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Investment Options For Refugees

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Investment Options For Refugees

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1. Having refugee status alone does not constitute a barrier to invest in Turkey. In determining the conditions for investment in Turkey, the legal basis has been prepared by mostly regulating investment conditions and quality of investment. Apart from this, refugees are subject to the same supervision and regulations as other foreign investors. [1] Revisions have been made, and costs and procedures have been minimized in these processes for foreigners to be able to invest or engage in commercial enterprise in Turkey.

2. Identity card holders[2] mentioned above can open a bank account and apply to the necessary authorities within the scope of their commercial transactions.

3. In this respect, establishment of companies are now held only in Trade Registry Offices that operate in the Chambers of Commerce and are designed as “one-stop offices” and can be completed on same day. [3] It is possible to establish one-person Limited liable Company with just 10.000,00 TRL Capital. Also, at the beginning it ¼ of the capital should be deposited to the bank and the balance Capital need to be completed in two years. More detail may be found in Turkish Commercial Code[4] and the related legislation. It is also possible to register unlimited company in person before the chamber of commerce. There is no limitation to be a partner or shareholder for refugees in any kind of commercial partnership.

4. For the commercial transaction and/or personal needs, refuges may lease or own a land with the condition of reciprocity.

5. There is no restriction to lease or own moveable and/ or personal property.

6. The refugee or the subsidiary protection beneficiary, upon being granted the status, may work independently or be employed, without prejudice to the provisions stipulated in other legislation restricting foreigners to engage in certain jobs and professions. The identity document to be issued to a refugee or a subsidiary protection beneficiary shall also substitute for a work permit and this information shall be written on the document. (LFIP art. 89/4-b)

7. In addition, the incentive program for entrepreneurs is carried out by the Republic of Turkey.


The aim of the FDI Law is to encourage foreign direct investments, protect the rights of the foreign investors, align the definitions of an investor and investment with international standards, transform the approval-based system into a notification-based system for foreign direct investments, and to increase the volume of foreign direct investments through streamlined policies.

Direct foreign capital investments are defined as investments to produce goods and services, which are realized by one or more international investors with their own resources or by partnering with domestic companies. [5]

Within the scope of FDI Law;

  • Foreign investors are free to make foreign direct investments in Turkey.
  • Foreign investors shall be subject to equal treatment with domestic investors.
  • These two principles are guaranteed by the law for the investments of immigrants.


Turkey has signed Double Taxation Prevention Treaties with 80 countries[6], which enables tax paid in one of two countries to be offset against tax payable in the other, thus preventing double taxation.


A Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the European Union has been in effect since 1996. This agreement allows trade between Turkey and the EU countries without any customs restrictions.

The agreement provides the possibility to establish a company in Turkey in accordance with local legislation and do business with EU within the scope of the agreement.


Turkey can provide many regional, sectoral and strategic incentives and support to foreign investors in terms of investment policies. Each investment type and objective are evaluated separately as they are very detailed. Some of the supports are covered partly by the EU funding.

For example, Turkey is divided into 6 incentive regions. Investors bearing the criteria are exempt from customs duty and value added tax if they invest in these regions.These investors can allocate land by the government to establish a production facility.

Similarly, there is a wide range of support and incentive practices according to the size of the investment and the products and services to be produced within the scope of the investment.


[2]LFIP art. 76, 83, 89/4-b




[6] These countries are; Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Yemen

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