ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP – PART I –

Law no. 5901 on Turkish Citizenship[1] defines the principles and the procedures regarding the conduct of affairs and processes relating to the acquisition and loss of Turkish citizenship. [2] Turkish citizenship may be acquired by birth or after birth[3]  Turkish citizenship automatically acquired by birth on the  basis of descent or place of birth.[4] On the other hand Turkish Citizenship Act specifies three main ways to acquire Turkish citizenship after birth.  Accordingly, Turkish citizenship may be acquired after birth (i) by decision of the competent authority, (ii) by adoption or (iii) by choice.[5]

ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP BY DECISION OF THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY

In regard to Turkish Citizenship Act, competent authority refers to Turkish Ministry of Interior. Article 19 of the act indicates that;

“Of the aliens who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship by the decision of the competent authority, for those who fulfill the conditions for application a citizenship file shall be opened in their name and sent to the Ministry to be decided. After the examination and inquiry made by the Ministry those whose situations have been deemed appropriate can acquire Turkish citizenship by decision of the Ministry, whereas the citizenship applications of those whose situations have been deemed inappropriate shall be rejected by the Ministry.”

There are mainly four types of applications for Turkish citizenship finalized through the decision of the competent authority.

(i)                 General applications

(ii)                Exceptional applications

(iii)              Applications for re-acquisition of Turkish Citizenship

(iv)               Applications for acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by marriage. 

In general applications acquisition of Turkish Citizenship and applications for acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by marriage, Applicants’ fulfillment of the citizenship conditions is evaluated by The Citizenship Application Examination Commission[6] which is formed in each provinces of Turkey.  After an interview process, for those applicants who fulfill the required conditions, commission asks further examination from the Provincial Security Directorate. Upon completion of examination process by Provincial Security Directorate, applicant’s file is forwarded to the Ministry of Interior for the final decision.

(i)     CONDITIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION (GENERAL)

Competent authority decision on the acquisition of Turkish citizenship is made upon fulfillment of the following criteria. However as article 10 of the act clearly indicates “fulfillment of the stipulated conditions does not grant that person an absolute right in the acquisition of citizenship”

Article 11

“An alien who wishes to acquire Turkish citizenship shall;

a) be in the age of majority and have the capacity to act either according to his/her own national law or, if he/she is stateless, according to Turkish law.

b) have been resident in Turkey without interruption for five years preceding the date of his/her application,

c) verify his/her determination to settle down in Turkey with his/her manners,

ç) have no disease constituting an obstacle in respect of public health,

d) be of good moral character,

e) be able to speak a sufficient level of Turkish,

f) have income or profession to provide for maintenance for himself/herself and his/her dependants in Turkey,

g) have no quality constituting an obstacle in respect of national security and public order”.[7]

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION (GENERAL)

Citizenship Application file should include following documents.

a) A completed VAT-3 FORM (BACK SIDE)

b) Translated and notarized copy of applicant’s passport. If the applicant is stateless, documents certifying applicant’s statelessness.

c) Documents showing applicant’s identity information. (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

d) Certificate of civil status certifying applicant’s civil status such as married, divorced or widowed.  (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

e) If the applicant is married, extract of civil registry record or equivalent document which records family ties of spouse and if available children (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

e) If available, birth certificates of first and second degree Turkish citizen relatives.

f) Health report obtained from official health institutions demonstrating applicant has no disease constituting a threat to public health.

g) Evidence of applicant’s ability to speak sufficient level of Turkish language.  (Document obtained from National Education Directorates)

h) Evidence of adequate and regular financial resources for personal and family livelihood in Turkey such as Turkish Work Permit certificate and Commercial Activity Certificate. Or

i) Evidence of uninterrupted residence in Turkey for five years (Documents obtained from Provincial Security Directorate) - For foreigners with Turkish descent evidence of uninterrupted residence in Turkey for two years -

j) Residence permit valid for at least 3 months beyond the application date.

k) Original or court-certified copy of the Court decision, if applicant has ever tried for any offence

l) Tax office receipt of Administrative fees.

(ii)   EXCEPTIONAL STATES IN THE ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP 

Article 12 of the Act indicates that certain categories of the foreigners might be eligible for Turkish Citizenship by the decision of the Council of Ministers.

ARTICLE 12

“Aliens mentioned below can acquire Turkish citizenship by decision of the Council of Ministers acting on a proposal from the Ministry provided they have no quality constituting an obstacle in respect of national security and public order.

a) Persons who have brought industrial plants into Turkey or have rendered or are being considered to render in future outstanding services in the scientific, technological, economic, social, sporting, cultural and artistic fields and about whom a reasoned offer has been made by the ministries relevant.

b) Persons whose naturalization has been considered necessary.

c) Persons who have been recognized as immigrants. “[8]

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION (EXCEPTIONAL)

a) A completed VAT-4 FORM  (BACK SIDE)

b) Translated and notarized copy of applicant’s passport. If the applicant is stateless, documents certifying applicant’s statelessness.

c) Documents showing applicant’s identity information. (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

d) Certificate of civil status certifying applicant’s civil status such as married, divorced or widowed.  (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

e) If the applicant is married, extract of civil registry record or equivalent document which records family ties of spouse and if available children (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

e) If available, birth certificates of first and second degree Turkish citizen relatives.

f) Residence permit valid for at least 3 months beyond the application date.

g) Tax office receipt of Administrative fees.

(iii) RE-ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

As per article 13 of the Act, following categories of individuals may re-acquire Turkish Citizenship irrespective of their residence period in Turkey upon the affirmative decision of the Ministry of Interior.

a) Persons who lost Turkish citizenship by obtaining a renunciation permit.

b) Of the persons who had lost Turkish citizenship because of their parents those who have not enjoyed the right to choice within the time-limit foreseen in Article 21.

