How to Obtain Turkish Citizenship: An In-Depth Guide | All Methods

Explore pathways to Turkish citizenship, covering eligibility, application processes, and key requirements under the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901.

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How to Obtain Turkish Citizenship: An In-Depth Guide


Turkish citizenship opens the door to a rich blend of culture, strategic location, and robust economic opportunities. With multiple pathways to citizenship, Turkey offers unique options tailored to investors, professionals, students, and families, reflecting the country’s inclusive approach to building a diverse society.

General Conditions for Acquiring Turkish Citizenship

Under Article 11 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, foreigners seeking Turkish citizenship must:

  • Be of adult age and have the capacity to act according to their national law, or if stateless, according to the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721.
  • Have resided in Turkey for five uninterrupted years prior to the application.
  • Intend to settle in Turkey, demonstrated by owning real estate, establishing a business, making an investment, transferring business and commercial center to Turkey, working in Turkey under a work permit, marrying a Turkish citizen, applying as a family, having previously acquired Turkish citizenship parents, siblings, or children, or completing education in Turkey.
  • Not have any diseases posing a public health risk.
  • Demonstrate good moral character, reliability, and adherence to social responsibilities, without any bad habits not accepted by society.
  • Be able to speak Turkish to a degree that enables societal integration.
  • Have a profession or income to support themselves and their dependents in Turkey.
  • Not pose a threat to national security and public order.

Citizenship by Investment: A Golden Opportunity


The Turkish Citizenship by Investment program provides a direct route to citizenship for high-net-worth individuals through capital investment or real estate purchase. It’s an appealing option for those seeking not only a second passport but also access to a vibrant market and lifestyle.

Real Estate Investment

  • Minimum Investment: Invest at least $400,000 in Turkish real estate.
  • Conditions: Retain the property for at least three years.
  • Benefits: Ownership of appreciating assets in key locations, eligibility for the entire family, and access to a Turkish passport that offers visa-free travel to over 110 countries.

Capital Transfer

  • Minimum Deposit: Place $500,000 in a Turkish bank or $500,000 in government bonds.
  • Period: The investment must be maintained for three years.
  • Advantages: Safe investment under government protection and a straightforward path to citizenship without residency requirements.

More: Turkish Citizenship by Investment in 11 Easy Steps | Procedures, Fees, Lawyers

Property Residency: The Path to Citizenship


Foreigners who own property in Turkey worth at least $200,000 and property residency for at least five years are eligible for Turkish citizenship. This adjustment reflects Turkey’s dedication to long-term investments within its borders, offering a route to citizenship through property ownership.

Pros and Cons


  • Investment Stability: A minimum $200,000 investment in Turkish real estate is relatively accessible compared to other countries’ citizenship programs, offering a tangible asset in a growing market.
  • Family Inclusion: The property owner, their spouse, and dependents become eligible for citizenship, fostering family unity.
  • Residency Advantage: Ownership grants a residency permit, allowing immediate benefits such as healthcare and education access.


  • Residency Requirement: Applicants must reside in Turkey for 4.5 years out of the 5-year commitment period, potentially challenging for those not intending to move permanently.
  • Market Fluctuations: Real estate investments carry risk, including market volatility and property value fluctuations. But you can sell your property and buy different one anytime. So you can always have the best property investment in hand.

This route emphasizes Turkey’s aim to attract and retain foreign investment by offering citizenship in exchange for a significant, long-term stake in the country’s real estate market.

Work Permit Route: Integrating Talent into Turkish Society

Detailed Qualification Criteria

To qualify for Turkish citizenship through the Work Permit Route, foreign professionals must hold a valid work permit for a minimum of five years. This duration demonstrates a commitment to contributing to the Turkish economy and integration into its society. Additionally, applicants must have documented proof of consistent tax payments and social security contributions throughout their employment period in Turkey, underscoring the importance of economic participation and legal compliance.

