The introduction of legislative amendments in September 2018 softened the minimum investment requirements for acquiring Turkish citizenship. Since the amendment to the Regulation on the Application of the Law “On Turkish Citizenship” on September 19, 2018, 981 foreign investors have become citizens of the country, according to data from the General Directorate for Population and Citizenship of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. By the end of May 2019, about 2,700 foreign investors invested about €0,9 billion in the country’s economy.
Now, future Turkish citizens are offered a choice:
- To invest in production or business in Turkey €448,400 (or equivalent in any currency). Previously, the minimum amount of this type of investment was €1,793,600. The investment must be approved by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Economics.
- To deposit €448,400 (or equivalent in any currency) in a Turkish bank and keep it for three years. Here, the participation threshold was immediately reduced six times: previously, the minimum size was €2,690,400. The investment is approved by the Turkish Banking Regulatory Agency and Supervision Authority.
- To buy a real estate for €224,200. Perhaps, it is the most important change: before citizenship could be obtained for the purchase of the real estate for €896,800. The property should belong to the investor for 3 years, and the choice is approved by the Ministry of the Environment.
- To open 50 job seats. Previously, the number was 100. Employment is approved by the Ministry of Labor.
- As with any law, innovations are not retroactive and do not apply to those who bought a property worth €224,200 earlier.
Who Apply For Turkish Citizenship?
Iranian citizens topped the list of investors who received Turkish citizenship since the changes were made – 253 people. Often, passports get persons from Iraq (143), Yemen (97), Afghanistan (94), and Syria (59).
Since the adoption of the legislative amendment, the sale of housing in Turkey to foreigners has increased. In May 2019, citizens of different countries bought 3,925 objects, an increase of 62.5% compared to May 2018.
In the period from January to May, the number of transactions increased to 17 263 or 77% compared with the same period last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). In 2018, 39,663 properties were sold to foreign investors. This is the highest figure ever. In 2017, foreigners bought 22,234 residential units.
The reason for the change in the rules is that Turkey needs foreign money. The national currency in 2018 fell significantly, and another blow to the economy caused American sanctions against the Turkish metal. They decided to correct the situation with the help of real estate and improvement of the citizenship program for investments.