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Turkish Citizenship by Birth

Ken Grubb

If you have at least one Turkish parent, you're already considered to be a Turkish citizen under the law. So, while I'll use words referring to "applying" for Turkish citizenship, the process is just a formality to prove that you have a Turkish parent, and therefore, are a Turkish citizen. At the end of the process, you'll receive a kimlik kartı (identification card) and have all the rights, privileges, and obligations of other Turkish citizens. On your identification card, your date of citizenship will be your date of birth.

The Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü, (Population and Citizenship Affairs Directorate, or Nüfus) is the office responsible for processing citizenship applications. Outside of Turkey, Turkish embassies and consulates handle them.

Eligibility For Turkish Citizenship by Birth

If you have a Turkish mother or a Turkish father, or both, the Turkish government considers you to be a Turkish citizen from the date of your birth. It doesn't matter if your parents were married or not when you were born. It also doesn't matter where in the world you were born.

This "citizen by descent" rule doesn't extend to other Turkish relatives you might have, such as a Turkish grandmother or grandfather. However, your family connection with Turkey may help you if you decide to go through the process of becoming a Turkish citizen by choice.

Proving Eligibility

A birth certificate, naming the parents, is the most common document used to prove Turkish descent. If you don't have a birth certificate with at least one Turkish citizen named on it, contact the Nüfus if you're in Turkey, or your local Turkish embassy or consulate if you're outside of Turkey, for instructions.

Learn how to get a birth certificate in Turkey.

Learn how to get and legalize a foreign birth certificate for use in Turkey.

Application for Citizenship in Turkey

Finding Your Local Nüfus Office

You must first make an appointment at the Nüfus responsible for the district where you live. There is a Nüfus office in every district of every province in Turkey.

You can find a Nüfus office near you on their website, here:


Making an Appointment

Next, make an appointment using the Nüfus appointment website, here:


Application for Turkish Citizenship Outside of Turkey

If you want to make an application for citizenship while outside of Turkey, you must go to a Turkish embassy or consulate. You can make an appointment at any Turkish embassy or consulate using the Turkish government's consular appointment website, at


On this website, you can make an appointment at any Turkish embassy or consulate anywhere in the world.

Required Documents

In general, any document proving you have a Turkish parent, such as your birth certificate with the name of your Turkish parent on it, is enough. If your parents are available, they can also attend your interview.

In some cases, the Nüfus, embassy, or consulate may also request a health report to prove that you don't have any contagious diseases which could be a threat to public health. You can get this at any state hospital.

Note: As mentioned above, documents from government records of a foreign country must be legalized for use in Turkey with an apostille, or through the Turkish embassy or consulate in that foreign country. They must then be translated by a sworn translator. Passports which don't use the western alphabet must also be translated (no legalization or apostille required).

To learn more about legalizing a foreign document for use in Turkey, see Apostille: What it is, How it Works and How to Get One from Turkey.

At Your Appointment

At your appointment, a Nüfus or consular official will go over the evidence you have provided to prove you have a Turkish parent. If the evidence is accepted, your application for citizenship will be approved, then sent to the İçişleri Bakanlığı (Ministry of the Interior) for final approval.

Checking on the Status of Your Application

You can check to see if a Turkish citizenship application has been approved by going to https://vatan.nvi.gov.tr/moduller/basvuru/basvurudurumbilgi.aspx. Just enter the Başvuru Numarası (Application Number) and the Doğum Tarihi (Birth Date) and perform the "Captcha" check, then press the enter button on your keyboard. 

Receiving your Turkish Identity Card

When your identification card is printed, it will be sent to the Nüfus office or the Turkish embassy or consulate where you applied for citizenship. The Nüfus or a consular official will contact you and ask you to come and pick it up.

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.


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

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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