Does Turkey Give Citizenship to Foreigners?
Many people are surprised to learn that Turkey gives citizenship to foreigners and has several ways to claim it. In recent years, the number of foreigners becoming Turkish citizens has also increased. It is not hard to understand why since Turkey offers many benefits to foreigners living here, including a cheaper cost of living, a gorgeous weather climate, delicious cuisine, exciting history, and naturally being a country surrounded by four seas, that beachside living. Of course, some want to invest and work in Turkey for the future of themselves and their family. So, if you are a foreigner with interest in getting Turkish citizenship, how can you go about it?
How Can Foreigners Get Citizenship in Turkey?
Firstly, it was worth knowing that any child with a Turkish father or mother automatically gets Turkish citizenship no matter where they are born. Likewise, if a Turkish couple adopts a child under 18, they too receive automatic citizenship. Turkey also allows dual citizenship, but some other countries do not. Turks who are forced to give up their citizenship for this reason can also apply for the blue card, which is similar except it exempts them from military service and holding public office. For others, there are numerous ways to get it, but applicants must show the following first.
- Prove their intention to settle in Turkey
- They cannot be a risk to public health or security
- Have an adequate understanding of the Turkish language
- Be of good moral character.
If a foreigner has eight years of uninterrupted residency permits, they can apply, but two of the most popular methods are marriage and investment.
In years gone by, Turkey automatically granted citizenship as soon as anyone married a Turk. However, this led to unscrupulous practises and reports soon revealed many bogus marriages. Thus, Turkey changed the criteria to a spouse can only apply after three years of marriage, providing they still live with the partner and are not committing any acts to jeopardise the union. Likewise, the above criteria still stand.
By Real Estate Investment
Gaining citizenship by buying property is nothing new, and the scheme appears in many countries. However, before 2018, Turkey’s program was not popular because it required a minimal investment of 1 million USD. Then they changed it to $250,000, and this dramatically shifted the number of applicants. According to a 2020 newspaper report, since 2017, 7,300 foreigners have gained Turkish citizenship by investing in real estate. Please note the $400,000 minimum threshold has been increased in 2022 from $250,000 previously.The only criteria are that you keep the property for at least three years. Please note that the application process for citizenship by real estate is separate from the property buying process. Find out more about the real estate investment scheme here.
By Investment into Business
Other ways to gain citizenship is by investing in Turkey’s economy. This can be shown in several ways, including making a fixed capital investment of $500,000 or employing 50 Turkish nationals. Likewise, you can also deposit USD 500,000 into a Turkish bank account, and if you keep it there, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency will verify the investment.
Expat Living in Turkey
Gaining citizenship has many benefits, but if you plan to live in Turkey, you will also need to transition into an alternative lifestyle, language, cuisine, and social traditions. Our expat guide to living here covers all eventualities to making a move, including banking, making friends, overcoming homesickness, learning the language, and much more. It is a helpful starter guide to your new home in Turkey.
About Turkey Homes
We are Turkey Homes, an investment and property agent with offices all around the country, including Istanbul, Antalya, Fethiye, and Bodrum. We hope we have answered your question as to whether Turkey gives citizenship to foreigners. We have also collected all our local knowledge into one extensive blog archive. Browse through it for more helpful information about living in Turkey.