Turkey’s astonishingly popular citizenship by investment program is bucking the trend of COVID-triggered slowdowns observed elsewhere in the CIP-market; A recent statement from the Ministry of Interior revealed that during the three months of March, April, and May, the country naturalized no fewer than 4,000 investors, or an average of 1,333 a month, a figure at least double that achieved by all other CIPs combined during the same period.
9,011 foreign investors had received Turkish citizenships by the start of June, precisely 4,000 more than Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu reported had obtained citizenship by the end of February this year.
The reported figures imply that Turkey naturalized an average of 1,333 main applicants a month during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
While the Interior Ministry publishes no official datasets or reports on its application and approval volume, Ministry officials make ad hoc media statements disclosing official figures every 4-5 months. These statements remain the only official source of figures. Historically, for the periods in which statistics on family sizes were published, the average investor has brought with him 2.82 dependents, which would place the number of naturalized individuals in Turkey since September 2018 at close to 35,000.
At the end of February this year, the Interior Ministry divulged that the 5,011 investors naturalized by that point had injected capital amounting to US$1.7 billion through the CIP, or an average of some US$340,000 per investor. Now, the Ministry reports that the figure has risen to US$3.26 billion, or roughly US$362,000 per main applicant.
Those numbers boggle the mind, for they imply Turkey’s CIP – in the three months of March, April, and May – raised an average of US$17.3 million each day.
Iraqis, Iranians, and Russians are the biggest buyers of property in Turkey, and Istanbul alone accounts for half of all the foreign sales. The most recent figures from Turkey’s Land Registry show foreigners now cumulatively own 3.04 million sq.m. of Turkish property as of the end of the first quarter of 2020, up from 1.89 million sq.m. at the same time a year ago. A total of 13,581 foreign nationals bought a property in Turkey in the first quarter of 2020, led by 2,405 Iranians and 2,341 Iraqis, the Land Registry data showed.
Turkey’s Reidin-Gyoder New Home Price Index, a reliable benchmark for trademarked institutional residential projects, indicates that sales to foreign nationals accounted for 4.13% of total sales in May 2020 and averaged 8% in the past six months. Nearly 70% of the sales to foreigners were two-bedroom flats.
Want to know more about the Turkey CIP? To see recent articles, program FAQ, official links, and more, visit its Program Page. Hundreds of companies can assist with applications to the Turkey CIP. See which ones in the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.
Properties that can qualify the buyer for citizenship in Turkey:
See more properties that come with residence/citizenship opportunities in IMI Real Estate.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.