Advantages and Challenges


  • Career Continuity: This route allows professionals to transition seamlessly from work permits to citizenship, securing their future in Turkey.
  • Access to Rights and Benefits: Successful applicants gain full citizenship rights, including voting, healthcare, education, and property ownership, aligning with native Turkish citizens.
  • Enhanced Mobility: Holding a Turkish passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries, expanding global mobility for professionals and their families.


  • Residency Requirement: Applicants must prove they have lived in Turkey for the majority of their work permit duration, potentially limiting flexibility for those with international careers.
  • Documentation and Bureaucracy: The application process requires extensive documentation and interaction with Turkish bureaucracy, which can be time-consuming and requires thorough preparation.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Integration: Applicants may need to demonstrate a level of cultural assimilation and proficiency in the Turkish language, which can be challenging for some expatriates.

The Work Permit Route to Turkish citizenship is a testament to Turkey’s recognition of the valuable contributions of international professionals to its workforce and society. It provides a pathway for those who have dedicated significant portions of their careers to Turkey to cement their relationship with the country through citizenship.

Student Pathway: From Education to Citizenship

Expanded Eligibility and Process

For international students, Turkey offers a pathway from graduation to citizenship that acknowledges the value of global talent in its workforce. Students who have completed their undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate studies in Turkey can leverage their academic achievements as a stepping stone towards becoming a permanent part of Turkish society.

Upon graduation, these students are eligible to convert their student visas into work permits, provided they find employment relevant to their field of study within one year of graduation. This transition is facilitated by the Turkish government to retain educated international individuals who can contribute to various sectors of the economy.

Detailed Application Steps

  1. Work Permit Application: Graduates must secure a job offer related to their field of study. The employer initiates the work permit application by submitting a request to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
  2. Documentation: Applicants need to provide their diploma, a transcript of records, a valid passport, a job contract, and proof of application for a work permit within one year of graduation.

Prospects and Considerations


  • Integration into the Workforce: This pathway encourages international students to integrate into the Turkish economy, offering them opportunities to contribute their skills.
  • Educational Benefits for Future Generations: Once granted citizenship, the applicant’s children can benefit from access to Turkey’s educational system, including public schools and universities.


  • Employment Requirement: Finding relevant employment within one year of graduation can be challenging, given the competitive job market and potential language barriers.
  • Residency Requirement: The necessity to reside in Turkey for 4.5 years out of the 5-year work permit duration requires a significant commitment to living in Turkey, which might not align with every graduate’s career or personal plans.
  • Bureaucratic Process: Navigating the transition from a student visa to a work permit, and eventually to citizenship, involves dealing with Turkish bureaucracy, which can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the process.

The Student Pathway to Turkish citizenship offers a structured route for international students to transition from education to full participation in Turkey’s social, cultural, and economic life. It underscores Turkey’s commitment to attracting and retaining global talent by providing a clear and attainable path to citizenship for those who choose to embark on their academic and professional journey in Turkey.

More: تابعیت ترکیه از طریق مجوز اقامت دانشجویی

Family and Marriage: Deepening Connections Through Citizenship

Enhanced Pathway via Marriage to a Turkish Citizen

Marrying a Turkish citizen opens a direct path to obtaining Turkish citizenship. This path is designed not just as a procedural formality but as a means to foster genuine integration and unity within Turkish society.

Detailed Eligibility and Application Process

  • Eligibility Criteria: The foremost requirement is a legally recognized marriage to a Turkish citizen for at least three years. This duration is critical as it demonstrates the stability and genuineness of the marital relationship to the Turkish authorities.
  • Proof of Cohabitation: Applicants must provide evidence of living together as a married couple. This can include joint leases, utility bills in both names, or official documents that list the same residential address, underscoring the physical togetherness aspect of the marriage.
  • Financial Independence and Stability: The couple must prove their financial ability to support themselves without resorting to social assistance programs. This can be demonstrated through employment records, bank statements, or income tax returns, showcasing financial responsibility and independence.
  • Maintaining Marital Integrity: Applicants must uphold the integrity of the marital union, avoiding any actions that would detract from the dignity of their relationship.
  • Safeguarding National and Public Security: It’s imperative for applicants to pose no threat to Turkey’s national or public security, ensuring their actions support the country’s safety and stability.
  • Interview Process: Both partners may be required to attend an interview to assess the authenticity of their marriage. Questions can range from personal life details to daily routines, aimed at discerning the depth and sincerity of the relationship.

