Welcome to Turkey, where becoming a citizen now costs you far less

#TurkeyPolitics

Ankara eases entry for foreigners looking to become citizens in a bid to attract investment and prop up its ailing economy

Turkish President Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Tehran (Reuters)
Nadine Dahan's picture
Last update: 
Friday 28 September 2018 13:24 UTC

Turkey has reduced the minimum required investments for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship, new regulations published in the country’s official gazette on Wednesday show.

In a bid to encourage foreign investment in the country, people will be able to acquire Turkish citizenship through investing far less capital in the country than before.

People who own $250,000 worth of real estate in the country will now be eligible to acquire citizenship, where once the threshold was $1 million.

The lower limit of fixed capital investment to seek citizenship was also reduced from $2 million to $500,000, and the minimum deposit requirement in Turkish banks was lowered from $3 million to $500,000.

Foreigners who provide jobs for 50 people will also be eligible for citizenship according to the gazette - down from 100 people previously.



The move comes after the Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year.

The drop was sparked by worries about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and worsening ties with the United States.

A diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington saw US President Donald Trump doubling steel and aluminium tariffs last month in retaliation to Turkey’s refusal to release imprisoned US pastor Andrew Brunson, sending the lira into freefall.

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Erdogan ordered last week by decree that property agreements must be made in Turkish lira, in a new bid to prop up the country's beleaguered currency.

In the decision Erdogan ruled that contracts for the sale, rent and leasing of property in or indexed to foreign currencies would not be allowed.

Current agreements in foreign currencies must be changed within 30 days, according to the order.

Rental and sale agreements are often conducted in foreign currencies in the retail sector and also to foreigners living in Turkey, the AFP news agency reported.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.