Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:19 AM

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Turkish citizenship demand in Middle East soars after Ankara slashes investment by 75%


Hundreds of foreigners are looking to buy Turkish citizenship after Ankara sharply reduced the cost in an effort to boost the country’s FDI flow. Price cut from $1 million to $250,000, which is 75 per cent decided last December by the Turkish government has boosted interest in the programme.

 

Over 115 countries allow visa-free travel for Turkish passport holders. Turkey is seen as a gateway to Europe for the modern Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which covers China, Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Turkey is sought after for quality education, world-class healthcare facilities and beautiful lifestyle. 

 

With the new regulation, Republic of Turkey grants citizenship to foreigners who make either $250,000 investment in a property in Turkey and get the title deed for applying for the programme, Make a minimum fixed capital investment of USD 500,000 or equivalent foreign currency or Turkish lira, as attested by the Ministry of Industry and Technology or deposit $500,000 in a state investment instrument or in any state bank operating in Turkey, provided that the deposit is not withdrawn for three years. The new regulation also has an option for an applicant to employ 50 personnel in Turkey to participate in the citizenship programme.

 

 

Post completion of all mandatory documents, the Turkish citizenship process takes six months. Unlike Canadian citizenship programme, applicant for Turkish programme does not have to live in Turkey. Applicant can take back the investment along with legal interest and can sell the property after three years. Turkish citizenship will remain throughout the life and the children will be born as Turkish citizens. In addition, applicant does not have to revoke the citizenship of his country of origin.

 

Top Dubai-based immigration consultancy AAA Associates says, following Turkey’s announcement, here in the UAE only, we are receiving an unprecedented number of applications for Turkish CBI Programme – there is a whopping increase of 55 per cent in number of new applications in February 2019 as compared to the number of applications in December 2018.

 

Located between the Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Turkey now stands the most popular destination among all Citizenship by Investment programmes in the world. Turkey shares borders with the Middle East, the Balkan, and the Caucasus regions, which positions it as an ideal choice for high-net-worth-individuals.

 

“Turkey’s cost reduction for its Citizenship by investment programme created a golden opportunity for investors and families who are looking to invest in citizenship programme. Not only our new applicants, but our large number of existing customers for Caribbean passports are enquiring about the Turkish programme. Turkey being a Muslim country makes the first choice for applicants from the Middle Eat due to faith and cultural reasons.”, said Imran Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of AAA Associates, a subsidiary of Samana Group of Companies.

 

Turkey’s economy has performed remarkably well with its steady growth over the past 14 years. A sound economic policy and major structural reforms have contributed to the integration of Turkey’s economy into the macro global economy while transforming the country into one of the major recipients of FDI in the region.

 

Official Invest in Turkey data says country’s new economic reforms have increased the role of the private sector in Turkey’s economy. These reforms strengthened the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country, allowing the economy to grow at an annual average real GDP growth rate of 5.6 per cent from 2003 to 2016. In last 10 years, Turkish GDP has grown from US$ 675.7 Billion in 2007 to US$ 851.1 Billion in 2017.

 

Most of the European nations that embraced paid-for citizenship did so in response to the global financial crisis of 2008. Countries saw it as “a quick fix,” said Laure Brillaud of Transparency International while recently talking to the Financial Times.

 

The Turkish decision came at a time when the existing citizenship programmes are either too expensive or have unclear mechanism. In addition, Turkish programme, after slashing the investment amount by 75 per cent has become a preferred choice in Citizenship by investment (CBI) industry.