Turkish government aims to incentivise investors by reducing the investment threshold for high net worth individuals seeking citizenship.

Investing in Turkey just got a whole lot cheaper. 

The country's Official Gazette announced on Wednesday that there would be a reduction in capital limits for citizenship for investment in Turkey.

The rules were first introduced in January 13, 2017 with the aim of incentivising business investment in Turkey.  

For investments in physical assets such as land, machinery, buildings and fixed installations the amount is reduced to $500,000 from $2 million.

Whereas previously real estate investors needed to buy a property for a minimum of $1 million, now a minimum $250,000 would be sufficient. 

The Official Gazette also announced that bank deposit requirements would be lowered. 

Perviously $3 million was necessary to be deposited in Turkish banks, that number has now been lowered to $500,000.

Additionally, foreign investors creating a minimum of 50 jobs - down from the previous requirement of 100 jobs - are also now eligible for citizenship. 

Boost for Turkish Real Estate

The news comes on the back of a weakened Lira, which in recent months has lost some value against the US dollar as political tensions between the US and Turkey increased. 

Turkey's real estate sector, which has seen a softening in demand will welcome the news of lowering investment thresholds. 

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, home sales in Turkey in 2017 amounted to 1,409,314. In 2018 property sales, to date, amounted to 875,064 compared to last year's 890,430 over the same 7 month period.

As the Turkish Lira depreciated, there has been a noticeable surge in foreign buyers willing to take advantage of lower prices. 

Particular interest has been shown by Arab investors.

In 2017, according to the Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum, out of more than 19,383 properties sold to foreign investors 4,001 were from the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

Who is seeking citizenship?

The Turkish passport, according to Passport Ranking Index, is ranked as 39th strongest in the world

The passport bearer is allowed to visit 114 countries either visa free or with a visa on arrival. 

High net worth individuals from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, South Asia but also the Gulf—where passport mobility is lower than Turkey's—can look to take advantage of this offer. And many already have.

In recent years Iraqis, Russians, Saudis and Afghans been some of the main buyers in the Turkish property market. 

Other countries that offer citizenship for investment

Turkey is not the first country to offer citizenship to high net worth investors. 

Investors  looking for economic citizenship can also find similar programmes in Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Greece and Portugal among others.   

A property investment in Cyprus in exchange for citizenship would set you back a cool $1.7million.