How to become a Turkish citizen

As expats spend more and more time in Turkey, Turkish citizenship becomes an issue.

According to the constitution, citizenship can be acquired by foreigners “under the conditions stipulated by law,” which is, in this respect,
the Turkish Nationality Act No. 403 (1964). This law has been amended four times, with the last amendment having made in 1995.

You can find this law and its related regulations and former changes on the Web site of the General Directorate for Population and Nationality Affairs (NVİ), a department of the Interior Ministry, at

According to the Turkish Nationality Act, to apply for Turkish citizenship, you should be at the age of consent according to your own national
legal system (which is usually 18). Furthermore, you must have resided in Turkey for the last five years without any interruptions and you must have the “intention of settling in Turkey.” Such an intention can be proven by, for instance, acquiring immovable property.

Last but not least, you must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family in Turkey and you should have an adequate command of the Turkish language.

These conditions are not applicable to those who are married to Turkish nationals. Everyone who has been married to a Turkish citizen for at least three years (and has been actually living together with his or her spouse) will be given citizenship.

A foreign woman marrying a Turkish man acquires Turkish nationality automatically in the course of the marriage, if she so wishes. On the other hand, a foreign man marrying a Turkish woman cannot enjoy this opportunity and is subject to the three-year rule mentioned above. Children born in Turkey do not have a claim to Turkish citizenship unless one of the parents is also a Turkish citizen.

Finally, there are some exceptional ways of obtaining Turkish citizenship in which all conditions of acceptance to citizenship are essential except the five-year residence period and an indication of the will to remain in Turkey.

This right applies to children of full age or those who have lost Turkish citizenship (for example, through emigration), those that are of Turkish origin, as well as their spouses and children of full age (for example, Turkish minorities in the Turkic states) and those that will bring into Turkey new economic, scientific, technological or artistic developments.

In all these cases, your application can be made through the Turkish Republic’s consular section in your home country or when already in Turkey, through the NVİ office in your district of residence. These authorities will transfer your dossier to the Turkish Interior Ministry, which in turn will consider and process the applications. A list of the documents required follows this article.

Documents for applying for Turkish citizenship

  •  Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • If married to a Turkish national, the official documents confirming the identities and family ties of the spouse and all underage children.
  • Certification of applicant’s ability to speak Turkish (a certificate will be issued by Turkish consular section upon a successful interview of the
  • A medical certificate confirming the applicant’s good health (can be obtained at any hospital).
  • Several photographs
  • Completed application forms (can be obtained from the Turkish consular section or at the NVİ)

If you’d like to know first hand what it’s like to live in Turkey, read about Karen Ormond’s experiences – she travelled around Turkey in the 1970s and around 40 years later moved back for good.

9 Responses to “How to become a Turkish citizen”
  1. Sierra says:

    “A foreign woman marrying a Turkish man acquires Turkish nationality automatically in the course of the marriage, if she so wishes”

    Wow, really? I assume you still have to make some kind of formal application, just the usual conditions are waived?

  2. Ihssan says:

    My grandfather has Ottman citizenship, can I apply for Turkish citizenship

  3. corinne says:

    A foreign woman does not automatically get Turkish citizenship through marriage, I am the wife of a Turk and i have had to do the 3 year rule, although because we have had a child together i was forced financially to move back to the uk. I am now trying to apply for my turkish citizenship so we can all be back together as a family unit, But there is some problems since we havent lived together for the 3 years of our marriage. Apparently i can make a claim of force majeur which mean there was a greater force that stopped us from livng as a family.
    Im not sure how much more it will cost because of this problem.. A company found me on a forum and offered their help for an additional 400$ which i think is an unreasonable amount and they cannot tell me how much the actual amout of the application will cost.

    If anyone knows any different to me then please dont hesitate to contact me..

    • Ricky Carbis says:

      Hi, maybe this would be a better post for our new Turkey Expat Forum – – you can ask the question and others can answer for you

    • nicole says:

      Hello I am marrıed to a Turkish as well and when I got marrıed they where asking me if I want to take the Turkish passport .I have a frıend she got married as well to a turk and she took her passport and lost her german passport . Did they not ask you if you want to take the turkish passport when you got married ?

      • corinne says:

        Hi nicole ,
        Some countries do not allow dual nationality with turkey ,so if they choose to take turkish nationality they lose their own, but this is something they are made aware of before they take it. however the uk accepts dual nationality with turkey so it is possible to become a citizen of turkey without losing my british nationality. My husband and i enquired about getting citizenship after marriage and were told we had to wait 3 years. I suppose this was because english law no longer allows turkish nationals to gain immediate right to entry of england once married to a brit, like they once did.

  4. Ricky Carbis says:

    Easy Move To Turkey now has an official Forum for Turkey expats – visit our forum and ask other expats questions

    • rania says:

      hello, I am also married to a Turkish man. Am I really entitled to take a Turkish passport immediately ? How long did it take you to get the passport?

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