Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program was newly introduced on 12.01.2017 and amended on 18.09.2018. Owing to the new system, foreigners are granted to acquire Turkish citizenship through property purchase worth at least $400.000 or making $500.000 capital investment. This article intends to clarify the new system in a detailed manner with regard to the first one, namely the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by property purchase.
What is the link between citizenship law and real estate law?
There is an increasing correlation between the exercise of the right to property and the word of citizenship. Real estate law regimes generally involve the constant possession, control, and the use of ownership for any entity. The exercise of the right to property basically depends on the enjoyment of citizenship according to domestic legal systems. However, only a few states including Turkey and the United States do not ask citizenship for a real property purchase.
For more detailed information regarding the USA real estate system, see our article on “Home Purchase in the USA”.
Even more, pursuant to a number of real estate law systems, the acquisition of citizenship requires a number of legal necessities, such as the ownership of a real property in the country concerned. In that context, home purchase is considered as an easy and secure way of the provision of citizenship by foreigners in those states.
How is the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through a real estate investment
In accordance with Article 66 of Turkish Constitution, ‘everyone bound to the Turkish State through the bond of citizenship is a Turk. The child of a Turkish father or a Turkish mother is a Turk. Citizenship can be acquired under the conditions stipulated by law, and shall be forfeited only in cases determined by law’.
According to internationally established principles, citizenship may be acquired at birth or through naturalization subsequent to birth. Likewise, Article 5 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901) has a similar provision, approving the same principle. Indeed, the acquisition of Turkish citizenship after birth is another possibility based on the decision of competent national authority under Article 9. Nevertheless, a complex and detailed legal procedure is needed.
The Law in question is available online here (in Turkish).
In recent years, economic downturn and turmoil has been a matter of concern facing the international community. Therefore, granting citizenship to foreigners has been used as a tool to attract foreign investments. Keeping in mind such economic developments, the Turkish government took steps for the facilitation of the acquisition of Turkish citizenship. Consequently, the term of“exceptional Turkish citizenship” is widened through new legal amendments. Pursuant to Article 46 of the Law on Turkish Citizenship (No:5901), new regulation was issued and later amended by the President on January 6 and May 13 2022. According to Article 20 of the said regulation, by purchasing a property of valued minimum $400.000 USD in any part of Turkey a foreign person will be able to acquire Turkish Citizenship. The main condition is to hold the ownership of the involved property for at least 3 years. Moreover, the involved purchase should be examined and confirmed by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change.
In the final analysis, it is worth reiterating that a property purchase is one of the easiest ways of exceptional acquisition of Turkish citizenship. As discussed above, buying a property in Turkey is the first, albeit not the last step to finalize all administrative procedures for the acquisition of citizenship. Indeed, it involves a number of follow-up legal steps without delay. The full process requires comprehensive legal support and consultation for a successful outcome.
For our work and all legal services on the matter of citizenship, see Practice Areas, titled “Citizenship”
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Russian version of this article is available online here.
 See Official Website of TBMM for full text of the Turkish Constitution, https://global.tbmm.gov.tr/docs/constitution_en.pdf, accessed on 5 April 2022.