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Turkish Citizenship By Investment

According to Article 5 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 (“TVK”); “Turkish citizenship is acquired by birth or later.” Recently, the acquisition of citizenship through investment has come to the fore in later acquisitions. With this article; within the scope of latest update dated 13.06.2022, obtaining citizenship by investment in Turkey will be explained.[1]

1. About Legislation

1.1. According to TVK article 12 ( On “Exceptions in acquiring Turkish citizenship”) ;

(1) The following persons may acquire Turkish citizenship by the decision of the President of the Republic, provided that they do not have an obstacle to national security and public order;

a) Persons who bring into Turkey industrial facilities or have rendered or believed to render an outstanding service in the social or economic arena or in the fields of science, technology, sports, culture or arts and regarding whom a reasoned offer is made by the relevant ministries.

b) Foreigners who have a residence permit pursuant to subparagraph (j) of the first paragraph of Article 31 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection dated 4/4/2013 and numbered 6458, and foreigners holding Turquoise Card and their foreign spouses, minor or dependent foreign children of themselves and their spouses.

c) Persons whose being received into citizenship is deemed to be necessary.

d) Persons recognized as immigrants.

(2) The requests of those who are in a state to pose an obstacle in terms of national security and public order are rejected by the Ministry.

1.2. With the update made in the Regulation, Article 20 has been given its final form. Accordingly;

(1) In the cases listed in Article 12 of the Law, a foreigner may acquire Turkish citizenship exceptionally.

(2) A foreigner who fulfills any of the following conditions below, can acquire Turkish citizenship by the decision of the President within the scope of subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of Article 12 of the Law:

a) Foreigners who are confirmed to have invested a fixed capital of minimum USD 500,000 or an equivalent currency by the Ministry of Industry and Technology,

b) Foreigners who are confirmed to have purchased real estate worth minimum USD 400,000 or an equivalent currency or promised to purchase a real estate with floor ownership or floor easement corresponding to a minimum USD 400,000 or an equivalent currency with a sale contract certified by notary public and annotation of refusal of sale for three years added to the records of the title deed registry by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, ‣

c) Foreigners who are confirmed to have created employment for at least 50 people by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services,

d) Foreigners who are confirmed to have deposited minimum USD 500,000 or an equivalent of currency in a bank that operates in Turkey by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency on condition that it will be kept in the account for three years.

e) Foreigners who are confirmed to have purchased and held for three years real estate investment fund participation shares or venture capital investment fund participation shares worth minimum USD 500,000 by Capital Markets Board,

f) Foreigners who are confirmed to have purchased state borrowing instruments worth minimum USD 500,000 on the condition of holding them for three years by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

2. About the Application Process and Possible Refusal of Claim

2.1. A foreign investor will be able to apply for Turkish citizenship if one of the above-mentioned exceptional conditions is fulfilled and the general conditions sought in the law are met.[2] Again, it should be emphasized that in investments such as "purchase of real estate", not only purchasing real estate in itself is sufficient for the application, but also the foreigner must also apply for a short-term residence permit. The collection of documents pertaining to the aforementioned applications is a process that must be handled alone and with care. Again, according to the type of investment; the documents to be collected and the authority to which the application should be made vary.

2.2. Since the citizenship application is solely a process that concerns the administration; in case of a rejection from a public institutions, a claim can be filed in the administrative court for the rejection of the request within 60 days from the notification of the rejection decision of the citizenship. Hence, an action for annulment can also be filed to the an administration within 60 days from the notification for the annulment of the rejection decision. This application will stop the legal filing period. If the applied administration does not respond to the request within 30 days, the request is deemed to be rejected and a lawsuit can be filed in the administrative court with a request for the annulment of the administrative act.

3. Evaluation and Conclusion

Under the sub-clause 1.2. of this article. the fulfillment of one of the issues specified in the article does not guarantee that the applicant will be granted citizenship. In other words, just investing does not grant citizenship to the foreigner. According to the legal regulation, the President has the right to reject the application when he deems it necessary. In this case, in case of a possible refusal, the appeal authority will be the Council of State. It is recommended to seek help from a professional in order not to waste time in the applications and to avoid any grievances. 29.08.2022

Att. B. Beril KARAMAN

[1] Legal regulations regarding the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by investment; Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 (“TVK”), Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (“Regulation”), Foreigners and International Protection Law (“Law”) and Presidential Decree No. 106 and 418 (“Decision”). [2] Explained in article 11 of the Law and article 72 of the Regulation.

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