Turkey lowers requirements for citizenship by investment

The size of investment to become a Turkish citizen was sharply reduced as the country copes with currency crisis.

    The lira crisis began days after the US doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey [Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]
    The lira crisis began days after the US doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey [Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]

    Turkey has eased the financial and investment criteria for foreigners who want to become Turkish citizens as the country copes with its currency crisis caused by US tariffs.

    The amount of dollars or other foreign currency needed as one of the criteria to become a Turkish citizen were sharply reduced, according to revised regulations published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.

    The size of bank deposits was cut from $3m to $500,000 and the amount of required fixed capital investment was reduced to $500,000 from $2m, the decision said.

    Two other options for receiving a passport by investment were also eased. The applicant could qualify by employing 50 Turkish citizens, down from 100, or by investing $250,000 in the real estate market, half the previously required amount.

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    The new measures come weeks after Turkey's currency, the lira, lost more than 40 percent of its value against the US dollar last month, prompting a 20 percent inflation.

    US tariffs

    The crisis began days after US President Donald Trump announced via Twitter a doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey as Washington pushed Ankara to release Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on terrorism charges.

    The lira stood at 6.39 against the dollar on Wednesday.

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    According to Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News, French actor Gerard Depardieu, who received Russian citizenship in 2013, was among those considering Turkish citizenship by investment.

    The report published on Tuesday quoted Depardieu as saying that he would visit Turkey in October and discuss his interest in obtaining a Turkish passport with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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