Turkey’s government has decided to offer Turkish citizenship to foreigners in exchange for an investment of only $300,000 in the property sector, down from the current $1 million investment required to buy Turkish citizenship.
The $1 million incentive came into effect in January last year. Foreigners can buy real estate worth $1 million, or make a capital investment of $2m, or keep at least $3m in a bank account for at least three years, or create at least 100 jobs in the country.
The government also exempted foreign buyers from paying 18% value added tax (VAT) when investing in real estate. The exemption is also applicable to Turks who have lived and worked abroad for more than six months.
The initiative was expected to bring in at least $10 billion in foreign exchange per month. But only $4.64 billion came in January, 2018 – an increase of only $750 million from $3.89 billion in January 2017.
The government is now planning to submit an omnibus bill to parliament to lower the citizenship bar.
Citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait make up the biggest group of foreign buyers in Turkey, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute.