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A €219,000 house could buy you citizenship in Turkey

A €219,000 house could buy you citizenship in Turkey
Copyright Oytun 73/Wikipedia
Copyright Oytun 73/Wikipedia
By Enis GünaydınAlice Tidey
Published on Updated
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A foreign person can now acquire Turkish citizenship if they invest $250,000 in real estate — $1 million was previously needed.


Foreigners can now acquire citizenship in Turkey by buying a $250,000 (€219,000) house, after the government dramatically lowered its minimum financial requirement.

The new regulation, signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was published in the Official Gazette on Thursday. It marks a significant change from the previous financial requirement of $1 million (€878,000).

The move on Thursday was an attempt to draw in wealthy foreign investors.

The government has also quickened the citizenship procedure, with buyers now allowed to start their applications after signing the lease and paying the money. Previously, they would not have been able to start the process until after the development project had been completed.

Developers have already started promoting the measure, with one sharing a picture of a residential complex with the message: "This house comes with a Turkish passport!"

Some criticised such ads as "distasteful".

'Extremely concerned'

Turkey is not the only country to offer so-called "golden visas", wherby wealthy individuals are granted residence citizenship provided they invest a certain amount in the economy.

These "Citizenship by Investment" and "Residence by Investments" schemes are, however, being increasingly condemned for enabling tax evasion and sheltering criminals.

Several EU countries have their own schemes, including Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Portugal that then allow their beneficiaries to travel freely anywhere within the 28-country bloc.

The Portuguese programme allows foreign people to reside and work in the country visa-free provided they acquire a property worth at least €500,000. It also allows them to freely travel in the Schengen area, request family regrouping and opens up a path to citizenship.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in August that she was "extremely concerned" about such practices, calling on country's to do more to ensure they do not grant citizenship to "criminals who want to endanger Europe's security or engage in money-laundering."

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