The appeal of Turkish citizenship is growing among foreign nationals, leading to an increasing interest in how to get Turkish citizenship.The Turkish government provides several paths to acquire Turkey citizenship, and one of the most lucrative options provided today is Turkey citizenship by investment.
Keep reading as we discuss the paths to obtain Turkish citizenship, including by birthright for those with familial ties to Turkey and Turkey’s citizenship by investment program for those seeking to establish new ties to Turkey.
Benefits of Obtaining Turkish Citizenship
Turkey is renowned for its natural landscapes, unique tourist attractions, and mild Mediterranean climate. However, Turkish citizenship offers numerous practical benefits beyond its well-known tourist spots.
The Turkish passport gained with Turkish citizenship gives the holder increased visa free travel to many countries. Turkey citizens can travel to most countries without a regular visa, including Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.
When you acquire Turkish citizenship, you obtain the right to permanently reside in Turkey and enjoy a high standard of living through Turkey’s low cost of living.
Citizenship by investment
Obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment provides dual benefits. You can obtain a Turkish passport by purchasing real estate, which offers the dual benefit of a second citizenship and real estate ownership, providing future financial returns.
Access to the US E-2 Visa program
Turkey has a treaty with the USA allowing Turkish citizens to apply for a US E-2 Visa. Once you become a Turkish citizen, you can be eligible to apply for an E-2 visa. This visa is a path to legal residency in the United States.
Turkey holds significant geostrategic importance due to its unique geographical location, bridging Europe and Asia. This strategic position has made Turkey a crucial hub for trade between European and Asian markets. Additionally, the strength of the Euro and US dollar against the Turkish lira allows many citizens to make profitable investments in real estate due to low property prices.
How to Get Turkish Citizenship
Turkish citizenship law lists several paths to obtain Turkey citizenship. These include Turkish investment citizenship, citizenship by descent, birth, marriage, and naturalization.
Birthright citizenship in Turkey is predominantly based on jus sanguinis (right of blood), but there are instances where a person born in Turkey may claim Turkish citizenship.
Turkish citizenship by descent
Children born in wedlock to a Turkish mother or father are considered Turkish citizens at birth. This law applies those born with eligible Turkish origin regardless of their place of birth or if they were assigned another citizenship when they were born. A child born out of wedlock to a foreign mother may acquire citizenship by request if a judge verifies the child’s relationship with the father or the father recognizes the connection.
Adoption is not a ground for granting Turkish citizenship. A child adopted by a Turkish citizen may obtain Turkish citizenship if they are stateless, their biological parents are missing, or are unknown.
Turkish citizenship by birth
Children born in Turkey to foreign parents may acquire Turkish nationality if they cannot obtain their parents’ citizenship. A stateless child born in Turkey is considered Turkish at birth.
Turkish citizenship by marriage
The Turkish law for granting citizenship by marriage states that the spouse of a Turkish national may be granted citizenship if they have been married and have lived together for at least three years. The application must be submitted to relevant authorities in Turkey or a Turkish Embassy or Consulate outside the country.
The law for citizenship by marriage doesn’t state that applicants are required to live in Turkey with a Turkish residence permit; however, Turkish immigration authorities may consider the possession of Turkish residence permits when evaluating citizenship by marriage applications.
Turkey citizenship by naturalization
Like most countries, Turkey allows those who hold a residence permit and have lived in Turkey long-term to apply for Turkey citizenship. The requirements for Turkey citizenship by naturalization include:
- Being 18 or over
- Residing in Turkey with a valid residence permit for at least five years
- Being in good health
- Having good character
- Possessing the ability to speak Turkish
- Being a tax resident with sufficient funds to support themselves and family members
Turkey citizenship by special merit (Turquoise Card)
Individuals possessing a Turquoise Card in Turkey may become eligible for Turkish citizenship by special merit by demonstrating noteworthy contributions and achievements in various fields, such as science, business, culture, or sports. The criteria for obtaining citizenship typically involve showcasing a substantial impact on these sectors, thereby contributing significantly to Turkey’s social and economic development.
Turkey citizenship by investment
Turkey citizenship by investment is a citizenship program established to attract foreign direct investment to the Turkish economy. For those wondering, “Does Turkey sell citizenship?,” Turkey’s citizenship by investment program requires economic contributions through a range of investments curated to develop the Turkish economy and society.
While Turkey offers visas to obtain a short-term residence permit, Turkey citizenship by investment allows foreign nationals and their descendants to reap the benefits of a developing economy. The options to obtain economic citizenship in Turkey include:
- Real estate investment: Purchase Turkish real estate property for at least $400,000. The real estate investment can be one or multiple properties and is not limited to government-approved real estate.
- Government bonds: Purchasing $500,000 worth of government bonds.
- Bank deposit: Deposit a fixed capital amount of $500,000 into a Turkish bank account or financial institution.
- Investment funds: Making a fixed capital investment of $500,000 in a venture capital or real estate investment fund operating in Turkey.
- Job creation: Start a Turkish business or invest in an existing business in Turkey and create at least 50 jobs for Turkish citizens.
Investors of the Turkey citizenship by investment scheme can add their family members to their citizenship application, including their spouse, dependent children under 18, and indefinitely dependent children over 18.
The Turkish government’s investment program provides several investment options for foreigners to make economic contributions and receive Turkish citizenship along with a profitable investment. However, investors must also prove the following to ensure they fulfill the eligibility criteria to qualify for economic citizenship in Turkey and obtain Turkish passports:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Hold a clean criminal record
- Have adequate health insurance
- Have never overstayed illegally in Turkey
- Not be from a black-listed country
How to Apply for Turkish Citizenship
Your grounds for eligibility to obtain Turkish citizenship will determine the Turkish citizenship process. This can include a Turkish language test or attending interviews to support your Turkish citizenship application:
The following steps are generally required to become a Turkish citizen and obtain a Turkish passport.
