ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP
Citizenship is a difficult concept to define in terms of keeping it dynamic and alive in the changing world order. The concept of “citizenship”, which expresses the political and legal relationship between the person and the state, has become the agenda with the dynamism of migration movements due to the weakening of state sovereignty.
- Acquiring Citizenship by Birth
Children who are born in a marriage union or out of wedlock are entitled to Turkish citizenship by birth if their mother and/or father are Turkish citizens. In the case of a child born without wedlock, the child acquires Turkish citizenship by birth in any case, if the child’s mother is Turkish. It is possible for a child who was born from a foreign mother outside of the marriage union to acquire Turkish citizenship, by fulfilling the necessary procedures and principles for the establishment of lineage. According to the Turkish Citizenship Law, being born in Turkey shall not ensure the acquisition of Turkish citizenship.
- Post Facto Acquisition
It is possible to acquire Turkish citizenship after birth, in general, or by exceptional means. The conditions of general acquisition are listed in Art.11 of the Turkish Citizenship Law. Under the configuration of The Code, the acquisition of citizenship herein method is associated with having resided in Turkey for a certain period and being adapted to live in Turkey at the same time. According to Art.12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law, aliens will be able to acquire Turkish citizenship by investing in Turkey, if they haven’t constituted an obstacle in terms of national security and public order.
a. Subsequent Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by General Way
In order to acquire citizenship in a general way, it is required to settle and reside for a certain period and have adapted to life in Turkey. Conditions for applying for Turkish citizenship by the relevant article of the Code are listed below.
a) being in the majority and having the ability to distinguish according to his/her national law or, if he/she is stateless, according to Turkish law,
b) have been resident in Turkey without interruption for five years preceding the date of his/her application,
c) verify his/her decision due to settling down in Turkey by his/her manners,
ç) have no disease constituting an obstacle in respect of public health,
d) have a noble character,
e) be able to speak a sufficient level of Turkish,
f) have income or profession to provide maintenance for himself/herself and his/her dependents in Turkey,
g) have no status which is constituting an obstacle in respect of national security and public order.”
However, individuals can acquire Turkish citizenship through exceptional means without meeting these conditions.
b. Subsequent Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Exceptional Way
According to Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law, it is possible to acquire Turkish citizenship for aliens who have made certain investments in Turkey by the Presidential decision. The investments that enable foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship are regulated in detail by the “Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law”. Accordingly, people who accomplish one of the following investments are entitled to acquire Turkish citizenship:
Foreigners who are confirmed to have purchased real estate worth a minimum USD 250,000 or promised to purchase real estate with floor ownership or floor easement corresponding to a minimum of USD 250,000 or the same amount equivalent to Turkish Lira with a sale contract certified by a 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,
- Foreigners who are confirmed to have created employment for at least 50 people by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services,
- Foreigners who are confirmed to have deposited a minimum USD 500,000 or an equivalent of the same to Turkish Lira in a bank that operates in Turkey by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency provided that it will be kept in the account for three years,
- 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 a minimum USD 500,000 by Capital Markets Board,
- Foreigners who are confirmed to have purchased state borrowing instruments worth a minimum USD 500,000 on the condition of holding them for three years by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, may apply for exceptional Turkish citizenship
Aliens who accomplish any of the investments which are listed in the relevant article of the regulation will be able to acquire Turkish citizenship with an application and a certificate of conformity which will be received from the relevant institution or ministry and Presidential decision.