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How to Obtain Turkish Citizenship

by admin (4/8/2010)

Becoming a Turkish Citizen

You’ve lived in Turkey for at least five years without interruption and are now thinking of obtaining Turkish citizenship – what do you need to do? Is it easy, hard or damn near impossible? And should you take that leap? We look at the requirements for becoming a bone fide Turkish citizen...


Who can become a Turkish citizen?

Turkey operates on the principle of blood ties. If you have a Turkish mother or father, for instance, you are classed as Turkish, no matter where in the world you were born. The good news is that Turkey accepts the notion of dual citizenship – that you can be a citizen of more than one county at the same time. Turkey allows foreigners to become citizens in certain situations – namely, marriage, residence, birth and the intention to settle in Turkey permanently.


So what do you need to prove?

Typically, to apply for Turkish citizenship as a foreigner, you need to:

  • Be over the age of consent in your own country (typically 18 years of age)
  • Have lived in Turkey for at least the last five years without interruption – periods of up to six months out of the country are allowed without damaging your residence permit
  • Intend to settle in Turkey and be able to prove this with action – for example, by acquiring property
  • Be able to prove that you can support yourself and your family while in Turkey
  • Be able to speak an acceptable level of Turkish – this needs to be formally signed off by the Turkish consulate who will issue a certificate after an interview with the applicant
  • Be of ‘good moral character’
  • Be of general good health, without any diseases that could harm the general population – a medical certificate can be obtained from any hospital.


Marriage is a special case 

 If you marry a Turk, you will be granted Turkish citizenship after three years without having to prove any of the above if you so wish. This assumes you are living with them during this time.

Note: A child born in Turkey does NOT have a right to Turkish citizenship unless one of their parents is Turkish.


Further exceptions

Adult children whose parent/s have lost Turkish nationality (by emigrating, for instance) can apply for Turkish citizenship when reaching the age of consent. They still need to prove the points above with the exception of living in Turkey for the last five years and having the will to settle here. The same applies for people of Turkish origin (Turkish minorities in the Turkic states, for example) their spouses and any adult children, as well as anyone the Turkish government feels brings economic, scientific, technological or artistic development to Turkey.


Where can you apply?

If you fulfil all the requirements, you can apply through the Turkish Consulate in your own country. If you are already in Turkey, you need to go through the Birth Registration and Citizenship Office. Your case will be reviewed by the Turkish Interior Ministry who will interview you.


Should you take Turkish citizenship?

That can only ever really be a question for you. However, you should know that while Turkey allows dual citizenship, not all other countries do. So, if your country of origin doesn’t accept the principle, you will lose your first citizenship. It’s certainly something to think long and hard about. Make sure you do your homework first.

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Using commas
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