As I explained before in my previous articles published in October and November, there are a lot of news and rumors circulating in social media in recent months that seem to have raised fears among many Arabs who obtained Turkish citizenship in different ways in the years Last. Among these news and rumors is a video clip of a politician claiming that citizenship granted to Arab investors will be revoked if the government changes in Turkey in 2023.
In this short article, I will highlight the rules regarding withdrawal of citizenship in Turkey, which will enable readers to understand the conditions under which Turkish citizenship can really be withdrawn by the authorities, and help them not be indifferent to rumors spreading misinformation on this subject.
If a Turkish citizen voluntarily works for the benefit of a foreign country officially at war with Turkey without the exclusive permission of the Turkish President, this will lead to that person losing Turkish citizenship.
If a Turkish person voluntarily joins the military services of a foreign country without permission from the Turkish authorities, that person loses Turkish citizenship.
At the outset, I would like to say that the authorities can actually withdraw Turkish citizenship in certain cases. Legally speaking, there are two clear sets of laws in this regard: the general laws on loss of Turkish citizenship that apply to both original Turkish citizens and naturalized Turkish citizens. There are specific laws relating to stripping of citizenship that apply only to naturalized Turkish citizens. We will address these laws in the same order in this article.
General rules regarding loss of Turkish citizenship
There are only 4 reasons that can lead to the loss of Turkish citizenship, and when the Turkish authorities discover the existence of one of these reasons, they refer their findings to the Turkish Presidency Office, and the authority to make the final decision in this regard is in the hands of the Turkish President, and the stripping of citizenship becomes effective Legally, once the president’s decision is published in the Turkish Official Gazette, the four reasons are as follows:
- If the person holds Turkish citizenship and voluntarily works for the interest of a foreign country and his services to that country do not correspond to the interests of Turkey, the Turkish authorities urge the person concerned to leave that job within 3 months, and if the person concerned does not comply with the order of the authorities, he loses Turkish citizenship.
- If a Turkish citizen voluntarily works for the benefit of a foreign country officially at war with Turkey without the exclusive permission of the Turkish President, this will lead to that person losing Turkish citizenship.
- If a Turkish person voluntarily joins the military services of a foreign country without permission from the Turkish authorities, that person loses Turkish citizenship.
- If a Turkish citizen has committed the crimes stipulated in Articles 302, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314 and 317 of the Turkish Penal Code (all these crimes are included in crimes against the security of the Turkish state and the constitutional order of Turkey), and if this person is out of reach because he fled Turkey to escape investigation Legal and trial in the crimes committed, the Ministry of Justice urges that person to return to Turkey within 3 months, and if he does not comply with the request of the Ministry of Justice, he may lose Turkish citizenship.
When a Turkish citizen loses Turkish citizenship due to any of the aforementioned reasons, this does not affect the citizenship of his wife and children.
Rules regarding revocation of Turkish citizenship
There is only one reason to withdraw Turkish citizenship from naturalized Turkish citizens: if the Turkish authorities discovered that citizenship had been obtained by false statement or by concealing basic facts that could have had an effect on obtaining citizenship. When there is a suspicion that this has happened, the Ministry of Interior will investigate the matter and withdraw citizenship based on any evidence it finds that proves the validity of that suspicion.
The main difference between the general laws regarding the loss of Turkish citizenship and the specific laws regarding the revocation of citizenship is that in the latter scenario the citizenship of the wife or husband and children are revoked as well.
Although it seems that there is only one reason for revoking Turkish citizenship, that reason is stated in loose language, and therefore there are many cases that can fall within that language. For example, if a foreign investor makes an investment with the aim of applying for Turkish citizenship but submits a severely manipulated valuation report to prove that the value of his investment exceeds the required minimum, this can be considered a false statement when it is discovered. Also, if a foreigner obtains exceptional citizenship by bribing some senior officers, this will be considered as concealment of basic facts, upon discovery.
This means that those who obtained Turkish citizenship by these suspicious methods should worry about their status, because any new government may want to investigate all citizenship applications retroactively. As for the rest of the people who obtained citizenship by following legal procedures, there is no need to worry about their status, because preserving their citizenship is a right guaranteed to them by the constitution and they can take the necessary legal measures against the Turkish authorities even if the Turkish government tries to take any measures that affect their constitutional rights. Personally, I believe that no Turkish government would dare to take such unconstitutional steps in any scenario after the upcoming elections.