turkish citizenship and foreigners law


The Law No. 5901 on Turkish Citizenship is our fundamental source in the fields of citizenship and Foreigners Law. This law extensively regulates matters such as the acquisition, loss, and temporary protection of Turkish citizenship. Additionally, issues related to the transition of foreigners to citizenship, types of residence permits in Turkey, and work permits are also shaped within the framework of this law.

The Law No. 5901 plays a significant role in regulating our country’s national identity and relations with foreigners, and it is considered one of the fundamental documents defining the legal framework in this field.


A child born within or outside Turkey to a Turkish citizen mother or father within a marital union is a Turkish citizen. If the mother and father are not married, and if the mother is Turkish and the father is foreign, the child is a Turkish citizen. If the mother and father are not married, and if the mother is foreign and the father is a Turkish citizen, a blood relationship is required for the child to be a Turkish citizen. In this case, recognition and a court decision will be necessary. Acquiring Turkish citizenship through recognition and paternity ruling is also referred to as primary citizenship.

According to the Turkish Citizenship Law, a child born in Turkey who cannot acquire the citizenship of any country through birth due to having foreign parents is considered a Turkish citizen from birth.

In cases where the child does not acquire Turkish citizenship based on parentage at birth, that is, in situations where a state with a legal system that only recognizes the principle of jus soli (birthright citizenship) cannot grant its citizenship to the children of foreign parents born in that country, when the child’s parents are stateless, when the parents are unknown, or when the child does not acquire citizenship at birth, citizenship acquisition is not possible according to the Foreigners Law in Turkey.

Law on Foreigners and International Protection, Article 1 – (1) The purpose of this Law is to regulate the procedures and principles regarding the entry, stay, and exit of foreigners to/from Turkey, as well as the scope and implementation of protection to be provided to foreigners requesting protection in Turkey.


A foreigner wishing to acquire Turkish citizenship can do so through an official decision by the competent authority if they meet the criteria outlined in the Turkish Citizenship Law (T.C.L.). The decision of the competent authority is subject to administrative judicial review. Even if all the conditions stipulated in the law are met, the competent authority is not obliged to grant citizenship; it has discretionary power. The competent authority for this purpose is the Ministry of Interior. The legal conditions required to how to get Turkish citizenship are as follows:

  1. Majority and mental capacity.
  2. Residency requirement; the applicant must have resided continuously in Turkey for the past five years from the date of application.
  3. Confirmation of the decision to settle in Turkey through actions.
  4. The applicant must not have a disease that poses a danger to public health.
  5. The applicant must have good moral character; they should not have engaged in theft, smuggling, fraud, or other undesirable actions or crimes, nor should they have turned such actions into habits or professions.
  6. The applicant should be able to speak Turkish sufficiently.
  7. The applicant must have a sufficient income or profession to support themselves and dependents in Turkey.
  8. The applicant must not have any condition that would pose a threat to national security or public order.

turkish citizenship by investment


Citizenship can be obtained after a marriage between a Turkish national and a foreigner. However, certain conditions are required for this process as outlined in the law. The subject here pertains to marriages between a Turkish citizen and a foreigner, not marriages between individuals of the same nationality.

The conditions for becoming a Turkish citizen through marriage are regulated in Article 16 of the Law No. 5901 on Citizenship. According to this article, in the case of a marriage between a Turkish citizen and a foreigner, the foreigner seeking citizenship through the provisions of the Foreigners Law in Turkey must have been married to a Turkish citizen for at least three years, the spouses must be in a family union, the foreigner must not engage in activities contrary to the marriage union, and the foreigner must not pose a threat to public security.

If these conditions are met, the applicant can submit a citizenship application through the governorship of their place of residence. The necessary documents for applying for citizenship are as follows:

  • Application form
  • Photocopy of the Turkish spouse’s ID card
  • Translated copy of the passport or similar document
  • Marriage certificate
  • The most recent residence permit for foreigners with residence in Turkey
  • Document indicating that the spouses live in a family union
  • Biometric photo with a white background taken within the last 6 months
  • Document showing proof of payment of the application service fee
  • If there is a final court decision regarding the foreigner due to any criminal offense, a notarized copy of the decision

For detailed information about marriage procedures for foreigners in Turkey, it would be beneficial to review our page on Marriage in Turkey.


Regarding this matter, it is necessary to review the Regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law. Article 20 of the Regulation contains provisions and necessary conditions for the exceptional acquisition of Turkish citizenship.

Specifically, under our topic, Turkish citizenship can be exceptionally acquired through a Presidential decree according to the Regulation. Acquiring Turkish citizenship by purchasing real estate:

“The foreigner should have purchased an immovable property with a minimum value of 400,000 US Dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency, and a sales restriction not to sell the property for 3 years should be annotated in the title deed records; or the foreigner should have purchased real estate in the form of condominium or horizontal property with an upfront payment of at least 400,000 US Dollars or its equivalent in foreign currency, and a commitment should be annotated in the notarized contract stating that the property cannot be transferred or abandoned for a period of 3 years.”

