Exceptional ways of acquiring Turkish citizenship were regulated with the “Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law” published in the Official Gazette on 19.09.2018. It is also included in the scope of this new regulation, that a foreigner can have Turkish Citizenship if he purchases the real estate in the amount of 250,000 USD or equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish lira by also putting an annotation that it will not be sold for three years in the land registry records.
CONDITIONS FOR OBTAINING TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY PURCHASING REAL ESTATE
- It is necessary to purchase the real estate in the amount of 250.000 USD or equivalent in foreign currency or Turkish Lira and put an annotation in the title deed records that it will not be sold for 3 years.
There are two methods of buying real estate. One of them is to apply with a title deed, and the second is to apply with a preliminary sales contract in cases where the title deed has not yet been transferred. If the application for citizenship is to be made with a promise to sell a contract, the relevant contract must be notarized and an annotation stating that the contract will not be transferred and canceled for 3 years.
- A real estate appraisal report must be obtained.
In order to determine whether the acquired real estate is equal to the amount specified in the regulation, a valuation report must be obtained. The appraisal report is prepared by real estate appraisal institutions authorized by the Capital Markets Board and the Banking Supervision Board, showing the market value of the real estate. Moreover, the validity period of the appraisal report has been determined as three months retroactively from the purchase of the real estate. If the building has not been completed yet, it will be calculated in the appraisal report over what will be the value when the property is finished.
- A certificate of conformity must be obtained from the Land Registry Directorate.
After the above-mentioned transactions are completed, a bank receipt of the payment must be obtained. The foreigner should go to the relevant land registry office and put an annotation on the relevant title deed or preliminary sales contract and request a “certificate of conformity” from the land registry office.
- The foreigner must have health insurance from Turkey for at least one year time.
After these procedures are completed, the foreigner can fill out a short-term residence permit application. We would like to underline the fact that the applicant and the titleholder must be the same person. With the documents and the form requested in the application form, the foreigner must go to the “Ministry of Internal Affairs, Foreign Investors Office” for a residence appointment with his lawyer, if any. A residence appointment is the only appointment that the foreigner has to attend, other transactions can be carried out through a lawyer.
After the residence permit is issued to the foreigner, Turkish Citizenship Application can be started and after the application is made, he must go to the “Foreign Investors Special Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs” with the necessary documents. After the foreign person becomes a Turkish Citizen, the spouse and children under the age of 18 will automatically earn Turkish Citizenship.
The procedures for obtaining Turkish Citizenship with real estate are as described above. According to data from the Statistics Institute of Turkey after new regulation to real estate purchase for citizenship, it was determined the number of real estates purchased in the last two years in Turkey has increased by 105 %. While foreigners bought more than 22 thousand houses in 2017, this number increased to almost 46 thousand in 2019. After the change of the regulation, the ones who invested the most were Middle Eastern citizens, followed by the US and Russian citizens. This increase in the last two years is due to the regulations made in 2018 for the acquisition of citizenship through exceptional means.
Melodi Olcay Keskiner, Attorney At Law