Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship

Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship envisaged in two main ways. According to the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5091 and its regulations. There is two main titles to acquire the Turkish Citizenship.One is the acquisition by birth and in second the acquisition by later application.

In this article, we will mostly focus on the second one which is of acquiring Turkish citizenship through application.It is possible to analyze under different titles. It should be noted that there is no certainty that your citizenship application. Although you meet all the necessary conditions required by law.

Once applied through the competent authority of the Republic of Turkey, your application will be evaluated and your right to citizenship will be determined. The citizenship application process, necessary procedure to follow and the documents required will vary depending on your situation. It will be beneficial to apply and manage the process under the supervision of a lawyer specialized in this field.

Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship
Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Birth

As it is clear from the title, Turkish citizenship acquired by birth can be acquired automatically based on the line of descent or by the place of birth. In other words, it is sufficient for the mother or father to be a Turkish citizen on the date of birth of the children. If you have reached the age of 18 and live abroad, it is possible to acquire Turkish citizenship by declaring your birth via the competent authority.

The law also stipulates that a child born in Turkey who has not acquired the citizenship of another state is a Turkish citizen from birth.

Apart from the condition of birth, foreign minors adopted by a Turkish citizen can acquire Turkish citizenship unless they constitute an obstacle to national security and public order or general health.

General Provisions on the Subsequent Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship 

According to Article 11 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, foreigners who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship subsequently

  • Must be of age and have the power of discernment according to the law of the country of citizenship or, if they are stateless, according to the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721.
  • To have resided for 5 years prior to the date of application,
  • Confirm their decision to settle in Turkey through actions such as acquiring property, investing, starting a business, working, or fulfilling conditions such as marrying a Turkish citizen, applying as a family or completing their education in Turkey.
  • Not constitute an obstacle in terms of general health, national security and public order.
  • Speak Turkish at an adequate level

These are the necessary requirements required to obtain citizenship.

As a result of acquiring Turkish citizenship with the decision of the competent authority, the spouses of the persons who have acquired citizenship do not acquire citizenship directly, but they can acquire Turkish citizenship by applying for family citizenship after organizing the necessary documents and papers.

With regard to children, with the decision of the competent authority, the child is entitled to Turkish citizenship both with the consent of the spouse and with the conditions that child is a minor and the person with Turkish citizenship has the custody of the child.

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship through Marriage

Foreign spouse has right to be Turkish citizen if the foreigner has been officially married to a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years and living with the foreigner for at least 3 years under a family residence permit. In the condition that the foreign spouse is not a threat to national security and public order.

The most important thing is to avoid the slightest misunderstanding in order to avoid the suspicion of the state authorities that the marriage is a sham. It would be beneficial for you to seek expert advice on what to do during the process, and what kind of documents are necessary to avoid situations such as a negative statement by neighbors in the reports to be kept by the relevant authorities during random police visits / inspections to the house where the family resides.

Acquiring Turkish Citizenship through Investment.

The exceptional acquisition of Turkish citizenship is regulated in Article 20 of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law.  Citizenship is given by the President’s decision within the scope of Article 12, Paragraph 1/b of the Law by filing the necessary application when various conditions are met.

The fact that these investments have been made does not mean that Turkish citizenship has been definitively acquired. The application should be completed carefully and completely, taking into account the discretion of the administration. It is in your best interest to seek professional assistance with this application.

In view of the above-mentioned general provisions for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship, it would be useful to obtain a short-term residence permit pursuant to Article 31, Paragraph 1/j of Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection and to apply to the relevant institution after realizing one of the following investments. 

Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship
Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship

Purchase of Real Estate or Contract of Promise for Real Estate

After investing 400,000 USD or its equivalent in foreign currency to a real estate. The person who purchases the property on the condition that a title deed stating that it will not be sold for three years is entitled to Turkish citizenship.

It is not obligatory to own the property, citizenship application can also be made through a “contract of promise to sell” of immovable property, as a condition in this contract, but the condominium of ownership or condominium of easement must be established. Also the specified foreign currency amount must be deposited in advance.

Job creation

Creation of at least 50 jobs which will be controlled by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Investment in Deposit Account

Investing the amount of at least USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency in a deposit account of banks operating in Turkey is kept for three years, which will be controlled by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency.

Government Debt Instruments

An investment of at least USD 500,000 or its foreign currency equivalent  provided that the government bonds are held for three years, will be controlled by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

Real Estate Investment Trust Shares

Investing in Real estate investment fund units or venture capital investment fund units with the amount of at least 500,000 USD or its foreign currency equivalent and held it for at least three years will be controlled by the Capital Markets Board,

Contribution Share

Person who have invested at least 500,000 USD or its foreign currency equivalent in the private pension system and by keeping their contributions in funds whose size will be determined by the Insurance and Private Pension Regulation and Supervision Agency and remain in the system for three years.

Through one of these investments, you can have the right to acquire Turkish citizenship. It will be beneficial for you to seek the services of a lawyer specialized in this field in order to complete the necessary applications and complete your process faster.

To sum up, your applications will be examined and decided by the administration, your application may be rejected at the discretion of the administration even if you complete the entire procedure perfectly.

After the rejection, you have 60 days to go directly to the Administrative Court to file an action. It is also possible to apply for an administrative appeal requesting to overturn the decision.

Although administrative appeals can be filed individually. It is important to seek professional assistance regarding the results you will obtain.


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Legal Counsel Baran İSTANBULLU

Att. Özge AKTAŞ

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