New routes to acquire Turkish Citizenship under the New Regulation
Prepared by: Ali Güden
In this article, we intend to provide general information and procedure for the exceptional acquiring of a Turkish Citizenship under the new regulation introduced by the Turkish Government on 12.12.2016.

Before moving into the new regulation in detail, under the current rules Turkish Citizenship can be acquired by;

1. Acquisition by birth
2. Acquisition by after birth
2.1. Acquisition by a decision of the competent authority
a. Acquisition of Turkish citizenship in general
b. Acquisition of Turkish citizenship in exceptional
c. Acquisition of Turkish citizenship by re-acquisition
d. Acquisition of Turkish citizenship by marriage
2.2. Acquisition by adoption
2.3. Acquisition by use of the right of choice

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by Exceptionally

On 12.12.2016, The Turkish Government introduced new routes for foreigners to acquire Turkish Citizenship by expanding the exceptional procedure and amended the Implementation of Turkish Citizenship Law with the decision of Council of Minister 11/02/2010 dated and 2010/139 numbered.
Under the new routes, foreign citizens are able to acquire Turkish citizenships by:

• Making a fixed capital investment for of at least 500,000 USD that is determined by the Ministry of Economy;
• Acquiring at least 250,000 USD ( increased to 400,000 USD) immovable property in Turkey and an annotation that the property shall not be transferred must be registered on the title deed, that is determined by the Ministry of Environment and Municipality;
• Generating at least 100 new employments that is determined by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security;
• Investing at least 500.000 USD deposit into a bank account in Turkey provided that it must be kept for three years that is determined by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency; and
• Acquiring at least 500,000 USD Government's debt instruments provided that it must be kept for three years that is determined by the Undersecretaries of Treasury.

The relevant financial values are determined on the basis of the effective sale rate of the Central Bank of Turkey on the date of the determination.

The Application Process

The foreigner's acquisition of Turkish citizenship under this Regulation will be determined by the decision of the Council of Ministers upon a proposal of the relevant Ministry. A relevant authority will prepare a file with written instructions by the Ministry about an applicant who wishes to fulfil one of the 5 conditions listed above. The following documents are to be included in the application;

• The petition form which contains the request;
• A passport or a similar document that confirms the applicant's citizenship; if the applicant is stateless, if possible, any documents confirming the applicant's status;
• A document regarding the applicants marital status. If the applicant is married, the marriage certificate; if divorced, the divorcement certificate; if widowed, the death certificate;
• A birth certificate that confirms the identity information of applicant or any other document containing the applicants identity information. If the applicant is married, a marriage certificate or a similar document proving the family connection to ones partner and children.
• If the applicant has a first or second degree of relatives who are Turkish Citizens, copies of their birth registration records shall be obtained from relevant authorities;
• If the applicant's date of birth is not clear on the documents, a document shall be provided from the competent authorities of the applicant's country to clarify the date of birth of the applicant; if the document can not be obtained, the signatory declaration that the applicant agrees to conduct the process in accordance with Article 39 of the Civil Registration Services Law No 5490.
• A receipt confirming that the application fee has been paid to the Turkish Authorities.
A completed file shall be sent to the Ministry for a decision. Following the examination of the file, the Ministry may request the applicant to complete the file if there is a missing document.

In order to determine whether there is any barrier in terms of national security and public order for the applicant to obtain a Turkish Citizenship, an archive research shall be conducted by the Undersecretaries of the National Intelligence Organization and the General Directorate of Security. The Ministry is informed about the outcomes of the research.

Following the research conducted by the relevant authorities, an applicant who is involved in anti-state activities against the state order, co-operates with people who are involved in such activities, has provided financial support to them or is involved in criminal activities against the unity of the state territory and the national security of the Republic of Turkey, either within the country or abroad subjected under the scope of the Anti-Terror Law No 3713 will not be granted Turkish citizenship. Furthermore, if one is attested to crimes of insurgence, treason and spying, human trafficking, illegal drugs or weapons trading or co-operated with such individuals; those who have been sentenced with more than 6 months imprisonment, even if the penalty is deferred, barred by prescription, deferred by the announcement of the verdict, converted to a penalty fee and pardoned, expect negligent criminals, also cannot acquire Turkish citizenship.

The applications related to the acquisition, loss, proof of Turkish citizenships and multi citizenship are to be made to the local governorship where the applicant is settled in Turkey, to foreign representative offices by personally or the special power of attorney for the exercise of this right, in case the applicant is abroad. Applications by posts are not accepted.

For foreigners acquiring Turkish citizenship, they must provide their existing citizenship certificates and passports provided from foreign authorities submit them during the application. They must be translated in Turkish and notarized. If it is necessary, convenience to original permit of residence can be confirmed by provincial directorates, also.
The local committees created each province shall determine the application whether the foreigners who want to acquire Turkish citizenship have met the necessary conditions under the Regulation.

Two files are prepared which includes an original copy and a photocopy of the requested documents on behalf of the applicant. The original of the file is sent to the Ministry by binding it to the list of contents showing the documents, the second copy is kept at the application authority.

Applicants are able to adopt a Turkish name and surname. An applicant who wishes to keep their original name and surname must have it formatted in accordance to the Turkish alphabet and register it in the family register. The given forenames are written on condition that is not exceed two names and abbreviation. The stated principles in the Surname Regulation are to be taken into consideration whilst acquiring a surname. The surname is written as one word. Punctuation marks such as full stops, dashes and commas are not permitted for names and surnames.
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