It’s a little known fact that the word turquoise derives from the word turkey. If like most people you think the bird is a little dry and unappetising, then the cool turquoisy blue of the Turkish seaside is probably a much more attractive prospect. If you want these crystal clear waters on your doorstep you might choose to apply for the “Turquoise Card”. The card, which officially became law in March, enables foreign residents to work there indefinitely.
According to Turkey's Ministry for Labour and Social Security, the “Turquoise Card” provides a foreign resident with many of the same rights as a Turkish citizen, although without the right to vote or the responsibility of doing military service.
So who can apply?
1) those highly qualified, or through their valuable contributions to science and technology;
2) investors who contribute to the Turkish economy, through employment and exports;
3) researchers in the fields of industry, science and technology;
4) those considered to be internationally renowned for their artistic, cultural and sports
5) those contributing to Turkey's international interests.
A points system is used by the ministry to grant the Turquoise Card. Successful applicants will gain privileged citizenship rights and work permits, with residence permits also granted to their spouses and dependents.
To obtain a card you must lodge your application via Turkish Embassies in your home country or, if already living in Turkey, via the Labour Ministry. The card will be granted for a temporary period covering the first years, until full approval is given, when it’s moved to an indefinite period.
If playing sport to international level is a little beyond you current capabilities, you will be pleased to hear that if anyone doesn’t believe they can get the card they can still apply for a residence of up to two years, or if they have lived in the country for more than eight years already, a 'lifetime' residence.
None of this will affect property buyers who don’t need to work in Turkey. If you simply want to live there or own property, you can do that without the card.