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Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship for Foreign Investors

As per the foreign investment programme recently adopted by the Turkish Republic, foreign investors who make direct investment in Turkey having certain monetary value are granted the right to acquire Turkish citizenship.

These investments may either be by means of injecting capital investment (such as establishing a Turkish company or purchasing the shares of an established company), purchase of immovable property, establishment of a business which provides employment of employees, investing money in deposit accounts at Turkish banks, purchase real estate investment fund participation share or venture capital investment fund participation or purchasing public borrowing instruments.

Herein, we aim to briefly outline the legal terms and requirements for acquisition of Turkish citizenship by means of foreign investment.

The Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 106 entered into force on 19.09.2018 (the “Regulation”) which made amendatory arrangements to Article 20 of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law.

Within the scope of the said amendments, the foreign investors:

  • who make capital investment of at least 500.000 US Dollar or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Industry and Technology,
  • who purchase the immovable property at least 250.000 US Dollar or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and attached annotation at land registration not to sell this property for three years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization,
  • who employ at least 50 employees and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services,
  • who invest at least 500.000 US Dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold the amount of deposits for three years at banks operating in Turkey and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency,
  • who purchase public borrowing instruments at least 500.000 US Dollars or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold these instruments for three years and for whom certificate of conformity is issued by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance,
  • who purchase a real estate investment fund participation share or venture capital investment fund participation amount of at least 500.000 US Dollar or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira and make commitment to hold these participation shares for three-years and for whom a certificate of conformity is issued by the Capital Market Board,

may apply for and acquire Turkish citizenship.

So as to determine whether the aforementioned monetary thresholds are met or not, exchange rate or cross exchange rate announced by the Central Bank of Turkey at the issuance date of the certificate of conformity shall be taken into consideration.

Amongst all of the above listed investment types, the most popular is purchase of immovable in Turkey. If a foreign investor purchases an immovable with a value at least 250.000 US Dollar (or equivalent foreign currency or equivalent amount of Turkish Lira) and undertakes not to sell this property for three years as of the date of purchase by putting an annotation at land registration, such investor may acquire Turkish citizenship.

The immovable may be classified as a residence (residential place), office, land or country property and it may be located at any place within the borders of Turkey, which means there is no regional restriction.

However, it shall be noted that the following general restrictions shall apply at the time of purchase of the immovable:

  • foreign citizens may only purchase an immovable up to 30 hectares in total within the borders of  Turkey,
  • foreign citizens may only purchase immovables which are located outside the prohibited military zones and safety zones,
  • foreign citizens may purchase immovables up to %10 of the county area which is open to private possession.

As the Regulation entered into force on 19thof September 2018, only the foreign investments made after this date may grant the investor the right to acquire citizenship. Any real estate purchased or capital injected before this date may not be made subject to citizenship application.

For full copy of this article, please contact us at:

DKND Law Firm

Att. at Law & Mediator Nazlı DERVİŞOĞLU – Att. at Law and Mediator İbrahim Kürşat DOĞAN

E-mail: info@dkndlaw.comor nazli@dkndlaw.com

T: +09 0212 217 24 85

www.dkndlaw.com