Country Report: Naturalisation Last updated: 10/07/24



As discussed in International Protection: Naturalisation, citizenship may be granted through: (a) the normal procedure, following 5 years of residence; (b) marriage to a Turkish citizen; or (c) the exceptional circumstances procedure.

Time spent in Türkiye under a Temporary Protection Identification Document may not be interpreted to count towards the fulfilment of the requirement of 5 years uninterrupted legal residence as a precondition in applications for Turkish citizenship. The Ministry of Interior stated on 19 December 2022 that there were 223,881 naturalised Syrians in Türkiye and on 15 April 2023 that 130,914 of them would vote in the 2023 elections.[1] This number was previously announced as 120,133 on 19 August 2022.[2]

Temporary protection beneficiaries who arrived after 2011 can only access naturalisation through marriage to a Turkish citizen or through the exceptional circumstances procedure. Citizenship under exceptional circumstances is granted on the basis of certain profiles and criteria such as skills which could contribute to Türkiye. Generally, citizenship is granted to highly qualified Syrians in practice, although other categories can also obtain it.[3]

The process to acquire citizenship is not clear. There are reportedly four phases but there are applicants who have been waiting for a very long time.[4] As of January 2021 there were concerns that applications for citizenship from Syrian nationals had been indefinitely postponed.[5]

The legal status of children born in Türkiye has been extensively debated. As of March 2022, it was reported that 750,000 children born in Türkiye were stateless (haymatlos) because they lacked both Syrian and Turkish identification documents. There are no available statistics on the number of non-Syrian children.[6] Türkiye is not a party to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness or the 1997 European Convention on Nationality. Stakeholders have expressed concerns that Türkiye does not currently provide these children unconditional birth-right citizenship and that the Regulation on Temporary Protection does not include time spent in Türkiye under temporary protection towards the five years’ uninterrupted legal residence as a precondition for applications for Turkish citizenship by naturalisation. In addition, nationality legislation in Syria does not guarantee women the right to transmit their Syrian nationality to their children. This with the loss of documentation due to the Syrian conflict; and the lack of birth-right citizenship in Türkiye combine to deny the children’s right to a nationality and create the risk of statelessness for children born to Syrian refugees in Türkiye.[7]

Despite the difficulties, more new-born Syrians become Turkish citizens every year. As of December 2022, 97,095 children had been granted Turkish citizenship.[8]




[1] Multeciler, Turkiyedeki Suriyel Sayisi, 20 June 2023, available at:

[2]  Obianet, ‘News List’, 2023, available at:

[3] Information provided by various stakeholders, May and June 2023.

[4]  Information from a stakeholder, February 2020.

[5] See, Stockholm Centre for Freedom, Syrians in Türkiye in precarious situation as citizenship applications indefinitely suspended by authorities, 12 January 2021, available at:

[6]  Obianet, ‘News List’, 2023, available at:  

[7]  Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and the European Network on Statelessness, Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council at the 35th Session of the Universal Periodic Review, (Third Cycle, January 2020), Türkiye, July 2019 page 6, available at:

[8] Obianet, ‘News List’, 2023, available 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