such as being a real estate investor, married to a Turkish citizen, working or studying in Turkey, or a businessman in one of Turkey's vital areas.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must have sufficient funds to live in Turkey.
It should be noted that meeting these requirements does not automatically provide a foreign person the right to gain Turkish citizenship.
The best and most appropriate approaches to gain Turkish citizenship
Investing in real estate might lead to Turkish citizenship
According to Turkish legislation, foreign real estate investors who hold a property in Turkey with an investment worth of $400,000 or more may now apply for Turkish citizenship under the following conditions:
- The real estate investment should be worth at least $400,000 or its equivalent in Turkish Lira.
- Given that the Turkish Naturalization Law clearly forbids granting Turkish citizenship, for example, to North Koreans, it is necessary that the real estate investor be among the nationalities permitted to gain Turkish citizenship in exchange for purchasing a property.
- The property cannot be sold by the real estate investor for three years from the date of acquisition.
- The property investor must obtain a real estate assessment report from one of the agencies that specializes in this field.
- The property must be registered at the title deed department by the real estate investor.
- After three years, the real estate investor is not permitted to resell the property to another investor in the same country. Instead, the property can be sold to a Turkish buyer or a person from a different country.
- If the identification documents have a flaw, omission, or are fraudulent, the real estate investor's Turkish citizenship may be revoked.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship through a work permit
The work permit is one of the residences provided to international workers by Turkish firms or foreign companies doing business in Turkey. The foreign worker receives a one-year work permit, which is renewed as long as he continues to work for a Turkish or international business. Five years after the work permit's original issue, the foreign worker can apply for Turkish citizenship through it if he meets the requirements listed below:
- Turkish legislation permits the foreign worker to travel outside Turkey for up to 360 days during the five years the applicant must stay in Turkey.
- Familiarity with the Turkish language is a must.
- The candidate for Turkish citizenship must have a source of income.
- The applicant must be free of any diseases that could harm Turkey's public health.
- The applicant must enjoy a clear, abuse-free security file.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship through establishing a company or bank deposit
You can achieve this by forming a corporation with a capital of $500k or the equivalent in Turkish Lira, or by putting $500k or the equivalent in Turkish Lira in a public or private Turkish bank, as long as you do not withdraw it for at least three years.
The other way to obtain Turkish citizenship is to purchase bonds worth at least $500k or the equivalent in Turkish lira and hold them for at least three years. All of these approaches lead to Turkish citizenship.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship by providing job opportunities for Turkish citizens
The Turkish Naturalization Law states that providing employment for 50 Turkish employees is required to gain citizenship. Prior to 2018, obtaining a Turkish passport required offering employment to 100 Turkish people.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship by marrying a Turkish citizen
Marriage to a male or female citizen who holds Turkish citizenship is a common way to obtain Turkish citizenship. It is also the simplest way compared to the other methods because the requirements are not onerous. A foreign citizen who has been married to a Turkish citizen for three years and whose union is still valid may apply for Turkish citizenship under the following conditions:
- When a spouse has successfully maintained a marriage with a Turkish citizen for three years, he is granted Turkish citizenship. If the Turkish partner passes away while the spouse is applying for Turkish citizenship, an exemption is made and the applicant is given citizenship.
- Couples must refrain from actions and conduct that could harm their union.
- Regardless of whether they are Turkish citizens or not, never get married to or associate with someone who could threaten Turkey's security.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship by adoption
The adoption system is permitted by Turkish law, and if a Turkish family or a Turkish citizen adopts a non-adult foreigner under the age of 18, he will instantly gain Turkish citizenship after examining his case and making sure the adopted individual does not represent a threat to public safety.
Obtaining Turkish citizenship through Ottoman or Turkish origins
Those of Ottoman or Turkish ancestry may seek Turkish citizenship by law after submitting the necessary documentation.
Citizenship through government order or exceptional decision
Turkish law permits the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities to award Turkish citizenship to any foreign national under the following situations:
- Individuals who are capable of offering Turkey excellent services with several facets, mostly in the sectors of science, economics, industry, sport, or culture.
- People who left their countries for political reasons and were unable to go back.
Stages of Turkish citizenship acquisition
The process of gaining Turkish citizenship involves a lot of stages, but the "Security Research Stage" is crucial since it decides whether or not the candidate will likely be granted Turkish citizenship.
Eight stages make up the citizenship application procedure, which begins with the submission of paperwork and ends with approval to grant Turkish citizenship. These are the stages:
- The first stage is submitting the application to the appropriate authorities for registration and approval.
- The second stage is transmitting the application and all supporting documentation to Ankara, the country's capital, for evaluation and validity verification.
- The third stage involves auditing and inquiry, after which the application moves on to the fourth stage if it is authorized (study and evaluation).
- The fourth stage is both the most challenging and crucial in the process of getting Turkish citizenship. Before a decision is reached to proceed to the fifth stage, the application is referred to the specialized security authorities for evaluation. This stage may take some time.
- The fifth stage involves submitting the application to the Council of Ministers for approval.
- The sixth stage involves deciding whether or not to give citizenship.
- The seventh stage is when the applicant is informed of the application's result.
- The eighth stage is handing over the documents of citizenship to the applicant.
The Benefits of Obtaining Turkish Citizenship
- Having all of the rights granted to Turkish citizens.
- Obtaining a Turkish passport, which allows for visa-free travel to 73 countries around the world.
- The ability to work as a Turkish citizen in any government or private state entity.
- The ability to rely on the retirement law after the age of sixty years.
- The possessor of Turkish citizenship may retain his original nationality.
- Engaging in all occupations previously restricted to Turkish citizens, such as law, veterinary medicine, public and private security for businesses, maritime occupations, law, pharmacy, and medicine.
- Turkish residents are eligible to run for office or cast ballots in a variety of elections, including parliamentary and local ones.
- If the owner of Turkish citizenship is a businessperson, he may apply for a two-year E2 category investment visa to the United States.