Turkish citizenship eligibility requirements are relatively simple: you must be of adult age (depending on your country of origin). You should live in Turkey at least for five years, with a total interruption of fewer than six months. If you are married to a Turkish national or a foreigner born on Turkish soil, this is reduced to 3 years.
Your physical and mental health needs to be stable, and you must not have any criminal record. Also, you must have a basic knowledge of Turkish. Additionally, you have to prove that you can support yourself while living in Turkey if you are not married to a Turkish national. You will fulfill that requirement as long as you have a job. If not, though, through existing funds or pension payments, you may be able to prove this.
Applying for Turkish Citizenship
Applicants need to bring the following documents to a local government office to apply for Turkish Citizenship.
- Valid passport
- Four passport-size photos
- If applicable, documents that prove your relationships with your spouse and children
- Certificate that proves you are in good mental and physical health.
You will also need proof of your language ability in Turkish. You can prove this by an interview with a Turkish government official, your city or town hall. The interviews are subjective, and depending on the official, their difficulty varies. However, you should have no problem if you are fluent in Turkish.
When you bring your documents to the governmental hall, you will be provided with application forms. Your documents and applications will be forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior for evaluation once you have completed the required paperwork and paid an application fee. The Turkish Consulate General will inform you by mail of the results.
What Are the Types of Citizenship Applications?
Turkish Citizenship by National Authority DecisionTurkey may grant a foreigner wishing to acquire Turkish Citizenship by the Ministry’s decision if he/she provides the conditions laid down in the law. Suppose, by a decision of the national authority, you become a Turkish citizen. In that case, your spouse’s citizenship status shall not change on the date of the acquisition of the Citizenship of one of the parents of the children whose custody is granted the right to acquire Turkish Citizenship with the other spouse’s consent. If the other parent disagrees, the action is taken following the judicial decision of one of the settlements between the parents. Children of parents who jointly gain Turkish Citizenship will also gain Citizenship. If, after becoming adults, children of parents who have not been treated with them request the acquisition of Turkish Citizenship, they shall be covered by the article’s provisions on the general acquisition of Turkish Citizenship.
Acquiring of Turkish Citizenship in GeneralIf foreigners wish to obtain Turkish Citizenship, they may become citizens by the ministry’s decision only if they meet the following conditions;
- The applicant must have the power of adult and discrimination under the law of the country of Citizenship, and if he is stateless, he must have the power of adult and discrimination on Turkish Civil Code No. 4721,
- Applicants must be persons residing in Turkey without interruption for five years before the date of application. A foreigner who wants to obtain Turkish Citizenship can stay outside of Turkey within 12 months, not exceeding the total residence time. When applying, the government officials evaluate the period spent outside the periods of residence in Turkey.
- A foreigner should confirm their reason of settlement in Turkey. (Purchasing and investing in real estate, establish a business, to work with a work permit, or marrying a Turkish citizen, having the relatives who previously gained Turkish Citizenship, such as father, mother, children or siblings, or completing education in Turkey),
- Should not have a disease dangerous in terms of general health,
- The applicant must have a good morality (he/she should give confidence to its environment and behaviors in the society, and not having bad habits that are not welcome, and contrary to the values of society),
- To be able to speak Turkish at a level that can adapt to social life,
- The person must have a steady income or profession to ensure his/her family’s livelihood,
- The applicants should not disturb the public order or be able to endanger national security.
Acquiring Turkish Citizenship as ExceptionallyAfter providing no danger to national security and public order, exceptional Turkish Citizenship, regardless of other conditions, granted by the Ministry of Interior’s proposal and the Council of Ministers’ decision.
- Foreigners who have established industrial facilities in Turkey or will give or are thought to provide exceptional service in scientific, technological, economic, social, sporting, cultural, and artistic fields and have been made a reasoned offer by the relevant ministries.
- Foreigners who hold a residence permit according to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection No. 6458 and foreigners who have a Turkuaz Card and their foreign spouse, minor and dependent children,
- Foreigners who are required to be nationalized,
- The foreigners are accepted as immigrants according to Settlement Law No. 5543.
Turkish Citizenship by Investment
The Turkish Government launched a new system in 2018 for those who want to become Turkish Citizens. According to this system, Turkish Citizenship is granted to those who invested 250.000 USD in a property in Turkey. Or you can deposit at least 500.000 USD in a bank for 3 years without touching the money. You can also obtain Turkish Citizenship if you acquire government bonds for at least 500.000 USD.
Turkish Citizenship by MarriageIf a foreigner marries a Turkish citizen, he/she cannot be a Turkish citizen directly. He/she must be married to a Turkish citizen for three years and must continue to be married during the application process. Foreigners can obtain Turkish Citizenship by marriage if they meet these requirements;
- The state of living within family unity,
- The requirement that the marriage union does not engage in any activity that contradicts it,
- There must be no circumstances that could pose a risk to national security and public order.
- After applying, if there is a death of a Turkish citizen spouse, the condition of living in a family union is not sought.