Turks thrilled as Germany’s dual citizenship law to take effect June 27

Mon, 3 Jun 2024 8:24 GMT
The Turkish diaspora in Germany is eager to retain their citizenship as the country’s new citizenship law comes into force later on June 27.
Turks thrilled as Germany’s dual citizenship law to take effect June 27

“With this law, members of the Turkish community in Germany will now be able to retain their German citizenship and regain their Turkish citizenship,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday.

All Turkish consulates in Germany will be prepared to receive and process applications on the aforementioned date.

“The Turkish community in Germany has been awaiting this legislation for many years. It’s also a positive, meaningful and valuable development for Turkish-German relations,” the ministry added.

The Turkish diaspora welcomed the move when it was announced late last year as “the best decision” and “essential for those who want to retain their rights in both countries.”

Germany is home to the world's biggest Turkish community overseas, with more than 3.5 million people. Turks are the largest community of migrants in Europe. Most of them are descendants of "guest workers" invited to rebuild postwar Germany.

The new law enables dual citizenship for multiple nationalities and enhances the social and political participation of immigrants in Germany.

Children born in Germany to foreign parents will be able to acquire German citizenship if at least one parent has lived legally in the country for at least five years. These children will also be able to keep their parents' citizenship.

Currently, over 12 million people in Germany – around 14% of the total population – do not possess German citizenship. Around 5.3 million of them have been living in the country for at least 10 years, according to official figures.

Many of them had been reluctant to apply for German citizenship in the past due to tedious bureaucratic procedures, strict regulations and restrictions on holding dual citizenship.

Around 2 million Turks want to acquire German citizenship; many see Germany as their “second nation.”

Others have welcomed the new law but criticized the lengthy procedure and the years it took, lamenting that it would have been “better if the two states had agreed on it earlier” when Turkish immigrants working in Germany were ferrying back and forth between the countries in the 60s.

Reform of German citizenship law was a centerpiece of the coalition agreement when Social Democrats, the Greens and liberal Free Democrats formed a three-way coalition government two years ago.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly said that speeding up the naturalization process and allowing multiple citizenship for immigrants would enhance integration and social and political participation.


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