Every year, thousands of foreigners want to obtain citizenship in Turkey, but unfortunately, like every other country, specific requirements are in place. The method that you will use depends on your background and current financial, property, marriage, business or educational status.
How to Apply for Citizenship in Turkey
Fast Track: In 2017, the Turkish government introduced a fast-track system to become a Turkish national. People who are eligible to apply include anyone who has bought property worth 1.000.000 USD or deposited 3.00.000 USD in Turkish banks. Both transactions will need to stay in place for three years. People who have invested at least 2.000.000 USD in fixed capital or employ 100 Turkish people are also eligible. (Read more about the Investment citizenship in Turkey here)
Property and Residence Permit Holders: Any property owner in Turkey who has lived in the country for a straight, uninterrupted period of five years can also apply on the condition that they have stayed for at least 185 days in Turkey in each calendar year. Article 11 of Act 5901 lists the requirements for an uninterrupted residence permit. There isn’t a minimal amount for the property value.
Birth: The easiest way is to be born in a family with a Turkish mother and father. According to Article 1 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 403, citizens born to one or both Turkish parents have the right to get citizenship at once. Alternatively, if a mother and father are successful in their applications, this is extended to the children. Anyone who has lost their Turkish citizenship can also re-apply.
Marriage: Many foreigners have obtained citizenship after 3 years of marriage to a Turkish national. Certain conditions apply including living together, refraining from behavior that could damage the marital union, and posing no threat to national security or public order.
The Turquoise System: Introduced in 2017, the Turquoise System allows people who have skills or attributes in technology, economics, sports, cultural and arts, as well as business executives and investors to apply for an alternative type of citizenship that grants almost full rights.
Required Documents for Turkish Citizenship Application
- Valid passport
- 4 passport-size photos
- Birth certificate
- Residence permit
- Medical certificate proving you are in good health and physical health
- Certification of Turkish language ability
- If applicable, documents proving your relationships with your spouse and children (marriage license, birth certificate for children's)
- Confirmation of regular income (e.g. work permit, pension, rental income)
- Document showing how long you have lived in Turkey, as well as all exits and entries into Turkey
- If applicable, Turkish ID copy and address of relatives in Turkey
The Application Process
Applications need to be done via the local governorship office where you live in Turkey or via a consulate if you are living abroad. The documents required, and types of application will vary depending on your circumstances.
They can include but are not restricted to the passport, birth certificate, residence permit, marriage certificate, the Turkish identity number of relatives, photographs. Individual applicants will also need to attend an interview that will be carried out in Turkish.
The length of time that applications for citizenship in Turkey will take depends on the specific circumstances of the applicant but updates can be obtained from the Interior Ministry. Under the terms and conditions of the Citizenship Law No. 5901, you can re-apply to the governorship of your place of residence again if your application is rejected.
Question: Is it possible to have dual nationality in Turkey?
Answer: Yes, Turkey allows dual nationality, but you should check with your consulate regarding your original nationality because many countries like India, China, and Saudi Arabia do not recognize or have certain restrictions in place regarding dual nationality.
Further Reading: If you are ineligible to get citizenship, read this article to find out more about obtaining a residence permit in Turkey.