Those identified by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change can acquire Turkish citizenship. For the application process, the following documents need to be compiled into a dossier by the relevant authorities based on the Ministry’s written instructions:

  • Application form and petition indicating the request.
  • Passport or similar document indicating the individual’s nationality; if stateless, the relevant document if available.
  • Proof of marital status.
  • Documents such as birth certificate, population registry extract, and similar documents proving the family ties of spouse and children if married.
  • Population registry extract obtained from the system by the application authorities for Turkish citizens who are first or second-degree relatives of the individual.
  • If the individual’s birth date is incomplete, a document from the competent authorities of their country to complete the birth date, or if not feasible, a signed declaration according to Article 39 of the NHK.
  • Receipt indicating the payment of the service fee to the Treasury.
  • The completed dossier is sent to the Ministry to make the final decision.

For detailed information about foreigners’ real estate transactions in Turkey, you can review our Real Estate Law page.


Turkey has developed a program to attract investments and support economic growth by offering the opportunity for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship by investment. Acquiring citizenship by investment is an opportunity given to foreign investors who meet a specific investment amount.

  • Investment Amount: To acquire citizenship by investment, you need to meet a certain investment amount. Different investment options are available for foreign investors interested in obtaining citizenship. Minimum investment amounts have been determined based on current programs. These amounts may change over time, so it’s important to consult the relevant authorities to confirm the up-to-date requirements.
  • Real Estate Investment: As an option, you can apply for citizenship by purchasing real estate with a certain value in Turkey. When making a real estate investment, the investment value must meet a specific amount. Additionally, the property must be held for a certain period according to title deed records.
  • Job Creation: You can apply for Turkish citizenship by investment by creating employment opportunities in Turkey. In this case, you need to establish a company with a specific number of employees and create jobs. The required number of employees and other conditions for citizenship through job creation are determined by the programs.
  • Bank Account and Fixed Deposit: You can also apply for citizenship by opening a deposit account with a certain amount in Turkish banks. The deposit must be maintained for a specific period and meet a certain amount.
  • Stock and Bond Investment: By investing in stocks of Turkish companies or government bonds, you can apply for citizenship through investment. The investment amount must meet a minimum value determined by the programs. Additionally, the purchased stocks or bonds must be held for a certain period.
  • Entrepreneurship Investment: You can apply for citizenship through investment by establishing a new business, creating employment, and contributing to the economy. In this case, the size of the investment, the number of jobs created, and other conditions must be in line with the specified programs.
  • Other Investment Options: Besides the options mentioned above, there might be other investment options to acquire Turkish citizenship. For instance, participating in investment funds with a limited duration or investing in energy projects might be considered.

The conditions mentioned above provide a general overview of investment-based citizenship programs under the Foreigners Law in Turkey. Each program has its own specific terms and requirements. Therefore, it’s important to verify the conditions set by the relevant authorities based on the investment area you’re interested in and to access current information.

Additionally, when applying for Turkish citizenship by investment, you must complete the necessary documents and processes for your application to be evaluated. Once your application is accepted, the process of acquiring Turkish citizenship will begin, and you will have obtained the right to citizenship.


Regarding the legal rights of foreigners who obtain citizenship, if we address the point, the decision issued by the competent authority regarding the acquisition of citizenship is effective from the date of the decision. The consequences of acquiring Turkish citizenship are different for spouses and children. Foreigners married to Turkish citizens are not granted the opportunity to acquire Turkish citizenship even through exceptional means.

The effect of being taken into citizenship applies only to minor children in the context of acquiring citizenship. The children of parents who jointly acquire citizenship also acquire Turkish citizenship. If only one of the parents has acquired citizenship, the children under their custody will acquire citizenship if the other spouse gives consent.

If the other spouse does not give consent, the court’s decision, in accordance with the rules of Turkish procedural law, can replace the consent.

A person who acquires citizenship is not obligated to adopt a Turkish name and surname. However, if they later choose to adopt a Turkish surname, it must be derived from the Turkish language.

Additionally, according to Article 2 of the Military Service Law, males who acquire citizenship are obliged to fulfill their military service obligations just like native citizens of the age at which they acquired citizenship; those who can provide evidence of having completed their military service in their country of origin are exempt from military service in Turkey.

how to get turkish citizenship


Turkey has become a country of interest for many foreigners due to its rich history, cultural diversity, and economic opportunities. Foreigners who wish to get residency in Turkey need to obtain a residence permit under the scope of the Foreigners Law in Turkey. A residence permit is a document that grants foreigners the legal right to live and work in Turkey. To answer the question of how to obtain a residence permit, the following steps need to be followed:

