Property sales up as Turkish Citizenship rules relaxed
Writing for the Financial Times in the UK, Laura Pitel talks to foreigners who have purchased real estate in Turkey to obtain Turkish citizenship by investment.
Gamal, a former surgeon from Yemen recently acquired Turkish Citizenship by investing in real estate worth just over 250,000USD. He is one of thousands who are applying for citizenship by investment with his reasons being a need for a new nationality and passport to visit family in Europe. He said: “Turkish citizenship will open doors for me.”
According to Global Witness and Transparency International, ‘Golden Passport’ schemes selling residency or citizenship have resulted in more than 25 billion Euros of investment in the EU in the last 10 years alone.
In the four months since Turkey made it easier for foreigners to obtain citizenship through real estate investment, applications have soured with most new applicants coming from the Middle East.
Under the rules, foreigners can quality for Turkish Citizenship by purchasing 250,000USD worth of real estate, putting 500,000USD into fixed capital or depositing into a bank. Cameron Deggin of Property Turkey said: “They are trying to do all they can to stimulate the real estate market.” Property Turkey has helped more than 30 people apply for Turkish citizenship since September.
According to statistics, the new scheme has proved most popular with foreigners from Arab nations with Middle Eastern clients preferring Turkey’s new ‘golden passport’ scheme to countries in the EU due to cultural similarities, food, and religion.
In 2018, Iraqis, Iranians, and Saudis were the biggest buyers of property in Turkey with many citing the appeal of living in a country that represents a middle ground. One Libyan citizen who purchased said: “I want to live in a place where I hear the call to prayer and I don’t have to wear the hijab. I feel that the government is offering a way to help me and to help the economy. It’s a win-win situation.”