Turkish citizenship via property investment – the new rules explained
Obtaining Turkish citizenship through the purchase of property in Turkey has been a popular option since the rules changed in 2018. Nearly 7,000 foreign nationals have completed the process since. Many also still retain their previous passports.
The generous policies introduced almost four years ago reduced the value of a home qualifying for an application from $500,000 to just $250,000. The result has been a surge in investment in Turkish property from overseas.
Not only did the relatively low threshold bring Turkish citizenship within range of those on smaller budgets, the buyer’s spouse and children also qualified. A successful application also covered any subsequent offspring born in Turkey later on.
There have always been a few hoops to jump through of course. For example, buying a home from another foreign national doesn’t qualify. A valuation must also be carried out independently by the state. The buyer also needs to commit to owning the property for more than three years.
However, the process has never really been as onerous or financially demanding as the Golden Visas offered in some European countries. As a result, Turkey has secured some valuable investment – particularly from Iran.
However, all that could be about to change…
The COVID years
Since 2018, the world has faced some serious challenges. The result has been a change in the global political landscape while international markets have been thrown off-kilter.
A war of words with the Trump administration in the United States didn’t do Turkey’s economy any favours. Then came COVID19 which fuelled some much more significant internal displacement as people tried to move away from the hotspots.
Homes to buy and to rent along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts quickly gained value as a result.
But, even though the pandemic’s stranglehold has now eased, the war between Russia and Ukraine has created fresh demand. More affluent nationals from both countries have been fleeing the fighting. Many have been seeking new homes in parts of Turkey they already know from holidays in better times.
As a result, asking prices for property in some of the popular locations have doubled in less than a year. The cities are also back in demand, with foreign nationals now vying with each other for the best locations.
However, adding to what has become an almost perfect storm for the Turkish economy is the recent slump in the value of the lira. With the government taking the unusual step of cutting rather than raising interest rates as the currency’s value plummeted, inflation has been running as high as 70%. Inevitably, the property market has followed suit.
Turks trying to survive on a local salary have now found themselves struggling to make ends meet. A move to a new home has dropped off the radar for many, adding a scarcity of supply to the mix. With the dollar, pound and Euro now buying so much more, buyers from overseas have been in the driving seat.
It was perhaps inevitable, therefore, that the government would step in. After all, with property asking prices rising so fast, if the threshold for applications via property remained at $250,000, citizenship could be obtained even through the purchase of a modest home.
The new threshold
It was hardly surprising then that, on May 13, Turkey’s Official Gazette announced the threshold will be raised to $400,000. Meanwhile the government has also announced cheaper mortgage deals for Turks to help them back into the market.
Since January this year, foreign nationals buying a home have also been obliged to exchange their money for the purchase with the Bank of Turkey which will convert it into Turkish lira. They must also obtain a Foreign Exchange Purchase Certificate and submit it to the local Deed Registry Office.
You can find a bit more about the process in our previous blog from the beginning of the year. However, as part of our development in 2022 (also including a new operation in Scotland and a return to the rental market in Turkey) we’re delighted to say our Beylikdüzü branch in Istanbul now specialises in advising buyers interested in the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through a property purchase.
Another in Kadıkõy on the Asian side of the Bosphorus will also follow later this year.
How can we help?
In the meantime, if you would like to know more about us or if you’re considering buying property in Turkey and you’d like some more hints and tips, feel free to give us a call. We’re also here if you’d like a no-obligation chat about the pros and cons of investing in property in Turkey.
It’s not just about the buying and selling of homes. We can help with the logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful. If you’d like to check out our full portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.