In what cases can Turkish citizenship be withdrawn

  • 6 months ago
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At the beginning I would like to say that the authorities can actually withdraw Turkish citizenship in certain cases. Legally, there are two clear sets of laws in this regard: the general laws on the loss of Turkish citizenship that apply to both native Turkish citizens and naturalized Turkish citizens. There are specific laws on denationalization that apply only to naturalized Turkish citizens. We will discuss these laws in the same order in this article.


General rules regarding the 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 transmit their findings to the Turkish presidential office, and the authority to make the final decision on this matter is in the hands of the Turkish President, and the deprivation of citizenship becomes legally effective as soon as the president’s decision to do so is published in the Turkish official gazette, and the four reasons are as follows:


If a person holds Turkish citizenship and voluntarily works for the benefit 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 acts for the benefit of a foreign country that is officially at war with Turkey without the exclusive permission of the Turkish president, this will result in that person losing Turkish citizenship.

If a Turkish person voluntarily joins the military services of a foreign country without the permission of the Turkish authorities, that person loses Turkish citizenship.

If a Turkish citizen commits the crimes stipulated in articles 302, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314 and 317 of the Turkish penal code (all of these crimes are included in crimes against the security of the Turkish state and the constitutional order of Turkey), and if this person is elusive because he fled from Turkey to escape the legal investigation and prosecution of 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 above reasons, this does not affect the citizenship of his wife and children.


Rules related to the revocation of Turkish citizenship


There is one reason for the withdrawal of Turkish citizenship from naturalized Turkish citizens: if the Turkish authorities find out that citizenship was obtained by a false statement or by concealing basic facts that could have had an impact on obtaining citizenship. When this is suspected, the Ministry of the interior will investigate the matter and revoke citizenship based on any evidence it finds that proves the validity of that suspicion.


The main difference between the general laws on the loss of Turkish citizenship and specific laws on the revocation of citizenship is that in the latter scenario the citizenship of the wife or husband and children is also canceled.


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 made an investment with the aim of applying for Turkish citizenship but submitted a heavily manipulated valuation report to prove that the value of his investment exceeds the required minimum, then this can be considered a false statement when discovered. Also, if a foreigner obtains an exceptional citizenship by bribing some high-ranking officers, this will be considered a concealment of the basic facts, upon discovery.


This means that those who obtained Turkish citizenship by such suspicious methods should worry about their status, because any new government may want to investigate all applications for citizenship retroactively. As for the rest of the people who obtained citizenship by following legal procedures, they do not need to worry about their status, because maintaining 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 will dare to take such unconstitutional steps in any scenario after the upcoming elections.

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