Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Dual Nationality

U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Turkey are subject to Turkish laws

Turkish-U.S. dual nationals may also be subject to additional laws that impose special obligations on Turkish citizens. Before traveling to Turkey, Turkish-U.S. dual nationals and U.S. citizens of Turkish origin or ancestry are strongly advised to check with the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate for special laws that may apply. 

Dual nationality, the simultaneous possession of two citizenships, is possible because there are no uniform rules of international law relating to the acquisition of nationality. Each country has its own laws regarding nationality, and its nationality is conferred upon individuals on the basis of its own independent domestic policy. Individuals may have dual nationality by choice or by automatic operation of these different and sometimes conflicting laws.

The laws of Turkey provide for acquisition of Turkish citizenship based on one's descent--by birth to a Turkish citizen parent or parents in Turkey and also by birth abroad to a Turkish citizen parent or parents -- regardless of the other nationalities a person might acquire at birth. Children born in Turkey of U.S. citizen parents do not have a claim to Turkish citizenship unless one of the parents is a Turkish citizen. The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect Turkish citizenship nor does the automatic acquisition of Turkish nationality affect U.S. citizenship. Turkish laws do not contain any provisions requiring citizens who are born with dual nationality to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults. 

When a child acquires Turkish citizenship, the parents are expected to register the birth with the Nufus Mudurlugu (Vital Statistics Office) having jurisdiction over the place where the birth occurred. Children born abroad to Turkish parents should be registered with the Turkish Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the place of birth. The Turkish Consulate forwards such registrations to appropriate "nufus" office through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Those neglecting to register abroad may encounter difficulties making the appropriate registration when they return to Turkey.

Naturalization and loss of Turkish citizenship is controlled by the "Nufus ve Vatandaslik Isleri Genel Mudurlugu (Vital Statistics Office), a department of the Ministry of Interior, and is located at Camlica Mahallesi, 1. Ciftlik Caddesi No. 136, Lalegul, Demetevler, Ankara, telephone number (0312) 591-2100 or 591-2166. This Directorate has offices throughout Turkey. 

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Turkish citizens to have other nationalities, the Turkish Government requires that those who apply for another nationality inform appropriate Turkish officials (nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate abroad) along with the original Naturalization Certificate, Turkish birth certificate, document showing completion of military service (for males), marriage certificate (if applicable), and four photographs. 

Claims of other countries upon dual national U.S. citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the other. It is generally considered that while dual nationals are in the other country, of which they are citizens, that country has a predominant claim on them. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them when they are abroad. For instance, the Government of Turkey will not permit any Turkish-American dual national arrested in Turkey to contact American officials. 

Like Americans who possess only U.S. citizenship, dual national U.S. citizens owe allegiance to the United States and are obligated to obey its laws and regulations. Such persons usually have certain obligations to Turkey as well. Although failure to fulfill such obligations may have no adverse effect on dual nationals while in the United States, dual nationals might be forced to comply with those obligations or pay a penalty if they return to Turkey. For instance, visiting male U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who are also considered to be Turkish citizens are likely subject to conscription and compulsory military service upon arrival, and to other aspects of Turkish law while in Turkey. In cases where dual Turkey-U.S. nationals encounter difficulty in Turkey, the ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide assistance may be quite limited, since Turkey does not recognize a dual national's claim to U.S. citizenship.

Turkish-American dual nationals are required to use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the U.S. Likewise, Turkish officials expect you to enter and leave Turkey on a Turkish passport. Use of both passports does not endanger either citizenship.

Contact Information