Challenges in Name Change During and After the Acquisition of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Cover image depicting the theme of name change in Turkish citizenship by investment

Obtaining new citizenship is a transformative life event, rich with legal and administrative complexities. Integral to this journey is the option to change one’s name—a choice that is as personal as it is intricate. The act of altering one’s name, especially in the context of acquiring Turkish citizenship through investment, involves a nuanced interplay of legal, cultural, and personal factors.

The process of name change during Turkish citizenship acquisition presents a unique set of challenges. It’s not just about the legal procedures that vary from country to country; it’s also about navigating the cultural implications in Turkey, a nation with a profound heritage and distinct identity norms.

This introduction delves into the realms of legal requirements, cultural sensitivities, and personal identity shifts that accompany the name change decision in Turkey. It highlights the practical aspects, such as adjustments in official documentation and the effects on personal and social relationships.

Legal Framework and Bureaucratic Challenges in Turkish Name Changes:

Changing one’s name necessitates navigating a maze of legal and administrative procedures. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations that regulate name changes, which might vary greatly. Individuals seeking a name change as part of the process of getting new citizenship may become entangled in bureaucratic red tape, suffering stressful and time-consuming delays and obstacles.

Dual citizenship is allowed according to Turkish law. It is defined in Article 3/b of the Turkish Citizenship Law No. 5901 and the granting of this dual citizenship right has made it attractive for investors to apply for Turkish citizenship without losing their previous citizenship/s. Some investors also prefer to acquire Turkish citizenship by taking a Turkish name without having to give any reason when applying for Turkish citizenship through investment.

Application for the name change is made when an investor is applying for the citizenship, during this stage a completely new name can be chosen but it has to be written with Latin alphabet and must not include any non-Turkish letters like W or X. Once the duly made application is confirmed, the investor will be given a Turkish ID-Number and the requested name and can apply for the Turkish ID card and passport after giving their finger prints and making the necessary payments.

Taking into consideration that once the name is assigned to the investor, another name change process will require some legal actions to be taken. In Turkey such name change would require a lawsuit and a just cause to change the name back to the prior one or to another name. The lawsuit has to be filed at the civil court of first instance and such a lawsuit takes around 6-9 months on average.

In practice most of the problems arise when investors change their names and try to make bank transfers from their original countries with the names that they have with their other nationalities. The compliance departments of banks have rejected some of such transactions due to the names not matching on some instances. The second most common problem in practice is problems arising from the proof of family lineage with other family members that did not apply for the Turkish citizenship due to names not matching with their relatives from their previous citizenship/s.

Considerations for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity:

Names have different meanings in different cultures, and what may be a simple process in one place may be laden with cultural and linguistic issues in another. In the new cultural setting, a name that has profound cultural or familial importance in the individual’s home country may face opposition or misunderstanding. Furthermore, linguistic variations may cause difficulties in translating and adapting names between languages, sometimes leading to misinterpretations or unintended meanings.

Managing Documentation and Records Post-Name Change in Turkey:

A name change necessitates the update of numerous official papers, such as passports, identification cards, and other legal records. Ensuring that all documents appropriately reflect the new name can be a time-consuming and tedious procedure. Any inconsistencies or omissions in documents may cause issues in legal matters, travel, and day-to-day activities.

Social and Personal Impact:

Changing one’s name is a personal and social procedure as well as a legal one. Individuals may suffer difficulties as a result of how others view their new identity. Friends, family, and coworkers may require time to acclimate to the shift, and misunderstandings or miscommunications may occur, negatively impacting personal relationships and professional encounters.

Financial Implications of Turkish Name Changes:

Legal fees, administrative expenses, and the necessity to update identifying documents are all common costs associated with changing one’s name. These financial ramifications might be a burden for people who have already dealt with the costs of getting a new citizenship. Some people may face difficulties as a result of the accumulating financial hardship.


In conclusion, while changing one’s name during and after the acquisition of a new citizenship can be a meaningful and personal choice, it is essential to recognize and address the potential challenges that may arise.

In navigating these legal challenges, individuals seeking a name change while acquiring Turkish citizenship may find it beneficial to seek legal advice or assistance to ensure compliance with Turkish law and a smoother transition through the bureaucratic procedures. Legal professionals familiar with the Turkish legal system can provide guidance on the specific requirements and processes involved in changing one’s name during the citizenship acquisition process.

Select Language »