With the “Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law” (“Amendment Regulation”),published in the Official Gazette on 18.09.2018, a number of regulations have been introduced and the relevant procedures have been facilitated for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship.

In accordance with the Amendment Regulation, there have been some alterations to the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (“Implementing Regulation”) Article 20, entitled “Acquisition of Turkish citizenship, necessary documents and procedures”. According to the amended provision, the amount of capital investment required to acquire Turkish citizenship has been reduced and the number of people who need to be employed has been reduced.

Briefly speaking, the exceptional acquisition of Turkish citizenship is regulated in Article 12 of the Turkish Citizenship Law and concerns the status of citizenship for persons who do not have the right to acquire Turkish Citizenship on the basis of birth or paternity principle. According to the related article;

  • Persons who:
    • establish industrial facilities in Turkey; have provided or are thought to provide an extraordinary service in scientific, technological, economic, social, sportive, cultural or artistic fields; on the condition that the competent Ministry has put forward a justified offer for them;
    • despite not working in Turkey, will invest in accordance with the rules (scope and amount) which will be determined by the President; or persons who have received resident permits as their foreign spouse, the minor or dependent foreign child;
    • Turkuaz Card holders and their foreign spouse, the minor or dependent foreign child;
    • are considered mandatory to be accepted to citizenship;
    • are considered as immigrants

may acquire Turkish citizenship by the decision of the Council of Ministers (President’s decision, according the Amendment Regulation) provided that they do not face an obstacle in terms of national security and public order.

The conditions required for foreigners to apply in order to acquire Turkish citizenship are regulated In Article 20 of the Implementing Regulation, and some capital conditions are required to be provided and proved. With the Amendment Regulation dated 18.09.2018, which was issued to amend this article of the Implementing Regulation, the previously determined capital amounts were reduced.

To sum up the conditions that make it possible to benefit from the exception and the amendments that are brought to these conditions with the Amendment Regulation, we may emphasize that:

  • Previously, the Ministry’s proposal and the decision of the Council of Ministers for the acquisition of citizenship within the scope of the exemption would be required; with the amendment, the Turkish citizenship may be granted, under the same exception, citizenship shall be granted with the decision of the President.
  • One of the conditions for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship under the exception is to have a certain amount of fixed capital investment. In accordance with the Amendment Regulation, minimum fixed capital investment amount of $2.000.000 has been reduced to $500.000 and The Ministry of Industry and Technology has been appointed to replace the Ministry of Economy as the competent authority who will determine the abovementioned amount.
  • Another exception for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship is the purchase of an entailed real estate. With the Amendment Regulation, the value for the entailed real estate which shall be kept for 3 years has been reduced from $1.100.000 to $250.000.
  • The requirement to provide employment to 100 people, which is one of the exceptions, has been changed to providing employment to 50 people.
  • Another exception for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship is the deposit of a certain amount in a bank operating in Turkey with the condition to keep that amount for 3 years. In this context, the capital value to be invested has been reduced from $3.000.000 to $500.000.
  • Procurement of government debt instruments with the condition to keep for three years, is also regulated under the exceptions. The purchase amount has been reduced from $3.000.000 to $500.000 with the Amendment Regulation.
  • Finally, keeping an amount of real estate investment fund participation fee or venture capital investment fund participation fee for a period of three years is also regulated as an exception. The abovementioned amounts have been reduced from $1.500.000 to $500.000.

Reducing the costs associated with these conditions will certainly provide convenience for foreigners seeking to acquire Turkish citizenship.

It is aimed that foreigners who want to acquire Turkish citizenship can benefit from this right without being affected by the fluctuations in the exchange rate. In this context, with the Amendment Regulation, it is now possible to use cross exchange rates when calculating the capital amounts, instead of just the effective exchange rate.