The provisions of the main legislation in which the conditions and rules for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship are regulated under the Turkish Citizenship Law Numbered 5901 and dated 29/5/2009 (“Code”) with the Regulation on the Enforcement of the Turkish Citizenship Law Numbered 2010/139 and dated 11/2/2010 based on herein Code (“Regulation”), a number of revisions have been introduced on acquiring Turkish citizenship with the Amendment of the Regulation on the Enforcement of the Turkish Citizenship Law, which was published and entered into force on the Official Gazette dated 19/09/2018 and numbered 106 (“Amendment“).
The main purpose of this memorandum is to provide information on the revisions have been introduced by the Amendment in regard to acquisition of Turkish citizenship.
B. Acquiring Turkish Citizenship
There are two ways to acquire Turkish citizenship, namely natural born citizenship and citizenship through naturalization as determined under the Article 5 of the Regulation and the Code.
It is possible to obtain Turkish citizenship in three ways. Pursuant to the Article 13 of the Regulation and the Article 9 of the Code, Turkish citizenship is obtained by the decision of the competent authority or by the adoption or the use of the right of option.
The exceptional acquisition of Turkish Citizenship as one of the ways of acquiring Turkish citizenship with the decision of the competent authority is regulated under the Article 20 of the Regulation and the Article 12 of the Code. Under the scope of Article 12 of the relevant Code, provided that there is no obstacle in terms of national security and public order, as to exceptional cases in the acquisition of Turkish citizenship with the proposal of the Ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers;
“The Foreigners who bring industrial facilities to Turkey or who are thought to provide extraordinary service in scientific, technological, economic, social, sports, cultural and artistic fields and related to whom the relevant ministries bring forward a reasoned offer” are able to obtain Turkish Citizenship.
In addition to the above regulation, with the amendment to the Article 20 of the Amendment, the foreigner meeting any of the following conditions is given a chance to obtain Turkish Citizenship with the proposal of the Ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers pursuant to the subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of the Article 12 of the Code. According to this;
1. Made of Fixed Capital Investment
Under the Regulation, the foreigners determined by the Ministry of Industry and Technology that have invested into a fixed capital at least in the amount of USD 500.000,00 may exceptionally acquire Turkish citizenship. Fixed capital investment means investment on the non-current assets and is an investment made to produce durable goods that can be used for a long time in the production such as building, machinery. In this context, fixed capital investment might be divided into two groups. In that, while the first group is constituted by construction investments such as construction, facility and restoration, machine and equipment investments establish the second group. Land arrangement, maintenance-repairing, approval works are given as examples of construction investments. The buildings of factory, long-lived production devices, vehicles used on production, ships and airplanes are given as examples of equipment capital investment.
2. Purchase of Immovable The foreigners determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization that have purchased a real estate at least in the amount of USD 250.000,00 provided that an annotation stating that it is not to be sold for three years added to the title deed may exceptionally acquire Turkish citizenship.
3. Providing Employment The foreigners determined by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services that they have provided employment opportunity for at least 50 employees may exceptionally acquire Turkish citizenship. Employment means that the labor power in a country has jobs uninterruptedly to contribute the economy, all the factors constituted the labor power in a country are brought into working life actively, and thus, recovery and economic development is maintained.
4. Investment in the Banks Operating in Turkey Moreover, the foreigners determined by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency that have deposited cash at least in the amount of USD 500.000,00 to the banks operating in Turkey on the condition to keep for 3 years may exceptionally acquire Turkish citizenship.
5. Purchase of Government Debt Instruments Finally, the foreigners determined by Capital Markets Board that have purchased government debt instruments at least in the amount of USD 500.000,00 on the condition to keep for 3 years may exceptionally acquire Turkish citizenship. Government debt instrument is a tool that government issues through certain institutions on the purpose of obtaining additional income and offered to investors. The reliability and the liquidity of them are high and their risk is low. Thus, it is distinguished as the most preferred debt instrument by the investors. In the determination of monetary values stated above, the effective selling rate of the Central Bank of Turkey at the date of determination shall be taken as basis, the foreigner who wants to obtain Turkish citizenship, shall acquire Turkish citizenship with the proposal of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance and the decision of the Council of Ministers.
A file consisting of the documents specified by the application authorities upon the written instructions of the Ministry regarding such foreigners is prepared. The stated documents are below:
- The requested petition
- The passport indicating of which state the person is a citizen is or similar documents, the relevant document if it is possible to obtain, in case being stateless
- The document of marital status and marriage certificate in case being married, the divorce document if divorced, the death certificate of wife in case being widow
- The certificate of birth showing the identity of the person or the certificate such as identity register copy and if married, identity register copy or similar document proving the family bond of the spouse and children
- In case having first or second degree Turkish citizen relatives, the identity register copy belonging to these persons obtained from the system by the application authorities
- If the date of birth of the person is not found on the month and day, a document from the competent authorities of the country for the completion of the date of birth; if the document cannot be obtained, the signatory declaration of acceptance of the process pursuant to the Article 39 of the Population Services Law Numbered 5490
- The receipt showing that the service fee is paid to the Treasury
This file will be sent to the Ministry for decision upon the completion of the file.
C. Conclusion As explained above, the Amendment extends the scope of the acquisition of Turkish citizenship, a step is taken for foreign investors in the context of investing in Turkey and consequently acquiring citizenship. Thus, the foreigners who invests into fixed capital at least USD 500.000,00 who purchase the immovable property at least in the amount of USD 250.000,00 provided that an annotation stating that it is not to be sold for three years, who provide employment opportunity for at least 50 employees, who deposit cash at least in the amount of USD 500.000,00 to the banks operating in Turkey providing keeping for 3 years are able to obtain the Turkish citizenship exceptionally by the proposal of the Capital Markets Board and the decision of the Council of Ministers in case of applying with the documents stated in the Code.