There has been a recent change in the Guideline Regarding the Regulation on the Application of the Turkish Citizenship Law, dated 22.03.2021, where there have been new developments for property transactions between foreigners. Section G of the Guideline, with the headline “Transactions Between Foreigners”, provides for new conditions for the property and purchaser for the applicant to be eligible to acquire Turkish citizenship. Accordingly, the new conditions are:
Property(s) subject to sale or preliminary sales agreement must not be registered in the land registry on behalf of foreign real persons. (Including the foreign person's spouse and children)
The property subject to sale or preliminary sales agreement should not be among the properties transferred to a Turkish citizen/company after 12.01.2017 by the foreign real person who wishes to acquire citizenship, or its spouse and children, or by a foreign real person of the same nationality.
However, after 12.01.2017, if the property registered in the name of a foreign real person is transferred to a Turkish citizen/company, in that case, it is possible for a foreign real person of a different nationality to acquire citizenship.
The property which the foreign real person will acquire and subject to the sale or preliminary sales agreement should not be registered under the name of a company (foreign/international capital) subject to Article 36 of the Land Registry Law with foreign real persons of the same nationality are partners or under the name of a company the foreigner itself, its spouse, or its kids is a partner or a manager at the said company.
After a property has been used to acquire citizenship by way of sale or preliminary sale contract, the same property or share of the property cannot be used to acquire another citizenship.
Ex.: M, a foreigner, has concluded a preliminary sales contract for a property in Istanbul for 252.000 USD and has pledged not to sell or release the property according to the preliminary sales contract concluded at the Notary. This has been annotated to the land registry and M has received a conformity certificate. After the duration for the annotation elapses, and even if the owner of the property changes, the same property cannot be used by someone else to acquire Turkish citizenship or a conformity certificate by way of a sale or preliminary sales contract.
Ex. 2: A, a foreigner, has purchased half share of property for 255.00 USD, and has annotated not to sell the property for 3 years and has received a conformity certificate in order to acquire Turkish citizenship. Even after the 3-year time for annotation elapses, the same share may not be used to acquire citizenship by a different foreigner by way of a sale or preliminary sales contract, even if the owner of the share changes.
If the foreigner who acquires Turkish citizenship by property investment sells the property back to the company or to the Turkish national who they have purchased it from after the annotation time has elapsed (unless the transfer is mandatory due to court decision, enforcement, etc.) or if the annotation for the preliminary sales contract is erased from the registry and sold to a third person, the issue will be passed to the General Directorate and the issuance of the conformity certificate that forms the basis for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship will be reevaluated.
Foreigners who have acquired Turkish citizenship through property investment and who have the phrase “Has acquired citizenship in accordance with Article 12/b of Turkish Citizenship Code no 5901” in their MERNIS registry shall be deemed as foreigners under this scope until the annotation is lifted.
(These persons cannot sell their annotated property for the duration of the annotation. They may sell other property that is not under an annotation; to foreigners who do not aim to acquire Turkish citizenship or to Turkish citizens, but they cannot sell their property to foreigners that intend to use it to acquire Turkish citizenship.)
Persons who have left Turkish citizenship under permission (blue cardholders) will not be deemed as foreigners under this scope.
If Turkish nationals have another citizenship (dual citizenship), their Turkish citizenship shall be considered for the transactions they will take part in.