Turkish Citizenship by Marriage
Turkish citizenship by marriage is one of the cases in which citizenship is acquired later. Acquiring Turkish citizenship through marriage, which is guaranteed in Article 16 of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901, has recently become a frequently encountered situation in daily life.
WHO CAN APPLY TO GAIN TURKISH CITIZENSHIP THROUGH MARRIAGE?
As a rule, foreigners who have been married to a Turkish citizen for 3 years and still maintain this marriage can apply for this. The marriage in question should be formal and serious. We will discuss this in more detail below.
CONDITIONS FOR ACCESSING TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
Marrying a Turkish citizen does not directly grant Turkish citizenship to a foreign person. The legislator stipulates various conditions for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through marriage. With an innovation made, the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through marriage is subject to the decision of the competent authorities. In order to obtain Turkish citizenship through marriage, it is necessary to apply to the necessary authorities after meeting certain criteria.
Necessary conditions for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship through marriage;
Must have been in a marriage for at least 3 years. This marriage must have lasted at least 3 years and must be continuing at the time of the decision. This marriage must be a valid marriage under Turkish law. A claim cannot be made on the basis of a legally invalid marriage. This matter is examined by the competent authorities at the time of application.
Spouses must be living in a family union.
One of the conditions stipulated by the legislator for a foreigner to acquire Turkish citizenship is that the couples live in a family union. As a rule, spouses must actually live together. Here, it is desired to prevent foreigners from acquiring citizenship through collusive marriages. Collaborative marriage refers to fake partnerships that are shown outside for other purposes without family unity in reality. The criterion of living in family unity is confirmed by the Provincial Police Department and the Citizenship Application Investigation Commission.
However, if the Turkish citizen dies after the application of the foreign spouse and their marriage has ended spontaneously, the foreign spouse can acquire Turkish citizenship through marriage by completing the other criteria without seeking this condition.
The foreign spouse should not engage in any activity incompatible with the marriage union.
Behaviors such as not engaging in prostitution and not mediating prostitution can be given as examples of this item. This situation will be investigated by the Provincial Police Department. It is accepted in the teaching that one should stay away from the behaviors that will cause divorce.
The foreign spouse should not be in a situation that would prevent her from gaining citizenship in terms of national security and public order.
The foreign spouse should not pose a threat to national security. In this context, it should not engage in activities that will harm the integrity of the country and should not support these activities. Especially those who are associated with those who support separatist activities are not accepted to Turkish citizenship. Committing acts such as rebellion, espionage, sabotage, arms and drug smuggling, and forgery of documents that disrupt public order will also prevent the acquisition of Turkish citizenship through marriage. In order to determine these situations, archival research will be requested from the Undersecretariat of the National Intelligence Organization and the General Directorate of Security.
DECISION TO ACQUIRE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
Meeting the above criteria is not enough for you to acquire Turkish citizenship. A decision should be made by the competent authority in this regard. The competent authority is the Ministry of the Interior. A foreigner who wishes to acquire Turkish citizenship can acquire citizenship in line with the decision of the competent authority if he or she meets the conditions listed in the law. Having the criteria written in the law does not give foreigners the right to acquire absolute citizenship. The competent authority, namely the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has discretion on the decision. However, this discretion is not unlimited and does not allow arbitrary use.
APPLICATION AGAINST NEGATIVE DECISIONS
We have mentioned above that the competent authority has discretion over the decision to be made, but this authority is not unlimited. According to the provision guaranteed in the Constitution, the judicial remedy is always open against all kinds of actions and transactions of the administration. If foreigners who want to acquire Turkish citizenship through marriage obtain a negative decision, they can initiate a legal process by applying to the administrative court against the decision of the Ministry of Interior. The competent court is the administrative court of the place found by the authority that made this decision. You can contact us via https://ozansoylu.av.tr/contact to initiate a fast and effective legal process through lawyers specializing in foreigners’ law.
HOW TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP THROUGH MARRIAGE?
The application will be directed to the governorship of the place of residence by the foreigner who wishes to acquire Turkish citizenship. If the foreign spouse is abroad, they can apply to foreign representations. Documents required to apply;
- Petition for the request to acquire citizenship through marriage.
- Identity registration sample of Turkish citizen spouse
- Passport or similar document showing where the foreigner is a citizen.
- Document showing the foreigner’s identity information, such as a birth certificate or a copy of the identity card.
- If the place of residence is Turkey, the most recent residence document.
- If the foreigner has a finalized court decision due to any crime, a certified copy of it.
- Receipt of payment of citizenship procedures service fee
HOW IS THE PROCESS OF ACQUISTING CITIZENSHIP THROUGH MARRIAGE?
