A new law was passed in Turkey that grants citizenship of the country to foreign investors to encourage investment in the country and to increase property sales which is a financial sector suffering from surplus supply.
Turkey’s real estate sales increased 4.5 percent to 1.2 million properties in the first 11 months of 2016, than same period of 2015. At the same time, foreigners buying properties, the rate dropped 19 percent, to 16,727 from 20,607.
In both years, the highest number of properties was purchased by Iraqis, Saudis, Russians and Kuwaitis.
Turkey offers citizenship to investors who buy property worth minimum of $1 million, invest at least $2 million or deposit at least $3 million in an account in Turkish banks without withdrawing them for three years.
The change of the law passed as it is believed that such a move is a way to boost the serious slip of the lira. The lira declined to record lows in recent weeks against the dollar, losing almost 10 percent in the last month alone.
Also, foreigners who create at least 100 jobs or those determined to have purchased government borrowing instruments amounting to at least $3 million while keeping them for three years, would also be granted Turkish citizenship.
On the same trend, last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said skilled Syrian and Iraqi refugees currently working on the black market would be granted citizenship if the pass security tests.
The European Union demanded Turkey to ease finding work for Syrian refugees which in theory could decrease number of refugees going to Europe.
The demand was a major one in negotiations over Turkey’s long accession process to join the EU as the bloc faces the worst migration crisis since World War II.
Meanwhile, the lira has been put under strain by the string of terror attacks in Turkey, doubts about the sustainability of growth and worries about political instability as Erdogan drives for a presidential system.
The lira slumped to 4.0 against the dollar to pull back 0.2 percent and to trade at 3.8 lira a dollar.