Conditions of Being Turkish Citizen by Marriage

Conditions of Being Turkish Citizen by Marriage

Conditions (Requirements) of being Turkish citizen by marriage for foreigners have been regulated according to article 16 of Law no. 5901 on Citizenship. When a foreigner marries to a Turkish citizen, such situation does not automatically make him/her acquire the right of being Turkish citizen

Under related law, following conditions should be met by the foreign national with residence permit to be a citizen by marriage:

  • The foreign national applying for citizenship should be married to a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years and such marriage should be currently continuing;
  • The spouses should be included in unity of family;
  • The foreign national should not act against conjugal community;
  • The foreign national should be in such a situation threatening public safety.


In the event that foreigners marrying to a Turkish citizen bear above mentioned conditions, they can apply for citizenship to the governorate of province they reside. However; if the Turkish citizen spouse passes away after date of application for citizenship, the condition mentioned above as “spouses should be included in unity of family” is not stipulated. Foreigners acquiring the right for Turkish citizenship can apply for Turkish citizenship at any time.

Status of Syrians under Temporary Protection
Although there is no clear provision with relation to acquisition of citizenship by marriage for Syrian refugees, they can apply to Directorates of Civil Registration and Nationality affiliated to the Governorates when 3-year condition is achieved. However; this is the right for application, not for acquiring citizenship. After necessary examinations, related institution may accept or reject the application.

Is Turkish Citizenship terminated in case of divorce?
When a person being Turkish citizen by marriage wants to get divorced from his/her Turkish spouse, his/her citizenship continues as is. Termination of marriage does not affect citizenship.

Is the right for being citizen lost when Turkish spouse passes away?
A foreigner acquires the right for being Turkish citizen on condition of being married to a Turkish person for at least 3 years. Usage of such right is within his/her own initiative. He/she may apply for Turkish citizenship upon acquisition of such right, or he/she may apply for being Turkish citizen by marriage after 10 years. If the spouse passes away before usage of such right, the right of foreigner to be citizen continues.

Is it compulsory for the foreign spouse to reside in Turkey?
There is no obligation for residing in Turkey for a foreign spouse to acquire Turkish citizenship. The marriage can be maintained outside of Turkey and application for Turkish citizenship can be made after 3 years.

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