ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

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Citizenship is the political and legal link that connects the person to the state. A foreigner is a person who is in the country of a state and does not have the right to claim the citizenship of that state.

Provisions regarding the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through purchasing an immovable are regulated within the scope of the subparagraph “b” of the second paragraph of the Article 20 of the Regulation on Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law; “The foreigner who purchases a property on the value of minimum 250,000.00 USD or the equivalent amount as Turkish Lira or other foreign currency and makes an annotate onto the Title Deed Registry that the property will not be sold in the following three (3) years or who makes a notarized promise to sale agreement of a property which the foreigner purchased or constituted flat ownership or construction servitude and paid cash on the value of minimum USD 250.000 USD or the equivalent amount as Turkish Lira or other foreign currency shall be annotated onto the Title Deed Registry with the commitment that the property will not be transferred or the annotation will not be cancelled in the following three (3) years may acquire Turkish citizenship by the Presidential Decree upon the determination of such purchase and annotation by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism.”

Three amendments that entered into force on 12.01.2017, 19.09.2018 and 07.12.2018 were made in the regulation. Accordingly;

  1. The value of the immovable/immovables purchased between the dates of 12.01.2017-18.09.2018 should be 1.000.000 American Dollars (USD),
  2. The value of the immovable/immovables purchased/to be purchased after 19.09.2018 should be 250.000 USD,
  3. The value of the immovable/immovables that a preliminary sales contract is made/to be made for after the date of 07.12.2018 should be 250.000 USD.

The immovable/immovables purchased before 12.01.2017 which is the effective date of the first amendment made in the Regulation and the immovable/immovables subject to the preliminary sales contract before 07/12/2018 shall not be considered in this context.

With the Presidential Decree No. 106 and dated 18.09.2018, the phrase of “at least 1.000.000 American Dollars” has been changed to “at least 250.000 American Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish Lira equivalent”. Foreign real persons who purchased immovable/immovables that worth at least 1.000.000 USD between 12.01.2017-18.09.2018 or who will purchase immovable/immovables that worth at least 250.000 USD after 19.09.2018 shall be entitled to make an application for acquisition of Turkish citizenship. The immovables purchased before 12.01.2017 are excluded from this scope. In order to acquire exceptional citizenship by purchasing an immovable property, the transaction documents should be sent to the Foreign Affairs of General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre by the Land Registry Office after receiving the commitment of not selling the immovable for 3 years. (This is is the way of implementation after the circular dated 15.10.2018 and numbered 2018/12 (1791). For the purchases prior to this date, the processes were carried out with the follow-up of the relevant parties.) The Department of Foreign Affairs issues a “Certificate of Conformity” and sends this document together with a cover letter to the Directorate General of İmmigration Authority and the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs and to the relevant person via e-mail for their information. After obtaining the “Certificate of Conformity”, the foreign real person should make an application for the residence permit to the Provincial Directorate of Immigration Authority and then an application for citizenship to the Provincial Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs should be made. It is important in the application for citizenship that whom the immovable property is purchased from. The immovable/immovables subject to acquisition should not be registered in the title deed in the name of any foreign real person including their spouse and children, or should not be transferred after 12.01.2017 by the foreign person himself, their spouse, their children or any other foreign real person. In addition, the immovable subject to acquisition should not be one of the immovables registered in the name of the company which the foreign real person who will purchase it is a partner or manager.

  • Applications for immovable property acquisitions made for the purpose of acquisition of Turkish citizenship by exception are also possible by proxy. However, it should be clearly stated in the power of attorney that such power for these actions are granted.
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