Erdoğan gov’t sharply cuts investment levels required for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship

The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has significantly eased requirements for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship in order to encourage investment, according to new regulations published in the country’s Official Gazette on Wednesday.

The lower limit of fixed capital investments for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship has been reduced to $500,000 from $2 million. Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000, instead of $1 million, can also obtain Turkish citizenship. The deposit requirement of a minimum $3 million in Turkish banks has also been lowered to $500,000.

Foreigners who generate jobs for a minimum 50 people will also be able to take on Turkish citizenship, the decree signed by President Erdoğan said. The previous number required was 100. Foreign investors should hold the properties or continue the minimum limit of financial investment for at least three years to meet the criteria for Turkish citizenship.

The Turkish government has attempted to confiscate over 50,000 passports including those held by the relatives of journalists living in exile while putting restrictions on the passports of hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens.

On July 25, the Interior Ministry announced that restrictions on 155,350 passports belonging primarily to people affiliated with the Gülen movement or their close relatives had been lifted, although President Erdoğan had previously announced that restrictions imposed on 181,500 passport holders would be lifted after the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

Turkish police have also seized 4,806 passports and detained 132 people at İstanbul Atatürk Airport as part of investigations into alleged followers of the Gülen movement.

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