Moreover as per article 14, those individuals who lost Turkish Citizenship in accordance with article 29[9] of the Act may re-acquire Turkish Citizenship upon the decision of Council of Ministers and those who lost Turkish citizenship in accordance with article 34[10] of the act may re-acquire Turkish citizenship upon the decision of the Ministry of interior. In both cases, applicants required to have at least 3 years uninterrupted residence in Turkey.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION (RE-ACQUISITION)

a) A completed VAT-5 FORM  (BACK SIDE)

b) Extract of civil registry record

c) Translated and notarized copy of applicant’s passport. If the applicant is stateless, documents certifying applicant’s statelessness.

d) If there is any change in the civil status of the applicant after the lost of Turkish Citizenship, Certificate of civil status certifying applicant’s civil status such as married, divorced or widowed.  (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

f) ) If the applicant is married, family registry documents or equivalent document which records family ties of spouse and if available children (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

f) Documents showing applicant’s identity information. (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

g) Evidence of uninterrupted residence in Turkey for three years (Documents obtained from Provincial Security Directorate) – only for those applicants within the categories under artcle 14 of the Act.

h) Tax office receipt of Administrative fees.

UNINTERRUPTED RESIDENCE

Uninterrupted residence is defined in the article 15 of the Act. Accordingly “an alien who applies for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship may stay abroad without exceeding six months within the residence period required for the application. The period spent abroad shall be evaluated within the residence period foreseen in this Law. “[11]

(iv)  ACQUISITION OF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE

As per Article 16 of the Act “Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by marriage” reads as follows:

“(1) Turkish citizenship is not acquired automatically upon marriage to a Turkish Citizen. However, aliens who have been married to a Turkish citizen at least for three years and who are still married, can apply to acquire Turkish citizenship. Applicant married to a Turkish citizen is required to fulfill the following conditions. The applicant:

a) shall live in family unity;

b) shall avoid acts not compatible with the marriage unity;

c) shall not pose a threat on national security and public order.

(2) In case the spouse who is a Turkish citizen dies after the application is lodged, then the applicant is not required to fulfill clause (a) of the first paragraph."

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION (GENERAL)

Citizenship Application file should include following documents.

a) A completed VAT-6 FORM (BACK SIDE)

b) Extract of civil registry record of  Turkish citizen spouse

c) Translated and notarized copy of applicant’s passport. If the applicant is stateless, documents certifying applicant’s statelessness.

d) Documents showing applicant’s identity information. (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

e) If applicant is resident in Turkey, Residence Permit.

f) Original or court-certified copy of the Court decision, if applicant has ever tried for any offence

g) For those applicants who have married in Turkey, copy of International Marriage Booklet. For those who have married outside Turkey, copy of certified equivalent documents. (Properly certified documents should be notarized and translated with Apostille)

h) Copy of Turkish National Identity card of Turkish citizen spouse.

i) Tax office receipt of Administrative fees.

[box type="download"] TURKISH CITIZENSHIP LAW (Source: refworld.org) Law No. 5901 Date of Enactment: 29.05.2009 Published in the Official Gazette 0n 12 June 2009, No. 27256[/box]

[1] Law No. 5901 Date of Enactment: 29.05.2009 Published in the Official Gazette 0n 12 June 2009, No. 27256

[2] Law No. 5901, Art. 1

[3] Law No. 5901, Art. 5

[4] Law No. 5901, Art. 6

[5] Law No. 5901, Art. 9

[6] Law No. 5901, Art. 18 – (1) The determination of whether aliens who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship fulfil the conditions for application in accordance with Articles 11 and 16 shall be made by the citizenship application examination commissions formed in the provinces. The formation and the working principles of the commissions shall be prescribed by a by-law.

[7] Law No. 5901, Art. 11 – Aliens who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship may be required, in addition to the conditions aforementioned, to relinquish previous citizenship. The Council of Ministers shall be competent to determine the principles regarding the exercise of this discretion.

[8] Law No. 5901, Art. 12

[9] Law No. 5901, Art. 29 - Revocation of Turkish Citizenship

Turkish citizenship of persons whose acts mentioned below are ascertained by the official authorities may be revoked by a decision of the Council of Ministers acting on a proposal from the Ministry.

a) Of the persons, who have rendered services, which are incompatible with the interests of Turkey, for a foreign state, despite the fact that they are notified to cease this task by the overseas representative offices abroad, by the directors of provincial public administration in Turkey, those who do not voluntarily cease this task within the given reasonable time not being less than three months.

b) Persons, who voluntarily continue to render any kind of services for a state, which is at war with Turkey, without the permission of the Council of Ministers.

c) Persons who voluntarily render military service for a foreign state without obtaining

permission

[10] Law No. 5901, Art. 34 - Loss of Turkish Citizenship by the Right to Choice

The persons, whose situations are mentioned below, may renounce Turkish citizenship within three years after they reach the age of majority.

a) Of the persons, who acquired Turkish citizenship by birth through the mother or the father on the basis of descent, those who acquired the alien mother’s or father’s citizenship by birth or after birth.

b) Of the persons, who acquired Turkish citizenship by descent from the mother or the father, those who acquired citizenship of a foreign state by place of birth.

c) The persons, who acquired Turkish citizenship by adoption.

ç) Of the persons, who had acquired Turkish citizenship by place of birth, those who then acquired the alien mother’s or father’s citizenship.

d) The persons, who acquired Turkish citizenship by descent from the mother or the father, who acquired Turkish citizenship in any form whatsoever.

(2) If loss of citizenship in accordance with the aforementioned provisions renders the person concerned stateless, the right to choice shall not be used.

[11] Law No. 5901, Art. 15

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