BECOMING A TURKISH CITIZEN THROUGH MARRIAGE
Being a Turkish citizen by marriage is a more difficult and longer process than it is thought. The process, conditions and characteristics, a person must have, required to be followed by a foreigner in relation to that question ‘’ How do the persons become a Turkish citizen through marriage?” have been stated in the Turkish Citizenship Law numbered 5901. Being able to be a Turkish citizen was not tied to strict conditions in the old law and therefore many people could easily have Turkish citizenship by making fictitious marriages. Such situations both were affecting the social order negatively and were reducing the value that the marriage union has in the Turkish society. Before new arrangement was made, it was possible to encounter frequently with the incidents in relation to that Turkish people were getting married with a foreign-nationality person for the money and they were getting divorced after the foreigner acquired citizenship. Since there has been an increase in the number of perfunctory marriages and people, who might create danger in terms of public order, had the possibility to acquire citizenship immediately by marrying with a Turkish person, these situations have been avoided, even if partly, by making a new regulation.
According to 16th Article of the Turkish Citizenship Law, a foreign- nationality person does not directly acquire citizenship when marrying a Turkish citizen. However, if the foreigner who has married the Turkish person has maintained the marriage union for 3 years, he will have the right to apply for acquiring Turkish nationality. There are three basic requirements required from the person who is applying to become a Turkish citizen through marriage. These are; having been living in the family union, not having been acting contrary to the marriage unity, not having been posing danger for the national security and public order. If the foreign national has these three conditions and the necessary documents are present, there is no problem in the positive resulting of the application. As a special case, we should mention that if the Turkish spouse of the applicant dies after the application, the condition that living in the family union will not be required anymore. If a foreign citizen or a stateless person, who wishes to become a Turkish citizen, acquires Turkish citizenship as a result of his application, that having been decided the annulment of his marriage does not affect his being a Turkish citizen in case of his being rightminded. So, this person continues to be a Turkish citizen.
How do Foreigners Become Turkish Citizens ?
Turkish citizenship is acquired with birth or later. In addition to becoming a Turkish citizen through marriage, which is a form of citizenship acquired subsequently, foreign nationals may also be Turkish citizens in the direction of the decision that will be given by the competent authority. Of course, the conditions required for the persons must fully be available for this.
There are strict conditions for becoming a Turkish citizen by the decision of the competent authority as in the case of becoming a Turkish citizen through marriage. First of all, the foreign national who will make an application must attain maturity and must have power of discernment according to the blood of the country that he is a citizen. If the applicant is a stateless person, then the maturity and discernment of the person is decided by taking Turkish law into account. At the same time, this person must have lived in Turkey for at least 5 years backwards from the date he applied. In addition to he must have a good moral; he must confirm that he is exactly decisive to settle in Turkey with his all manner of conversation. He must be able to speak Turkish in terms of a comfortable life in Turkey and he must not have a health problem that will affect the society. In addition to all these, he must have an income and a profession in order to make his or people’s, to whom he is obliged to take care of, ends meet in Turkey. Finally, this person should not have a quality that threatens the social order and national security. In addition, as an exceptional case, we also need to mention that the foreign national may have to abandon his / her current nationality in order to be a Turkish citizen. We usually come across with this situation in countries that do not accept dual citizenship.
If the foreigner, who wants to become a Turkish citizen, is in the country, he/she should apply to the governorships in the settlement area personally; but, if he/she is abroad, he/she must apply to the foreign representatives personally again. If he/she is unable to apply himself/herself, this procedure is carried out with a special power of attorney. However, application can never be made by mail.
The applications which are made by foreign nationals or stateless people that are not mature and do not have the power of discernment, are denied. In addition, if the applicant is convicted or detained; or if he is a person whose trial is still continuing, his/her application will not be accepted. Since having been residing in Turkey for 5 years is one of the conditions of the application, the applications of the people who have not been able to provide this status are also denied and the applicants whose application have been rejected are informed in black and white.
There is an exceptional way apart from being a Turkish citizen through marriage and being a Turkish citizen with the decision of the competent authority. Those who will not threaten the national security and public order can be Turkish citizens with the proposal of the Ministry and the decision of the Council of Ministers. Immigrants, people who need to be taken to citizenship, those who have made extraordinary services in scientific, technological, social or cultural fields and those who are thought that they will serve in these fields can be Turkish citizen. According to the 17thArticle of the Turkish Citizenship Law, if a minor does not present a danger in terms of social order and national security and also, if he/she is adopted by a Turkish person, he/she will acquire Turkish citizenship.
Required Documents to become a Turkish citizen through marriage
As required in the presence of certain conditions and necessary documents must have been prepared in full and delivered to the relevant authority in order to become a Turkish citizen through marriage. The competent authority to deliver the documents is the Foreigners Branch of the Security Directorate located in the Turkish spouse’s residence. This process can be done by the person himself/herself, as well as by a lawyer specialist in the field with the given proxy.
The necessary documents to become a Turkish citizen through marriage must be collected studiously and delivered as a whole in order not to expose disruption of transactions. The required documents to become a Turkish citizen through marriage have been counted in Turkish Citizenship Law numbered 5901. When we look at the necessary documents, the first thing that needs to be done is filling application form for the acquisition of Turkish citizenship by marriage. Marriage certificate given by Turkish authorities and identity card of Turkish spouse are among these documents. In addition, the applicant must have a document showing the state of his citizenship and its production of evidence; if he/she is a stateless person, there should be a Turkish translation of notary public approved document explaining this situation. Also, there should be a Turkish translation of notary public approved document showing the credentials of the foreign national. Any document proving that the spouses live together should also be presented. As a proof for the condition of being married for 3 years, a certificate of good conduct given by the authorities of place, in which they have been resided for these three year, and its approved translation are also among the necessary documents. Also, if there is a final court decision about the person, a certified sample of this is also required. Finally, a voucher showing that the service fee has been paid must also be included in the documents. Collected documents are sent to the Citizenship Investigation and Research Commission. The commission subjects the foreigner spouse and the Turkish spouse to interview, separately and together. Then, the decision of whether the foreign national can be Turkish citizen through marriage is given by the commission according to the interviews, examinations and researches done after the documents have been delivered in full. Being a Turkish citizen through marriage