Updated September 2023
Nestled between the realms of the East and the West, Turkey has emerged as a captivating destination, drawing not just avid travelers but also those seeking to establish roots in this diverse nation. Boasting a burgeoning economy and commendably low crime rates, it comes as no revelation that numerous individuals harbor ambitions of becoming Turkish citizens. Furthermore, the path to Turkish citizenship stands out for its accessibility, outshining several other nations.
In this article, Wego provides a detailed overview of acquiring Turkish citizenship, catering to the interests of those who aspire to embrace this remarkable country as their own.
Table of Contents
Turkey citizenship law
The Turkish Citizenship Law (Act No. 5901) covers the rules for gaining and losing Turkish citizenship. Children born to Turkish parents or in Turkey to foreign parents not passing on their nationality automatically become Turkish citizens. Citizenship can also be acquired after birth through various means or by foreign nationals meeting specific conditions. However, meeting these conditions does not guarantee citizenship.
The law defines three ways to lose citizenship: cancellation, revocation, or renunciation. Loss may occur under certain conditions, such as concealing information during citizenship acquisition. For precise information, consult official government sources or seek legal advice.
Turkey citizenship requirements
Foreign nationals can pursue Turkish citizenship through various avenues, each with its own set of requirements. These pathways and their prerequisites are outlined in the following sections.
Turkey citizenship by birth
Turkish citizenship through birth is determined by the place of birth or the child’s lineage. According to the citizenship law, any child born in Turkey is automatically granted Turkish citizenship. Similarly, if foreign parents do not pass on their citizenship to their child, that child can acquire Turkish citizenship.
Additionally, citizenship by descent can be obtained under the following conditions:
- a child born to at least one Turkish parent within a lawful marriage, whether in Turkey or abroad
- a child born out of wedlock to a Turkish mother and a foreign father
- a child born out of wedlock to a Turkish father and a foreign mother, provided that the necessary procedures to establish lineage are followed
Turkey citizenship by marriage
Marriage to a Turkish national doesn’t automatically confer Turkish citizenship. To be eligible, one must be married to a Turkish national for a minimum of three years. The conditions for obtaining Turkish citizenship through marriage encompass:
- residing within the marital union
- avoiding actions contrary to marital unity
- not engaging in activities that could jeopardize national security or public order
Foreigners who acquire Turkish citizenship via marriage can retain it even in the event of divorce, as long as they entered the marriage in good faith.
Turkey citizenship by naturalization
Foreigners can gain Turkish citizenship through naturalization by meeting these conditions:
- residing in Turkey continuously for 5 years
- having no contagious diseases that pose a public health risk
- demonstrating good moral conduct
- proficiency in the Turkish language
- sustaining an income or profession to support themselves and their dependents
- not presenting a threat to national security or public order
Turkey citizenship by investment
Turkish citizenship is attainable through investment with the following options:
- invest a minimum of USD 500,000 in fixed capital recognized by the Ministry of Industry and Technology
- acquire real estate valued at least USD 250,000
- create employment opportunities for a minimum of 50 people as authorized by the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services
- deposit a minimum of USD 500,000 in Turkish Lira with a Turkish bank, to be held for three years
- invest for a minimum of three years in shares of a venture capital investment fund or real estate investment fund with a minimum of USD 500,000
- purchase state borrowing instruments worth at least USD 500,000 and maintain the investment for a minimum of three years
Turkey citizenship for exceptional cases
In specific cases, Turkish citizenship may be conferred by a decision from the Council of Ministers, provided there is no threat to national security or public order. These exceptional situations encompass:
- individuals establishing industrial facilities in Turkey
- foreigners making significant contributions to fields like science, technology, economy, society, sports, culture, and the arts
- cases where naturalization is deemed necessary
- acceptance as immigrants under Settlement Law no. 5543
Turkey citizenship application
Turkish citizenship can be applied in person through a special power of attorney to the governorship where the applicant resides, while minors can be represented by a parent or guardian. Applicants must have six residence permits within the required residence period. They can stay outside Turkey for a month, but the total time spent outside the country should not exceed six months. The application process is based on a foreign identification number, while the application date is based on the time when the form petition is submitted
As per the official website of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Interior, the following documents need to be prepared for the Turkish citizenship application:
- application form (VAT 3)
- 2 photos with 50×60 mm size and white background
- Birth certificate or civil registry sample that shows the identity information
- Health report determined by the Ministry of Health
- Work permit, tax certificate, letter of undertaking or similar document proving the relevant income or profession.
- A document showing the dates of entry and exit from the country. It can be obtained from the provincial police department.
- Receipt showing that the service fee has been deposited to the Finance cashier.
Ensure all documents are notarized and translated into Turkish. If needed, residence permits can be verified by the relevant directorates.
Turkey citizenship benefits
Gaining Turkish citizenship extends beyond the appeal of its captivating culture and stunning landscapes, offering a range of compelling advantages. If you’re contemplating Turkish citizenship, here are the key benefits to explore:
- legally reside in Turkey
- access to the country’s healthcare system at no cost
- free access to educational institutions.
- Turkish passport provides visa-free entry to 111 countries, including Singapore and South Korea
- Turkey allows dual citizenship, allowing you to retain your original citizenship
- abundant business prospects.
- Turkey offers a high-quality lifestyle with European-level conveniences
- E2 Visa agreement with the USA, which is a significant perk for Turkish citizens
- Turkey boasts a favorable cost of living compared to many European destinations.