Who can apply for Turkish citizenship?

2024-06-25
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In Turkey, various paths allow individuals to claim citizenship, catering to different circumstances and contributions. Here's a concise look at who can apply:

  • Birth: Children born to at least one Turkish parent, whether in Turkey or abroad, automatically receive Turkish citizenship. This right by descent is foundational, ensuring that citizenship can be passed from one generation to the next.
  • Naturalization: Individuals living in Turkey for a continuous period, generally five years, under legal residency status, can apply for citizenship through naturalization. Applicants must demonstrate integration into Turkish society, including language proficiency and an understanding of Turkish culture, and must not pose a threat to national security.
  • Marriage: Foreigners married to Turkish citizens are eligible to apply for citizenship after three years of marriage, provided the marriage remains valid and the couple lives together. This pathway requires proof of a genuine, continuous marital relationship.
  • Special Merits: Individuals who have made significant contributions to Turkish culture, economy, science, or technology might be eligible for citizenship through special merits, although this is less common.
  • Investment: Turkey offers a citizenship-by-investment program, where foreign nationals can obtain citizenship quickly, typically between 6 to 8 months, by making substantial investments in the economy. The options include a minimum of $400,000 investment in real estate, a $500,000 deposit in Turkish banks, or a similar amount invested in government bonds, all of which must be maintained for at least three years.

These diverse routes ensure that Turkish citizenship is accessible not only based on heritage but also through legal, economic, or familial ties, reflecting the country's welcoming stance towards integrating foreigners into its social and economic fabric.

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