Country Report: Naturalisation Last updated: 14/07/23



According to Law No 5901 on Turkish Citizenship, there are three procedures for naturalisation of foreign citizens. Citizenship may be acquired through:

a) Normal procedure: According to the normal procedure, the foreigner must have a valid residence permit in Türkiye for 5 years. The foreigner with a valid residence permit must not leave Türkiye more than 180 days during the 5-year residence period. If this period is exceeded, the 5-year period is restarted.

After the completion of 5 years, it is not possible to directly acquire citizenship. First, the Citizenship Committee assesses the economic status and social cohesion of the applicant. Afterwards, security checks are conducted by the local police and the National Intelligence Organisation and the collected information is sent to the General Directorate of Citizenship of the Ministry of Interior. If no issues are raised at the end of the security investigation, the applicant acquires the Turkish citizenship under a proposal of the General Directorate of Citizenship of the Ministry of Interior through the approval of the Minister of Interior.

b) Marriage to a Turkish citizen: If the marriage of the applicant lasts 3 years and is effective, the applicant can acquire the citizenship. However, the applicant again needs to be ‘cleared’ by a security investigation.

c) Exceptional circumstances: Citizenship based on exceptional circumstances is mostly granted to foreigners who bring industrial skills or contributing to the scientific, economic, cultural, social and sportive progress of Türkiye, without any residence or temporal conditions. In this way, it is aimed at granting qualified people Turkish citizenship as quickly as possible. As of May 2022, several terms in the regulation on the implementation of Law on Turkish Citizenship Procedures underwent some changes; currently, the Turkish citizenship can be acquired in 8-9 months in exchange for: purchasing property of at least 400,000 USD from designated districts; investing in fixed capital of at least 500,000 USD; creating new employment for at least 50 people; depositing in Türkiye at least 500,000 USD with a reservation of not withdrawing it for three years; buying governmental bonds of 500,000 USD with a reservation of not selling them for three years; acquiring investment funds of 500,000 USD.[1] With the amendment in May 2022, foreigners investing in private pension schemes at least 500,000 USD with a reservation of not withdrawing it for three years shall also acquire Turkish [2] The public has widely criticised the new modifications, which dramatically reduce the amount of financial contributions from millions of dollars to 500,000 USD, claiming that the government offers ‘citizenship for free.’ Prior to the modifications, Türkiye ranked third in the world for the lowest cost of citizenship.[3]

According to latest data from 2021 collected from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.  19,630 foreigners have received Turkish nationality through purchasing property since 2017. In total, 30, 358 properties were sold to foreigners. According to TUIK, foreigners acquired 8,777 in the first two months of 2022 which corresponds to 4,2% of total sells which is a new record. In the last 10 years, TUIK announced that foreigners acquired 287,704 properties corresponding to 2,3 % of total sells. Foreigners has preferred to buy properties mostly from Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara. From 2015 to 2022, Iraqi nationals rank first with 43,351 properties and 29,992 Iranians in second place with.[4] Other foreigners buying properties to acquire citizenship are from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Kuwait.[5]

While some Syrian nationals under temporary protection have been able to access citizenship through the exceptional circumstances procedure (see Temporary Protection: Naturalisation), access to citizenship is not provided to non-Syrian nationals under international protection in practice.

According to statistics released by the General Directorate of Citizenship in August 2022, 363,179 foreigners were granted citizenship, with Syrians ranking first with 211,908 being granted citizenship. Additionally, there were 104, 976 Meshetian Turks (Ahiska Turkleri), 7,001 Uyghur Turks, and 39,294 Afghans who obtained Turkish citizenship, although there is no information on how many of them did so under normal and exceptional circumstances. Those known to stakeholders who were granted citizenship were largely university students or married to Turkish citizens.[6]




[1] Mıhcı Law Office, ‘Yatirim Yoluyla Türk Vatandaşliği’, last accessed 13 July, available in Turkish at:  

[2] Ibid.

[3] Finans Gündem, ‘Vatandaşlığı en ucuza satan 3 ülkeden biriyiz’, 10 May 2022, available in Turkish at:

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Gunebakis, ‘İşte yabancılara verilen vatandaşlık sayıları’, 21 August 2022, available in Turkish at:   

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of main changes since the previous report update
  • Introduction to the asylum context in Türkiye
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • Temporary Protection Regime
  • Content of Temporary Protection