As a US citizen residing in Turkey currently holding a 5 year ikamet I was hoping to be eligible to apply for citizenship in 2017. The old laws required a period of continuous residency in order to be eligible, but they seemed flexible (i.e. open to interpretation by local immigration offices) as far as what the employment requirements were.

It seems, from the chatter, like the 2014 changes to the ikamet system will change that. However I cannot find any concrete sources for what the actual requirements have changed to (or will be in 2017). What, if anything, has changed about the requirements for US citizens applying for dual citizenship in Turkey? I am especially interest in not having had a history of in-country employment. Has that been made a requirement?

2 Answers 2


The process for obtaining an İkamet seems to have changed since the answer by NickNo, so I thought this should be updated.

The process for obtaining an İkamet now starts at e-ikamet (the website has a dodgy certificate, but it's where I applied and got my İkamet). One must fill an electronic application, print it, and choose an appointment date and place (they're usually booked very tightly, so do this in advance - like 2 months in advance).

The basic list of required documents includes

  • 4 photographs that must meet certain standards (they're called "vesikalık" in Turkish, a photography shop will know).

  • Passport or similar document (meaning the foreign passport, if your country has different passports)

  • The printed application form

  • A health insurance which complies with the basic needs of İkamet (Turkish insurance agents will know what that is).

  • A document from the place you're staying at, signed and in some cases approved by the notary.

The full list can be accessed here, along with explanations (in English, obviously). It differs for various application types, so find the one you need.

Some pro tips:

  • Apply early, apply fast.

  • I think the fee is paid in advance now (at least for first-time applications), though I payed right there for my (student) extension.

  • Go an hour or so before the appointment time. IIRC, it doesn't even matter, as you still get a separate queue ticket right there (or at leat in Ankara).

  • The certificate of residence is now obtained from local "muhtar"s - you'll have to find one where you live. Source: my mother went to get one just a few days ago and was told that by the officials.

  • Once you apply and get an appointment, your stay in Turkey is kind of official until your appointment date, when you'll either get a transitory document officially certifying your stay, or will get your application declined. The temporary document gives the holder the right to exit the country for ~2 weeks, if memory serves.

Finally, your kimlik arrives to you by mail. If you're not at home, it'll stay either at the post office (as it was in my case), or maybe sent to a muhtar (just an educated guess).

As for obtaining a citizenship, the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Interior (i.e. Internal Affairs; the site has a proper certificate and looks otherwise pretty official), has the following page (last updated on 2017-09-22), which explains the requirements and the process. It's not available in English (or at least I couldn't find it), so I'll provide a summary here:

  • One needs to have stayed in Turkey for at least 5 years, interrupting their stay for no more than 6 months in total (during those five years).

  • One's stay with a tourist, refugee, student, or diplomatic İkamet doesn't count towards that time. No citizenship for me despite being here for six years now

    • However, the same page lists people who have "completed their education [I assume university level] in Turkey" as eligible for receiving a citizenship. I assume this means one might not need to stay for extra 5 years here after graduation, but I haven't made any inquiries about this.
  • The usual stuff - one must show that one can live in the Turkish community (no details given, only some stuff about respect and behaviour), to be able to speak Turkish "sufficiently" good (that's probably why that page is not translated to English), to be able to provide for oneself and one's close one's financially, and not to be a threat to the community/state, either in the health sense, or in the danger to the state sense.

To answer your question directly, if you've stayed in Turkey legally, for work purposes, for the set amount of time, you should be eligible for the citizenship.

I'm assuming you won't need this, but in a reverse situation (A citizen of Turkey receiving another citizenship), one must declare the second citizenship as described here.


I am a bit unsure about the meaning of "not having help in-country employment" but will assume you mean that you don't work in Turkey.

The 2014 Ikamet System Changes

Applicants will now get Ikamet for 1 year. No more multi-year Ikamet unless you are a 'very particular case', thus multi-year is now nearly non-existent.

Application Process Changes

Ikamet will no longer be issued by local police stations. You still will need to apply at the local police station, the application will be forwarded to Ankara and processed, and after 2 weeks, a new residential permit will arrive by a registered (mail) letter to your address in Turkey, and only the applicant may sign for this letter.

If you aren't home and miss the registered letter, the letter will be held at the local police station and won’t return back to Ankara.

Additional Document Requirement Changes:

Applicants must now show where they are living in Turkey, their actual address, and a document to meet this requirement can be received at the Civil Registry Office (Nüfus Müdürlügü) and it must be proof stamped.

If you rent in Turkey, the lease needs to be stamped at a Notary. If you own (a home) in Turkey, you need to include a copy of the Tapu (also stamped at a Notary) and if you are unlucky, they might request to see the original Tapu.

Proof of Funds Requirement Changes:

You need to show that that at least the equivalent of ten thousand TL is deposited in a Turkish bank in an account under the applicant's name. If applicants gets funds (pension/job/trust fund) outside of Turkey, this must be documented and you must submit proof of this income, translated into the Turkish language and proof stamped at a Notary.

Health Insurance Requirement Changes:

You can now use foreign health insurance policies to meet the requirement of having a valid health insurance policy. Translate your health insurance documents into Turkish, and stamp them at the Notary.

Misc. Changes

First time Ikamet applicants will need to apply at the Turkish embassy in their home country. (This is still being implemented at time of writing).

Applicants married to a Turkish citizen do not need to meet income requirement or health requirement if covered by spouse.

Reference: http://www.hello-alanya.com/index.php/categories/item/152-changes-in-ikamet-procedure-june-2014

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.