Turkish citizenship applications through investments passed the 250 mark in 2018 following the reduction in the minimum investment required in September.
September 2018 saw the Turkish government quarter the minimum investment required from overseas property investors to apply for Turkish citizenship from $1 million to just $250,000.
Also, the lower limit of fixed capital investments to acquire Turkish citizenship for foreigners has been reduced to $500,000 from $2 million. The regulation also covers foreigners who deposit a minimum of $3 million to Turkish banks. The deposit requirement of a minimum $3 million in Turkish banks has also been lowered to $500,000.
A similar regulation applies to foreign investors who hold government-issued bonds worth at least $500,000 that are not diversified for three years. Previously, the minimum requirement was $3 million for government bond holding foreigners.
Also, foreigners who generate jobs for a minimum of 50 people, compared to the previous requirement of 100 jobs, will also be able to apply for Turkish citizenship.
The most popular course to Turkish citizenship remains real estate however. Supported by legislative amendments in the citizenship law, property sales to foreigners have hit historic highs throughout 2018 and more than doubled in November.
The property sector, which reached $4.8 billion in sales to foreigners in 2017, is expected to have reached $10 billion as of the end of 2018.
For the first time in history, the housing sector exceeded 35,000 units sold in the first 11 months in 2018 and is a step closer to the target of selling 40,000 houses to foreign buyers in one year. Whether the target has been reached will be known once the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announces data for December.
Although people from Arab countries, Iran and the Turkic republics show the most interest in buying real estate in Turkey, many British, German and Russian people have properties in Turkey, and often opt for dual citizenship.
Most European investors are attracted to Istanbul, the Mediterranean resort city Antalya and the industrial city of Bursa.
Unlike many other countries where it can take years to gain citizenship, Turkish citizenship is available almost immediately with the minimum property investment of $250,000. Though investors are advised to employ a local trusted expert as the process can be sensitive.