  • Types of Applications: Residence permit applications in Turkey are divided into different categories. There are various types of residence permits such as student, work, family reunification, investment, human resources, and tourist purposes. The conditions and documents required for each type of application may vary.
  • Application Locations: Residence permit applications are processed by the Directorate General of Migration Management. Applications can be made at Provincial or District Directorates of Migration Management in Turkey or through the e-residence online application system.
  • Required Documents: When applying to get residency in Turkey, specific documents need to be submitted. These generally include:
  1. Passport or valid travel document
  2. Residence permit application form
  3. Biometric photograph
  4. Documents showing the purpose of residence (such as education, work, family reunification)
  5. Health insurance certificate
  6. Documents proving income or financial status
  7. Additional documents like a criminal record certificate if required
  • Fees and Charges: A fee must be paid for the residence permit application. The fee amount can vary depending on the type of application and duration of stay.
  • Process and Evaluation: Residence permit applications are reviewed and evaluated by the Directorate General of Migration Management after they are submitted. Completing the application and providing all necessary documents accurately is important. During the evaluation process, there might be cases where interviews or additional documents are requested.
  • Duration of Residence Permit: The duration of a residence permit varies based on the type of application and conditions. A student residence permit is usually limited to the duration of studies, while a work permit is tied to the employment contract period. The duration of residence permits for other types of applications can vary. It’s important to apply for renewal of the residence permit near its expiration.
  • Residence Permit Card: After the application is approved, foreigners are issued a Residence Permit Card. This card serves as an identification document for foreigners, displaying their identity information and the duration of their residence permit. The Residence Permit Card can be used as an identity document within the country and allows for domestic travel.
  • Cancellation or Rejection of Residence Permit: Residence permit applications can be rejected or existing permits can be canceled. Reasons may include failure to meet application requirements, submission of false documents, or security concerns. Foreigners whose residence permits are canceled or rejected might be required to leave the country.

While obtaining a residence permit in Turkey requires meeting specific conditions, following the procedures set by the Directorate General of Migration Management can lead to a successful completion. Depending on the purpose of their stay, foreigners should fulfill the requirements of the relevant application type and initiate the application process in a timely manner. Completing applications with accurate and complete documents, with the assistance of a Foreigners Law attorney, can expedite the process and ensure a smooth experience.


There are various types of residence permits that foreigners can apply for in Turkey. Here are some common types of residence permit in Turkey:

  • Work Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to work in Turkey. It can be applied for with a job offer or employment contract. Both the employer and the employee need to meet specific conditions.
  • Student Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to study in Turkey. Applicants need to be accepted by a Turkish university and enroll in a program.
  • Family Reunification Permit: This permit is for family members of foreigners residing in Turkey. Individuals who want to reunify with a family member in Turkey can apply for this type of permit.
  • Human Resources Permit: This permit is for companies or organizations in Turkey that want to bring foreign employees. The company needs to meet specific requirements.
  • Touristic Residence Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to reside in Turkey for tourism purposes. It usually covers short-term stays.
  • Research Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to conduct research or engage in academic activities in Turkey. Applications can be made through universities or research institutions.
  • Health Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to receive medical treatment or healthcare services in Turkey. It may be valid for a specific period.
  • Special Purpose Permit: This permit is for foreigners who want to reside in Turkey for a specific purpose. For example, diplomatic personnel or journalists might fall under this category.

Types of residence permit in Turkey may require different conditions, documents, and application processes. Depending on the type of permit you intend to apply for, it’s important to review the relevant application guides and instructions. Residence permit types can change or be updated over time, so it’s recommended to access the most current information from the Directorate General of Migration Management or the official websites of authorized institutions.


In today’s globalized world, globalization and mobility have led to people from different countries living together in foreign countries. Foreigners refer to individuals who come from different cultures to live or work in another country. In such cases, protecting the rights of foreigners and ensuring fair representation in legal processes is crucial, which is where the importance of a foreigners law attorney comes into play.

  • Guidance in Legal Processes: Foreigners often find it difficult to have an understanding of legal processes in a foreign country. Language barriers, understanding legal terminology, and adapting to the local legal system can be confusing for foreigners. A foreigners law attorney guides their clients about legal processes and their rights, providing step-by-step guidance.
  • Assistance in Asylum and Immigration Applications: Individuals forced to leave their countries due to war, persecution, natural disasters, or economic reasons often apply for asylum and immigration. These processes are complex and time-consuming. A foreigners law attorney supports individuals in such applications, helps prepare appropriate documents, and ensures the protection of their legal rights.
  • Defending Legal Rights: When foreigners move to another country, knowing and defending their legal rights is important. A foreigners law attorney takes legal steps to protect their clients’ rights, offering legal advice and representation on matters such as work and residence permits, working conditions, social rights, and more.
  • Integration and Assimilation: Foreigners law attorneys work to facilitate the integration process for foreigners, helping them become part of the local community. This might involve facilitating language courses, providing education opportunities, guiding the job search process, and offering support for interacting with the community.
  • Protection in Cases of Unfair Treatment: Unfortunately, foreigners might occasionally experience unfair treatment. Issues such as racism, discrimination, or exploitation can be challenges faced by foreigners. A foreigners law attorney fights to protect their clients from unfair treatment and works towards ensuring justice.

In conclusion, a foreigners law attorney contributes to a fair legal system by protecting the rights and interests of foreigners. They guide clients through legal processes, facilitate integration processes, and strive to ensure fair trials. Given the legal challenges faced by foreigners, the presence and work of a foreigners law attorney hold great significance.

You can review our other practice areas here and contact info@cbhukuk.com for your legal support request.

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