Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Updated: 19/09/2018
Att. Levent Cengiz

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Investment

1) Introduction

With the amendment of Article 20 of the Regulation on the Implementation of Turkish Citizenship Law, there are now certain criteria to acquire Turkish citizenship by investment. Unlike other citizenship programs in various countries, the applicants are not required to purchase their citizenships. Instead, they simply need to make an investment that exceeds certain monetary limits. This article aims to provide brief info regarding the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by investment.

2) Requirements

Pursuant to Article 12/b of Law No.5901 on Turkish Citizenship Law (“Law”), (i) foreign investor, (ii) his/her foreign spouse, and (iii) their minor or dependent child may acquire Turkish citizenship by investment on an exceptional basis. In order to apply for Turkish citizenship under this provision, the foreign investor must either have (i) a residence permit obtained according to Article 31/1/j of Law No.6458 on Foreigners and International Protection or (ii) a Turquoise Card.

It’s stated in Article 20/2 of the Regulation on the Implementation of Turkish Citizenship Law (“Regulation”) that foreigners who fulfill one of the below-mentioned conditions may acquire Turkish citizenship within the scope of 12/b of the Law by a proposal from the Ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers:

  • Investment of at least USD-500.000 to a fixed capital investment proven by the Ministry of Economy,
  • Purchase of an immovable property for at least USD-400.000 with a title deed restriction of not to sell for three years proven by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,
  • Creating employment for at least 50 people proven by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security,
  • Deposit of at least USD 500.000 in a bank operating in Turkey with a condition of not to withdraw for at least three years proven by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
  • Purchase of government securities for at least USD 500.000 with a condition to hold for three years proven by the Undersecretariat of Treasury.
  • Purchase of shares of immovable property investment trust or shares of venture capital fund for at least USD 500.000 with a condition to hold for three years proven by the Capital Markets Board. 
It’s stated in Article 20/6 of the Regulation that the monetary values stated in Article 20/2 are calculated on the basis of the effective selling rate declared by the Republic of Turkey Central Bank on the date of calculation.

It should be noted that the relevant authority strictly examines whether the monetary limits are satisfied by the applicants. For instance, a real estate value assessment report is required to prove that the value of the immovable property in question is at least USD-250.000. However, such report must be provided by an expert that has a license granted by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey. Similarly, a specific report approved by a sworn-in certified public accountant is needed for fixed capital investments.

3) Conclusion

Turkey’s new citizenship by investment program enables foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship on an exceptional basis. There are multiple options, and the applicants are free to choose any type of investment indicated in Article 20 of the Regulation. As they are only required to make an investment instead of purchasing their citizenships, the program is quite attractive to foreign investors who are planning to acquire a second citizenship.