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Turkey Plans Granting Citizenship for Foreign Investors - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ankara- The Turkish government has put the finishing touches to a proposal to widen eligibility for Turkish citizenship in a bid to attract foreign investors, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday after the meeting of Turkey’s Cabinet of Ministers.

Turkey will simplify the procedure of granting citizenship to foreign investors, Kurtulmus said.

“The limit for investments in the Turkish economy and other conditions for the simplified granting of citizenship will be determined later,” said Kurtulmus, commenting on the draft law submitted for discussion to the country’s Cabinet of Ministers.

Officials have completed the proposal and it would now have to be accepted by parliament, he added.

The plan is expected to encourage capital and investment to drive economic growth.

Investors eligible for citizenship will include those who have made fixed investments, those who have bought real estate at a certain value and retain it for at least three years, those who provide employment opportunities and those people who invest a certain amount of money in state investment tools on the condition that they do not withdraw it within three years, Kurtulmus stated.

Speaking at a ceremony at Sedef Shipyard in Istanbul, Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Turkey has never let down anyone who believed, trusted and invested in it. A greater portion of international investors continue to increase their investments in our country because they see this fact. I call on our businessmen to do the same. Do not postpone your investments.”

Erdogan explained that Turkey’s biggest problem is that it cannot express itself properly. Surely, the actual reason behind this problem is Turkey’s unique qualities.

“I don’t know if there is any other country in the world that is faced with so many problems but also has such a great economic power. This situation causes a sharp difference between how Turkey is perceived from far away and what it really is,” he said.

For his part, Development Minister Lutfi Elvan said in September that the Interior Ministry is working on a two-phase transition plan for granting citizenship to foreign investors.

Accordingly, foreign investors will first be given permission to stay in Turkey and then granted citizenship on the condition that they do not create problems.

Citizenship will be granted to foreign investors who make a certain investment amount in Turkey.

The minimum investment amount to allow a foreign investor to gain Turkish citizenship will be determined by Cabinet decision.

According to Elvan, the regulation, which was delayed because of the July 15 coup attempt, will soon be launched.

The regulation will concern investors who buy houses and those who establish factories or become partners with other investors in Turkey.

The practice, which is also in place in many countries, aims to encourage foreign investors to invest in Turkey.