PROCEDURE FOR INVESTIGATION OF APPLICANTS
The Provincial Police Department begins to investigate the file. In the meantime, archive research is requested from the Undersecretariat of the National Intelligence Organization and the General Directorate of Security.
Whether the spouses actually live together in family unity, except for force majeure
Whether the spouses have joint children
Whether the spouses are engaged in an activity incompatible with the marriage union
Whether the spouses have any obstacles in terms of public order, national security and general morality.
Is the marriage collusive?
The Citizenship Application Review Committee convenes and decides on this matter by voting. Spouses who pass this stage are interviewed both together and separately. In this interview, the spouses are asked questions about each other. By adding the opinions reached here to the soy form, the file is transferred to the Ministry of Interior for a decision.
DECISION OF THE APPLICATION AND THE COURT PROCESS
In order to acquire citizenship, the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs approving the application is required. The Ministry accepts or rejects the application by doing the necessary research. When the application is approved, it is decided to take the foreign spouse into Turkish citizenship. For the registration of this decision to the population, it prepares a population registration form and sends it to the relevant Population Directorate. The population directorate carries out the necessary procedures and notifies the foreign spouse of this decision. At the end of this procedure, the foreign spouse can obtain Turkish citizenship and apply to the civil registration office and obtain the identity card. For applications rejected by the Ministry of Interior, it is possible for the foreign spouse to apply to the judiciary.
IF MARRIAGE IS CANCELED, WILL IT AFFECT CITIZENSHIP?
When it is decided to nullify the marriage of a person who has acquired Turkish citizenship through marriage, the effect of this situation on acquired citizenship is frequently encountered in practice. The legislator has brought this issue to legal regulation. Accordingly, if the foreigner who acquires Turkish citizenship through marriage is “benevolent” in this marriage, the acquired Turkish citizenship is preserved. There is no provision stating under what conditions this person is in good faith or not in marriage. The benevolence of the foreigner is evaluated according to the characteristics of the concrete case. Although the court that decides the nullity of a marriage has the right to determine the intention of the foreigner in this marriage, as a rule, it is not obliged to determine this. When it is decided to nullify the marriage, the foreign spouse can maintain the citizenship he/she has acquired, provided that he/she is in good faith. The person who claims that the foreign spouse is not in good faith is obliged to prove this claim, since the legal principle is good faith. In this case, the person who claims that the foreign spouse is in bad faith can request the Ministry of Interior to investigate this situation. The Ministry of Interior determines this situation and presents its conclusion to the court. If the findings of the Ministry of Interior and the court are inconsistent, this issue will be clarified with the determination case.
THE EFFECT OF FRAUDULENT MARRIAGE ON CITIZENSHIP
A fraudulent marriage is a marriage made out of a formality that the parties make for certain interests without the intention of establishing a serious and permanent union. Unfortunately, this situation is frequently encountered in daily life. It is observed that foreigners make collusive marriages in order to acquire citizenship, be heirs and obtain residence permits. As a rule, collusion marriages are valid until they are annulled. In other words, although the formality marriages made by foreigners to acquire citizenship are valid as a rule, foreigners cannot acquire citizenship since “family union”, which is one of the conditions for acquiring citizenship, cannot be considered in terms of collusion marriages.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ACCESSING TURKISH CITIZENSHIP THROUGH MARRIAGE
1- Can a foreigner who has lived together with a Turkish citizen for many years out of marriage acquire citizenship by marriage?
Living with a Turkish citizen for many years without a formal and serious marriage has no effect. He cannot acquire citizenship through marriage.
2- The conditions for obtaining citizenship through marriage also apply to same-sex partnerships?
No, same-sex partnerships do not receive legal protection in Turkish law. According to our legislation, it is not possible for the parties to be married.
3- Do Turkish citizens and foreign spouses have to live together?
The criterion of family unity, which is one of the conditions for acquiring citizenship through marriage, requires them to actually live together. However, it is also possible for the parties to temporarily live separately for some reasons. This separation must be justified and temporary.
4- Does the registration of a Turkish citizen affect the foreign citizen’s acquisition of citizenship through marriage?
No, in accordance with the principle of personality of crime and punishment, one of the conditions for the foreign citizen to acquire Turkish citizenship through marriage, which is one of the conditions for national security and public order, is valid only for the foreign spouse, and the Turkish citizen is not subject to this limitation. A crime committed by him does not prevent the foreign spouse from acquiring citizenship. However, it should be noted that in practice, some courts make decisions contrary to the principle of the individuality of criminal responsibility.
For more detailed information about Turkish citizenship by marriage, you can contact us on our contact page.