The Turkish real estate market has in the last few months seen a marked increase in popularity with international investors keen to fast-track applications for Turkish citizenship, despite a forthcoming increase in the amount of capital required to be invested in property in the country in order to qualify for citizenship. 

The route to Turkish citizenship through investment in property is set to change from a current requirement to invest $250,000 in real estate, to an increased requirement of $400,000 with a clause that the property will not be further sold for 3 years.  This will become effective on 13 June, one month from the new rule’s publication in an official gazette, The Amendment of the regulation on the Implementation of the Turkish Citizenship Law (Decision Number: 5554), prompting a large increase in purchases from international investors, eager to beat the change in the law.

Investors from Russia have been particularly keen to purchase property in Turkey, outstripping demand from countries such as Iraq and Iran, with sales from Russia this April more than doubling those of the previous month, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Office.  However, investors around the world recognize the value of a fast route to Turkish citizenship.

The property investment route guarantees speed, with buyers receiving their Turkish passport with 3-4 month of applying. There is no residency requirement, and all arrangements can be made remotely, an added convenience In an ever-changing political and economic climate.  Investors increasingly appreciate the security that having an alternative nationality can bring, and being able to achieve this speedily and easily is adding to the Turkish scheme’s popularity. 

Investing in Turkish property can give immediate gains such as potential rental income and the opportunity to sell the assets after three years.  In addition, Turkish citizenship brings the advantage of visa-free travel to over 110 countries worldwide, including popular locations such as Singapore, Japan, Qatar and South Korea, ideal for business people and international leisure travelers.

An added attraction is that Turkish citizenship offers the opportunity to relocate to the USA for residential and business purposes via the USA E-2 Investor Visa, which gives citizens of signatory countries the right to reside and open businesses within the USA. These benefits are available to the families of investors and can be passed to their descendants.  More information on all the benefits of the Turkish scheme is available on our website.

The rush to purchase real estate in Turkey before the increase in the required spend has prompted Taymour Poulding, Managing Partner at CIP Turkey, to advise that in order to beat the deadline purchasers will need to transfer the full price of the real estate directly to the vendor very quickly.  They must gain possession of an official title deed for the property or a notarized promise of sale agreement, and apply for an official Letter of Conformity (a certificate confirming that the investor has met the qualification requirements).  However, the need to move rapidly can carry risks without proper diligence, so Mr Poulding advises caution when proceeding.

The current international climate, though volatile and subject to rapid change, presents opportunities and perhaps a certain amount of confidence in Turkish security of assets, a situation which international investors clearly appreciate.  Turkey is benefiting from the current rush to buy property before the threshold increases and will further benefit even after the new laws come into effect, with buyers regarding it as a safe country in which to place their investment.  International purchasers may well be encouraged by the relative stability and popularity of the country and thus feel confident enough to place or increase their own investments there, thereby strengthening Turkey’s position financially and, it will no doubt hope, its position on the world stage.