Wealthy Russians and oligarchs are said to buy up to 4 apartments at a time in Turkey in a bid to get ‘golden passports’

  • Wealthy Russians are buying up to 4 apartments at a time in Turkey, the WSJ reported.

  • Foreigners who buy real estate worth $250,000 can obtain Turkish citizenship in just three months.

  • Turkey’s foreign minister has previously said oligarchs are welcome to legally invest in the country.

Wealthy Russians, ‘some of them oligarchs’, are buying up to 4 apartments in Turkey at a time in order to qualify for citizenship there, says the CEO of Turkey-based real estate firm Golden Sign. Istanbul, at the Wall Street Journal.

Gül Gül, CEO of Golden Sign, previously told Reuters that his company sold seven to eight units to Russians “every day”, and said they often paid cash or “bring gold”.

At the time, she told Reuters her clients were wealthy Russians, not oligarchs. However, she later told the Journal that “some” are. Golden Sign did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Like many countries, Turkey has an investment program for citizenship, commonly known as the “golden passport” or “golden visa”. Turkey’s program grants citizenship to foreign investors who purchase real estate worth at least $250,000 and agree to hold it for at least three years.

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Investors – including wealthy Russians seeking to evade sanctions – can then obtain a Turkish passport in as little as three months, one of the fastest turnaround times in Europe.

Russian investment in Turkey has increased so much since the invasion of Ukraine that Russian customers in Gaul now outnumber her previous clientele, she told the Journal.

In addition to apartments, Turkey has proven a popular location for the superyachts of oligarchs like Roman Abramovich. While the country denounced the war against Ukraine, it chose not to sanction Russia, creating a physical and financial haven for the oligarchs and their assets.

In the last week of March, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russian oligarchs were welcome in the country, as long as they respect international law.

“We apply UN-approved sanctions, so if Russian citizens want to visit Turkey, of course, they can visit Turkey. Now Russians come to visit Turkey, it’s not a problem,” he said. he told CNBC.

When asked if the sanctioned oligarchs can do business in the country, Cavusoglu added: “If you mean these oligarchs can do any business in Turkey, then of course if it’s legal and it’s not against international law, I’ll look into it.

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