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4 Ways to Become a Turkish Citizen and Application Process


Ken Grubb

If you meet one of the following requirements, you can apply for citizenship in Turkey at any office of the Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Müdürlüğü (Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, or Nüfus). If you're outside of Turkey, you can apply to a Turkish embassy or consulate.

Four Ways to Become a Turkish Citizen

1. By Birth

If you have at least one Turkish parent, then under Turkish law, you're already a Turkish citizen, so the process mostly involves proving this. To learn more, see Turkish Citizenship by Birth.

2. By Marriage

If you're married to a Turk for three years. You must prove that you're married to a Turk and that the marriage is legitimate. To learn more, see Turkish Citizenship by Marriage.

3. By Naturalization

If you've been living in Turkey for at least five years, you can apply for citizenship without having to have a Turkish parent, be married to a Turk, or make an investment in Turkey. You'll need to speak Turkish, be familiar with Turkey, Turkish history, and Turkish culture, and show evidence that you intend to live in Turkey. To learn more, see Turkish Citizenship by Choice

4. By Investment

If you invest an amount equivalent to USD 250,000 in real estate, or if you invest the equivalent of USD 500,000 in:

  • Government bonds
  • A venture capital fund
  • A real estate investment fund
  • Fixed capital assets of a Turkish company
  • A bank account.

You must keep your investment in place for at least three years. You may invest in more than one type of investment, and move money between them during the three year commitment period. To learn more, see Turkish Citizenship by Investment.

Documents Required for a Turkish Citizenship Application

The citizenship package consists mostly of identification documents and documents proving various things about yourself, and additional documents proving that you have met at least one of the conditions for citizenship.

You can download an application, according to the terms of citizenship you're applying for, at https://www.nvi.gov.tr/hizmetlerimiz/vatandaslik-hizmetleri/vatandaslik-formlari. On page 2 of all of the forms is a list of the required documents that you'll need to include in your application package.

Citizenship Appointment

If you're in Turkey, you'll apply to the Nüfus. There's a Nüfus office for each province and district in Turkey. You can make an appointment at any Nüfus office online, at https://randevu.nvi.gov.tr/. The Nüfus also has a national helpline you can call for free, from any telephone in Turkey, at 157. The international number is +90 312 591 2133 or 2389. The helpline has an option for English.

If you're outside of Turkey, you'll apply to the nearest Turkish embassy or consulate. You can make an appointment at any Turkish consular mission in the world online, at https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/. During the appointment, you'll submit your application and its accompanying documents.

Citizenship Application and Interview

If you're applying for citizenship by marriage or by choice, you'll be interviewed by a citizenship board, consisting of local officials, who will interview you in Turkish. At embassies and consulates, a consular official will do the interview.

If you've been married to a Turk for at least three years, the interview is quite lenient. Even if you don't do so well, it won't disqualify you. The main thing they'll be concerned about is that the marriage is genuine.

If you're applying for citizenship by birth or by investment, there's no citizenship board and no interview. There's only a review of your application package to make sure all of the required documents are there. In the case of citizenship by investment, you can even have a representative, with power of attorney, attend in your place.

If you're applying for citizenship by choice, the interview is more stringent. You'll have to speak in Turkish about yourself, Turkey, Turkish history, and Turkish culture, and provide evidence that you intend to live in Turkey.

Citizenship Approval Process

Once the Nüfus or the embassy/consulate approves your package, they'll send it to the Ministry of the Interior for final approval. If you're applying for citizenship by investment, they'll send it to the Office of the President.

Expect to wait around three to six months for final approval. In the case of citizenship by investment, your application will be fast-tracked and approved within 60 days.

Receiving Your Turkish Identity Card

After the final approval, your kimlik kartı (identity card) will be printed and sent to your local Nüfus, or to the embassy or consulate where you applied. Someone will then call you to come and pick it up. When you do, it's a good time to also apply for your Turkish passport.

Dual Citizenship

Turkey has no laws which prohibit dual citizenship. However, some other countries do. So, before you apply for Turkish citizenship, you should check the laws of your own country first. To learn more about dual citizenship, see Dual Citizenship Rules.

Name Changes

You won't be required to change your name to a Turkish one, but you can adopt a Turkish name if you want one. To learn more about the name rules, see Rules for non-Turkish names.

Other Ways to Live in Turkey Permanently Without Being a Citizen

You can also live in Turkey with a short-term residence permit that you extend for as long as you want. There's also a long-term residence permit you'll be eligible for after living in Turkey for eight years and an unlimited work permit you can get if you have a long-term residence permit or have been working in Turkey continuously for eight years.

Turkish Citizenship Law

Turkish Citizenship Law is the Turkish Nationality Act No. 5901 as amended.

Assistance and Support

The Nüfus handles citizenship applications made within Turkey. You can call their national helpline from any telephone in Turkey, at 150. Their international number is +90 312 591 2133 or 2389. It has an English option. For citizenship applications made outside of Turkey, contact your local Turkish embassy or consulate.

Turkish Citizenship Forum: If you have a question about Turkish citizenship, search our citizenship forum to see if it's already been answered. If it hasn't, feel free to open a new topic.

Ken Grubb, author.

As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He's now retired and living in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.


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