Germany Reforms Citizenship Law: Expected Surge in Naturalization Applications from Turkish Community

Berlin, Germany – The recent citizenship law reform in Germany is expected to prompt a surge of naturalization applications from the Turkish community. According to the Turkish Community in Germany organization, approximately 50,000 individuals with Turkish heritage are projected to seek naturalization in the coming years. This follows the passage of a new law by Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, which aims to streamline the citizenship process and facilitate dual nationality.

Gökay Sofuoglu, the head of the Turkish Community in Germany, expressed confidence in the long-term impact of the new legislation. Sofuoglu believes that eventually, all 1.5 million Turkish citizens residing in Germany who do not currently hold German citizenship will attain dual nationality. However, he also raised concerns about the capacity of German authorities to process the influx of applications, given their existing workload.

The Turkish diaspora in Germany has a rich history dating back to the 1960s when Turkish individuals were recruited by German companies to support the nation’s post-war reconstruction efforts. Today, an estimated 3 million individuals of Turkish heritage call Germany home. Out of this population, approximately 1.5 million are still Turkish citizens. Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged the contribution of these individuals and emphasized Germany’s commitment to their integration within society.

The new citizenship law introduces a shorter path to German citizenship for foreign residents. Under the revised legislation, individuals living in Germany can become eligible for citizenship after five years, instead of the previous requirement of eight years. In cases where applicants demonstrate exceptional integration, naturalization may be possible as early as three years. Furthermore, the law also aims to relax restrictions on dual nationality.

As Germany looks to foster greater inclusivity, the citizenship law reform reflects the nation’s acknowledgement of the valuable contribution made by its diverse population. With an increasing number of immigrants seeking naturalization, the government will face the challenge of effectively processing these applications in a timely manner. However, the revised legislation is expected to play a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging for individuals of Turkish origin in Germany.