In accordance with Article 25 of the Turkish Citizenship Law (Law No. 5901, “TCL”), Turkish citizens may request permission to renounce their citizenship in order to acquire the citizenship of another country to benefit its economic, social and political rights.
The registries of those who obtained permission to renounce Turkish citizenship used to be closed in the civil registers and they used to benefit only from the rights granted to the foreigners under Turkish Law. This practice has been changed with the introduction of the Blue Card thanks to the enactment of the TCL.
Blue Card is issued only to people who become Turkish citizen by birth and renounced their citizenship by obtaining permission to renounce it. People who acquired Turkish citizenship by naturalization or by means other than birth cannot have a Blue Card. Blue Card does not have any validity period.
Eligibility for Blue Card
A Turkish citizen who has requested permission to renounce his/her citizenship receives a renunciation document and then he/she is treated as a foreigner. Besides his/her descendants up to the third degree can also benefit from the Blue Card.
People who request permission to renounce their Turkish citizenship may be granted a renunciation permit or a renunciation document by the Ministry of Interior, provided that they fulfil the following conditions:
a) Having reached the age of majority and having the capacity to act.
b) Having acquired citizenship of a foreign state or strong indications showing that he/she will acquire citizenship.
c) Not being wanted due to a criminal offence or military service.
d) Having no financial and criminal restrictions.
The application can be made to any civil registry directorate or Turkish consulates by submitting i) a certified copy of the identification document or passport issued by the foreign country authorities; ii) petition regarding the Blue Card request.
Once the conditions are met, there is no time or age limitation for the application which will be made by the Blue Card holder’s children. However, the child cannot be registered in the Blue Card holders Registry if he/she preserves Turkish citizenship.
Identification Number (“ID Number”)
Identity numbers are assigned to persons registered in the Blue Card Holders Registry (“Registry”). Turkish ID number of persons registered in the database of Central Civil Registration System (“MERNİS”) who lost Turkish citizenship by obtaining renunciation permit will be kept unchanged as the Blue Card ID number. However, this does not correspond to Turkish citizens’ ID number.
Notification to Registry
The Registry is being retained in an electronic environment by the General Directorate of Civil Registry. Blue Card holders are obliged to declare all kinds of events such as birth, marriage, divorce, change in residence addresses to civil registration offices within the country or to representative offices abroad. Upon notification, changes are made in the Registry by the Civil Registry Directorates.
Rights and Obligations of Blue Card Holders
Blue Card holders shall continue to enjoy, without prejudice to the provisions with respect to national security and public order, the rights granted to the Turkish citizens, except for
i) rights and obligations regarding military service
ii) rights to vote and to be elected
iii) right to be employed as a civil servant
iv) right to import exempted vehicles and household goods;
provided that their acquired rights relating to social security are reserved.
Blue Card holders cannot perform primary and permanent public service duties. However, they can be employed as employee either temporary or on contractual basis in public institutions and organizations.
Pursuant to the International Labour Law (Law No. 6735), Article 28 of the Turkish Citizenship Law is reserved. Thus, Blue Card holders do not need to obtain work permit, should they wish to work in Turkey.