Since the Turkish government made a ‘discount’ for investors a year ago, over 2,611 main applicants and 7,351 family members have become Turkish citizens under the new programme.

These figures place Turkey at the top of the rating of Citizenship by Investment (CIP) countries with the largest approval volumes. Just before the announcement from the Turkish officials, Dominica’s CIP led the field with just over 2,000 approved applications in the year to June 30, 2019.

Where do Turkey’s CIP applicants come from?

The Ministry reports that Iraqis now constitute the biggest applicant group with 327 investors, closely followed by Afghani citizens with 250 and Palestinians with 170. Generally, 13 out of the top 15 source countries are Muslim-majority states. Curiously, Saint Kitts & Nevis got on the list of source states providing 29 main applicants, presumably, of Middle Eastern origin.

With 2,611 qualifying investments multiplied by $250,000 per main applicant, Turkey must have attracted over $650 million. If we leave property aside and add bank deposits and business investments (where the minimum is $500,000), the total CIP gainings may well have exceeded $1 billion.

The last year’s amendment dropping the minimum to $250,000 became a reviving factor for the country’s real estate market. Sales of residential property to foreigners soared by 50% year-on-year in the first eight months of 2019, reaching 27,748 properties.

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