Pros and Challenges


  • Cultural Integration: Marrying into a Turkish family provides an unparalleled opportunity for cultural assimilation, learning the language, traditions, and social norms from an insider perspective.
  • Family Unity: This pathway not only facilitates the spouse’s citizenship but also strengthens the family unit, offering a stable and secure environment for potential future children.
  • Access to Rights and Benefits: Successful applicants gain comprehensive citizenship rights, including voting, healthcare, and education, fostering a full integration into Turkish society.


  • Scrutiny of Relationship: The process involves rigorous scrutiny of the marital relationship, which can be perceived as invasive. Couples must be prepared to share personal details to prove the authenticity of their union.
  • Bureaucratic Complexity: Navigating the application process requires dealing with extensive bureaucracy, documentation, and possibly language barriers, which can be daunting and time-consuming.

The Family and Marriage pathway to Turkish citizenship highlights Turkey’s emphasis on social and cultural integration. It offers a meaningful route for individuals committed to building their lives within Turkish society, underscored by genuine personal relationships and a deep respect for the country’s values and traditions.

More: چگونه از طریق ازدواج شهروند ترکیه شویم؟

Exceptional Talents: Contributing to Society

Turkey also recognizes individuals who can contribute significantly to various fields such as science, technology, economy, culture, sports, and arts, offering them a fast-tracked citizenship process.

Adoption Pathway

Minors adopted by a Turkish citizen can acquire Turkish citizenship, provided there’s no impediment concerning national security and public order.

Citizenship for TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) Citizens

Individuals born as citizens of the TRNC and wishing to acquire Turkish citizenship can do so by declaring their intention in writing, gaining citizenship through a Ministry decision. This does not affect the spouse and is subject to specific provisions for children under Article 20 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901.

Required Documents for Application

  • Application Form.
  • 2 biometric photographs, 50×60 mm, on a white background, in accordance with ICAO standards.
  • Passport or similar identification document showing nationality; if stateless, relevant documents if available.
  • Birth certificate or similar document showing personal details, and if married, similar documents proving family ties.
  • Civil status document, marriage certificate if married, divorce certificate if divorced, or spouse’s death certificate if widowed.
  • Health report stating the absence of any diseases posing a public health risk.
  • Proof of income or profession, such as work permit, tax registration certificate, or similar documents.
  • Document from the provincial security directorate showing uninterrupted residence in Turkey for five years, including entry and exit dates.
  • Residence permit valid for a period sufficient to complete citizenship processes after the application date.
  • Certified copy of any final court decision if applicable.
  • Document from the individual’s country’s competent authorities completing the birth date, or a signed declaration accepting the procedures under Article 39 of the Population Services Law No. 5490, if the birth date is incomplete.
  • Receipt showing payment of the service fee to the Ministry of Finance.

Application Authority and Procedure

  • Applications are made personally or through a special power of attorney to the governorship of the place of residence. Postal applications are not accepted.
  • Applications and procedures for individuals under guardianship or lacking the capacity to act are made by their guardian or conservator, based on the foreign identity number.
  • The date of application is considered the date when the individual’s application form is officially recorded by the application authority.
  • A foreigner seeking Turkish citizenship can stay outside Turkey for up to six months in total during the required residence period.
  • Residing outside Turkey for more than six months in total or staying in Turkey for more than six months without a valid residence permit or without obtaining a residence permit interrupts the continuity of residence, disregarding previous residence periods.


Turkey’s diverse pathways to citizenship reflect its welcoming stance towards foreigners, appreciating their contributions across different sectors. Whether through investment, property ownership, professional work, academic achievements, or family connections, Turkish citizenship offers a gateway to a dynamic and promising future.

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