In the past few years, Turkey has emerged as a major global influence in business, investment, tourism and expat living. Therefore, many foreigners are moving to Turkey or setting up businesses, and seek to obtain the Turkish citizenship to enjoy the same benefits as a Turk. Best of all, Turkey allows dual citizenship, therefore you can maintain your original nationality.
The ways to obtain a Turkish citizenship
Purchasing a $250,000 property:
according to the new citizenship laws in turkey, a foreigner may obtain a Turkish citizenship immediately when they purchase a property which is valued at 1 million dollars, and promises to keep it for 3 years. This is by far, the fastest, most straight forward way to obtain the Turkish citizenship for you and your first degree family members.
Owning a property:
Once you buy a property in turkey, regardless of its value, you are granted a yearly renewed residency permit, and is eligible to apply for the Turkish citizenship after 5 years, with one condition; to stay in turkey for at least 185 days in each calendar year.
– Long-term residency:
To be eligible for this option, you must have had five years of residency in turkey, and have not left the country for more than six months during this period. You must also have a clean bill of health and a clear understanding of the Turkish language and generally good morals.
Marriage to a Turkish citizen:
after three years of marriage to a turk, you can apply for the Turkish citizenship. you must be living together and the activities of both partners in the marriage are assessed to check the marriage is not a presence. If you get divorced after obtaining the citizenship, the foreigner can keep the acquired citizenship.
Looking at these options, the easiest and most affordable way to gain the Turkish Citizenship is to own a property. It is affordable, profitable as it could be considered as an investment, and it doesn’t hinder you from traveling often as you only need to be in turkey for a relatively short period of time. Best of all, the yearly renewed residency granted for this option is given to you and your first degree family members.
As a Turkish citizen, you can
Enter Turkey without a visa
Live in Turkey without needing a residency permit, therefore saving time and money.
Work without needing a work permit, in any job you want
Open and operate a business without the requirements levied on foreigners
Buy property without the usual delay caused by a military check
Vote in local and national elections
Contribute to a state-sponsored pension
Receive inexpensive, global heath insurance through Turkey’s national healthcare plan
Buy a car as a Turk and not be required to use foreign license plates
New citizens can also pay into the social security system for health and pension benefits.
If you are of an age suitable for service, you may have to serve in the Turkish military
If you work, you will probably receive lower wages and work longer hours, unlike most foreigners who work in Turkey
Your male children will be obligated to serve in the Turkish military once they reach 18 years of age.
The qualifications to obtain the Turkish citizenship are straight forward:
You must be at the age of majority and have the capacity to decide and act on your own, according to the laws of the country you are from (usually 18)
You must be a legal resident of Turkey for at least five (5) years, without interruptions totaling six months or more
You must show intent to settle in Turkey, such as owning property, starting a business in Turkey, or having some other binding tie with Turkey
You must be able to speak a sufficient amount of Turkish (the standard is higher for those not married to a Turkish citizen)
You must have enough income, or a profession, which will allow you to support yourself and your dependents
You must not have a disease which is a threat to public health
You must not be a threat to Turkey’s national security or to the public order
You must be of good moral character.
to apply for Turkish citizenship, you need to bring the following documents to a local government office (usually a town or city hall).
Passport (translated and notarized)
Medical certificate confirming that you are in good health and free of any disease which might endanger public health
Document from the security directorate showing how long you have lived in Turkey, as well as all exits and entries into Turkey
Certification of your ability to speak Turkish (see below)
Four (4) to six (6) passport-size photographs
Marriage certificate (if married to a Turk)*
Identity documents for your spouse and underage children
The Application Process
The application process for Turkish citizenship can take up to a year. It is a good idea to have this much time on your current residence permit in case you need to leave the country during the process.
1. Citizenship Directorate, or Turkish Embassy/Consulate, for Initial Application
Fill out the application forms and get a list of what you will need (requirements usually vary from province to province). Pay the application fee.
2. Police Station (or Embassy/Consulate), for a Police Records Check
Fill out their police records check form. Provide a set of fingerprints and a photo (the police or consular officials may take this themselves). Get a document which shows how long you have lived in Turkey, as well as all exits and entries into Turkey.
3. Doctor’s Office or Hospital, for a Medical Examination
Have a medical examination done and obtain the medical report.
4. Your Home, for a Police Check
If you are living in Turkey, a policeman will come by your house and do a brief interview to make sure you are living where you say you live. If you are married, he or she may verify that you and your spouse are living together.
5. At some point you will receive notification of an appointment for your interview at the Citizenship Directorate, or Turkish embassy/consulate.
6. Citizenship Directorate or Turkish Embassy/Consulate, for Interview
The interview is done by a panel of local government or consular officials.
Arrive early for your appointment to fill out forms, then wait to be called for your interview. During the interview, panel members will verify the information you put on the citizenship application form, and engage you in an informal Turkish conversation. There is no set list of questions, but you can expect to be asked questions such as:
Where are you from?
When did you come to Turkey?
What is your profession?
Are you working now?
What is your spouse’s job?
When did you meet your spouse?
What is your religion?
What do you think of Turkey?
What do you think of the Turkish people?
Who is Atatürk?
What are the words to the Turkish National Anthem?
If you are not married to a Turkish citizen, the interview will be more strenuous, and you will need to be conversant in Turkish to qualify for citizenship.
The results of the interview will then be combined with the rest of your package and sent to the Ministry of Interior for approval. You can expect to wait six months to a year for approval.
Obtaining a Turkish citizenship can make it easier for investors and business men to conduct their work in turkey, as well as give them and their families many benefits, and applying to the citizenship have never been easier.