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Nationality Law No. 5901 of Turkey (2009) – 2: Acquiring Turkish Citizenship

Ways of Acquiring Turkish Citizenship:
Article 5- (1) Turkish citizenship is acquired by birth or after birth.

Citizenship acquired by birth
Article 6- (1) Turkish citizenship by birth can be acquired by place of birth and/or

descent. Citizenship by birth is acquired at the moment of birth.

Descent (Kinship Tie)
Article 7- (1) A child born to a married Turkish father or mother, whether in Turkey or abroad, is Turkish citizen.

(2) A child born to a Turkish mother and a alien father out of wedlock is Turkish citizen.

(3) A child born of a Turkish father and an alien mother out of wedlock acquires Turkish citizenship if the principles and procedures regarding the determination of descent are met.

Place of Birth
Article 8- (1) A child born in Turkey, but acquiring no citizenship from his/her alien mother or alien father acquires Turkish citizenship by birth.

(2) A child found in Turkey is deemed to have been born in Turkey unless proven otherwise.

Citizenship acquired after birth
Article 9- (1) Turkish citizenship shall be acquired after birth with a decision of competent authority, by adoption or by choice.

Acquisition of Turkish citizenship with the decision of competent authority
Article 10- (1) An alien who wishes to acquire Turkish citizenship can acquire Turkish citizenship with the decision of the competent authority, provided that he/she fulfils the conditions stipulated by this Law. However, fulfilling the conditions required, do not grant an absolute right to the person to acquire Turkish citizenship.

Conditions Required for Application
Article 11- (1) An alien who wishes to be received into citizenship shall;
a) be of the age of consent possessing the distinguishing power according to his/her own national legal system, or according to the Turkish law if s/he is stateless;
b) have been resident in Turkey for five years, without interruption, prior to her/his date of application;
c) have the intention of settling in Turkey and prove this intention with action;
ç) not have any disease that constitutes a danger to public health;
d) be a person of good morals;
e) speak an adequate level of Turkish;
f) have an income or profession to provide for his own livelihood and those of his/her dependants in Turkey;
g) not pose a threat to national security and public order.

(2) Aliens who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship, shall fulfil the conditions set out above, and may be required to fulfil the condition of renunciation of their country’s citizenship. Determination of the principles regarding the exercise of this discretion belongs to the Council of Ministers.

Exceptions in acquiring Turkish citizenships
Article 12- (1) Provided that there is no obstacle as regards national security and public order, aliens, set out below, may be received into Turkish citizenship upon a proposal by the Ministry of Interior and decision of the Council of Ministers.

a) Those persons who bring into Turkey industrial facilities or have rendered or believed to render an outstanding service in the social or economic arena or in the fields of science, technology, sports, culture or arts and regarding whom a reasoned offer is made by the relevant ministries.

b) Those whose being received into citizenship is deemed to be necessary. c) Those persons who recognized as migrants.

Re-acquisition of Turkish Citizenship without laying down residence permit as a condition
Article 13- (1) Alien indicated below can re-acquire Turkish citizenship, upon Ministry decision, regardless of their residence period in Turkey provided that he/she does not pose an obstacle to national security.

a) Those persons who had lost Turkish Citizenship by obtaining renunciation permission, b) Of the persons who had lost their citizenship because of their parents, those who did not enjoy the right of choice (right to apply) within the period foreseen in Article 21.

Re-acquisition of Turkish Citizenship based on residence permit as a condition Article 14- (1) Those who had lost Turkish Citizenship in accordance with Article 29 can be re-naturalized upon the decision of the Council of Ministers; and those who had lost Turkish Citizenship in accordance with Article 34 can be re-naturalized upon the decision of the Ministry provided that he/she has been residing in Turkey for three years and there is no obstacle regarding national security.

Calculation of residence and periods
Article 15- (1) For an alien, residence means residing in Turkey with due respect to the Turkish laws. An alien who applies for acquisition of Turkish Citizenship may stay abroad, without exceeding six months, within the residence period required for application. Period which she/he spends outside of Turkey shall be evaluated within the period of residence foreseen in this Law.

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship by marriage

Article 16- (1) Turkish citizenship is not acquired automatically upon marriage to a Turkish Citizen. However, aliens who have been married to a Turkish citizen at least for three years and who are still married, can apply to acquire Turkish citizenship. Applicant married to a Turkish citizen is required to fulfill the following conditions. The applicant:

a) shall live in family unity;
b) shall avoid acts not compatible with the marriage unity;
c) shall not pose a threat on national security and public order.
(2) In case the spouse who is a Turkish citizen dies after the application is lodged, then the applicant is not required to fulfill clause (a) of the first paragraph.
(3) In decision of nullity of marriage, aliens who acquired Turkish citizenship with marriage can preserve their Turkish citizenship, if two sides have entered the marriage contract in good faith.

Acquisition of Turkish citizenship by adoption
Article 17-(1) A child, under the age of maturity, adopted by a Turkish citizen shall acquire Turkish citizenship from the day he is adopted, if she/he does not pose threat on national security and public order.

Commission for examination of citizenship application
Article 18- (1) The determination of whether or not the applicant is eligible to acquire citizenship in accordance with Article 11 and Article 16, shall be made by the commissions, which shall be established in provinces, for examination of citizenship applications. The establishment of the commission and the working principles shall be determined by a regulation.

Principles and procedures for acquisition of Turkish citizenship by the decision of the competent authority
Article 19- (1) From among the aliens who wish to acquire Turkish citizenship with the decision of a competent authority, for those who fulfill the conditions required to apply a citizenship file is opened and sent to the Ministry. Those who are deemed appropriate following the examinations and inquiry launched by the Ministry shall acquire Turkish citizenship upon the decision of the Council of Ministers, those, whereas those whose applications are not deemed appropriate to acquire citizenship shall be rejected by the Ministry.

(2) Procedures for acquisition of Turkish citizenship shall be launched by the Ministry in accordance with Article 12.

Validity and consequences of acquisition of Turkish citizenship by decision of competent authority
Article 20- (1) Decisions regarding the acquisition of Turkish citizenship shall become valid from the date of the decision.

(2) Acquisition of Turkish citizenship upon the decision of competent authority shall not affect the citizenship of spouse. Children whose guardianship belongs to the mother or father who acquired Turkish citizenship on the date of acquisition can acquire Turkish citizenship in case the other spouse gives consent. In case of disagreement of the spouse, action shall be taken upon the decision of judge in the country where the mother or father is residing regularly.

(3) Children who are not transacted along with the parents at the date of the acquisition of Turkish citizenship, the provisions of Article 11 shall be applied for their applications, in case they apply to acquire Turkish citizenship after they become reach the age of majority.

Acquisition of Turkish citizenship by Right of Choice
Article 21-(1) Children who had lost their Turkish citizenship because of their parents in accordance with Article 27 shall acquire Turkish citizenship by using their right of choice within three years from the day they reach the age of majority.

Validity and consequences of the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by using the Right of Choice

Article 22- (1) Acquisition of Turkish citizenship, by using the right of choice shall become valid from the date of decision, relating to the determination of the conditions for using of this right, is made.

(2) Provisions of the Article 20 shall be applied to spouses and children of those who acquire Turkish citizenship by using right of choice.

Next: Chapter 3 – Loss of Turkish Citizenship