The general acquisition of Turkish citizenship is a right granted to foreigners who have spent a total of 5 years in Turkey without interruption and who meet the other conditions specified in the Citizenship Law. A foreign person can apply for citizenship if he or she meets the necessary conditions. However, the fact that the foreign person meets all the conditions does not mean that he will be automatically accepted into citizenship, the discretion of the administration is reserved.
The conditions that must be met by foreigners who want to acquire Turkish citizenship are regulated in the Turkish Citizenship Law as follows:
It should not be in a situation that would constitute an obstacle in terms of national security and public order. If these conditions are met cumulatively, a foreign person can apply for Turkish citizenship.
Condition of Residence in Turkey
In order for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship by general term, they must meet the condition of 5 years of uninterrupted residence in Turkey.
The cases that do not meet the residence permit requirement for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship are listed as follows in the Turkish Citizenship Regulation:
It is not accepted as a valid residence in the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by general terms.
According to the Citizenship Law and the Regulation of the Citizenship Law, the periods spent by foreigners in Turkey with long-term residence permit, family residence permit, real-estate residence permit and work permits are considered valid for the acquisition of citizenship by general term of five years.
However, as an exception to residence permits, the Turkish Citizenship Regulation Article 71/1-d contains the following provision:
“If the person residing in Turkey due to the reasons of residence which is not accepted in the acquisition of Turkish citizenship is subsequently placed in residence for a reason deemed valid, the previous residence periods are also taken into account. This provision does not apply to those who are in Turkey with a residence permit for touristic purposes.’’
With this exception in the regulation, foreigners have the right to apply for the acquisition of citizenship by general term, when a person who does not have one of the appropriate residence permits for general citizenship in Turkey, except for a residence permit for touristic purposes, then transfers to a residence permit that is suitable for acquiring citizenship by general term. The time spent in Turkey with a previous residence permit is also considered valid for a period of five years.
This means: If a foreigner residing in Turkey through education converts his education residence permit into a residence permit with the owner of the Immovable Property, the period he/she spent in Turkey with a study residence permit will be considered valid for citizenship by general term.
Calculation of the Five Years Stayed in Turkey
Article 15 of the Turkish Citizenship Law clearly regulates how to calculate the five-year period that foreigners must spend in Turkey in order to acquire Turkish citizenship in a general way.
According to this article, foreign persons can stay outside of Turkey, provided that not to exceed a total of one year within this five years period.
If the foreigner resides abroad for more than one year during the five-year period of residence in Turkey, he/she loses the right to apply for Turkish citizenship in general terms.
This period is determined according to the residence permit issued by the provincial police directorate in which the foreigner resides, and the document showing the entry-exit records to Turkey, in accordance with the provision regulated in the Citizenship Regulation.
Conditions of appliying Turkish citizenship by general term are to resided in Turkey with the residence permits for which the five-year period specified in the law is taken into account, to have good morals, not to pose a danger to public health, to have taken steps to show the desire to establish a life in Turkey with their behavior, to speak Turkish in a way that they can communicate in general, to have an income that can support himself and his family members and not to pose an obstacle to public safety. If foreiner meets all the conditions, Foreigner gets the right to apply for Turkish citizenship by general term.
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