Foreigners who invest in property worth at least $1 million and keep it for a minimum of three years will be eligible for Turkish citizenship, according to the new law published by the Turkish Government on 12 January 2017. This is similar to the Golden Visa schemes offered to non-EU citizens wishing to be become a resident in a number of European countries including Spain and Portugal, which is one of the most popular.
Alternatively, Turkey’s new rules allow a foreign investor to avail of Turkish citizenship by either making a fixed capital investment worth at least $2 million, buying $3 million worth of government bonds or depositing the same amount in a Turkish bank, or creating 100 jobs within Turkey.
After the near collapse in foreign sales for most of last year, caused mainly by the political coup and security concerns with ongoing crisis in nearby Syria, this could be a positive move that should help attract buyers back.
The threshold of $1 million will particularly suit wealthy Arab investors. Last year, Iraqis, Saudis, Kuwaitis and Russians bought the highest number of properties in Turkey. With this new law, this trend should continue, with interest from Syrians and others also growing.
In January, a senior Turkish Government official predicted the new law would trigger an extra $1billion in revenue from property sales in 2017. Most of the sales are expected to be in Istanbul, with other areas of interest including the south-eastern provinces of Gaziantep and Kilis, and the Black Sea region as well as the ever popular Fethiye, Kalkan and Bodrum. The Antalya region and in particular Alanya hold great value for investors and could prove to be the most popular areas for investment.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s currency has continued to get cheaper for foreigners since the start of 2017, falling more than 10 per cent against the US dollar in the first two weeks of the year. This follows a year-on-year slump of 17 per cent during 2016.