1. Determine your eligibility
Before submitting a citizenship application, ensure that you meet the criteria for the path to citizenship:
- Citizenship by birth/descent: Requires presenting your parent’s birth certificate or other documentation to prove your parents’ Turkish citizenship.
- Citizenship by marriage: Requires your marriage certificate recognized by Turkish authorities, proving that you have been married for three years and have cohabited since your marriage.
- Citizenship by naturalization: Requires proof of five years of residency in Turkey and language proficiency in Turkish.
- Citizenship by investment: Requires evidence of capital investment, such as a real estate title deed for a property investment or bank statement for a deposit into a Turkish bank account.
2. Gather required documents
In addition to the documents confirming your right to obtain citizenship in Turkey, gather all the necessary documents required to apply for Turkish citizenship online at or at your nearest embassy, which include:
- Proof of a clean criminal record
- A language proficiency certificate
- Your birth certificate
- Your children’s birth certificate (if applicable)
- Proof that you pay taxes (if applicable)
- Proof of health insurance (if applicable)
A sworn translation into Turkish must accompany documents in a foreign language.
3. Complete application form
Obtain the relevant Turkish citizenship application form from the relevant Turkish authorities. If you live abroad, you can obtain the relevant documents from your nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate.
4. Submit your application
Depending on your situation, you can submit your application to the Turkish Ministry of Interior if you live in Turkey or at a Turkish Consulate if you live abroad. Ensure that you provide all required and supporting documents with the application form.
5. Pay application fees
Be prepared to pay the applicable processing fees. These fees can vary depending on your chosen method and may change over time, so check with the relevant authority for the most up-to-date information.
6. Attend interviews and Turkish language tests (if required)
For certain pathways, like marriage or naturalization, you will need to attend interviews and demonstrate proficiency in Turkish and sufficient knowledge of Turkish customs.
7. Await processing
The processing time for your application can vary depending on your circumstances and the workload of the authorities. Be patient during this waiting period.
8. Attend citizenship ceremony
If your application is approved, you may be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony from your home country. This is a formal event where you declare allegiance to France on the French territory.
9. Receive your Turkish citizenship certificate
After completing the citizenship application process, you will receive an official document or a certificate of Turkish citizenship. This certificate is essential for various administrative purposes.
10. Apply for a Turkish passport (if desired)
Once you become a Turkey citizen, you can apply for a Turkish passport. It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures can vary based on your path to Turkish citizenship.
Turkey Citizenship Processing Time
The time it takes to apply for Turkish citizenship varies based on your path to acquiring citizenship. Turkey citizenship by naturalization can take a few months to a couple of years before applicants are granted citizenship.
The Turkey citizenship by investment program has a short processing time of three to four months, provided applicants complete the required investment and have the necessary documents to prove their investment.
Dual Citizenship in Turkey
Turkey allows dual citizenship. There is no need to renounce your current citizenship, provided your country of original citizenship also allows dual citizenship. The advantage of multiple citizenships is that it will allow you to hold a second passport with your Turkish passport.
How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?
Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments.
We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application.
Frequently Asked Questions about Paths to Turkey Citizenship
How many years must you hold a property investment for Turkish citizenship by investment?
Investors are required to hold their capital investment, be in real estate purchases or a Turkish account deposit, for at least three years after they’ve acquired Turkish citizenship by investment to maintain citizenship status. This period is mandated in Turkish banking regulation for citizenship.
Is it easy to get Turkey citizenship?
The ease of obtaining citizenship of Turkey depends on the specific pathway chosen. Turkey offers several routes: investment citizenship, marriage, birthright/descent, or residency. The process can be streamlined for those who meet the criteria, such as those with eligible Turkish relatives, and provide the necessary documentation. However, it’s essential to carefully follow the requirements and guidelines for the chosen method to ensure a smooth and successful application.
Meet the requirements, such as making the required investment to a Turkish real estate investment fund for citizenship by investment or maintaining five years of residency with a Turkish residence permit. You should have no issues applying for Turkish citizenship.
Does Turkey have mandatory enlistment?
Turkish law states that every male Turkish citizen between 20 and 41 must fulfill military service-six months for non-commissioned officers and privates and 12 months for reserve officers and reserve sergeants. Serving in the military in your home country is reasonable grounds for exemption from mandatory enlistment in Turkey. Additionally, if you obtain citizenship after 22, you’re exempted from Turkish military service.
Can an American become a Turkish citizen?
The United States is not one of Turkey’s banned countries. Therefore, Americans can become Turkish passport holders through various pathways. As Turkey and the United States allow dual citizenship, individuals can have dual or multiple citizenship with the US and Turkey.
What is the fastest way to get Turkish citizenship?
The fastest route to getting Turkish citizenship is investing in the Turkey citizenship by investment program. After fulfilling the required investment, applicants are granted Turkish citizenship and a Turkish passport within three to four months.
Are there disadvantages of Turkish citizenship?
While Turkish citizenship is primarily beneficial, foreigners considering acquiring a Turkish passport should know that it does not provide visa free access or entry with electronic travel authorization to European Union countries, the UK, Canada, or the US. Furthermore, it comes with mandatory enlistment for Turkish males between 20 and 41, who must serve in the Turkish military for six to 12 months, depending on their rank.