The headlines in Turkey were shocking: a military coup was underway, threatening to overthrow the government. While the coup was unsuccessful, it had, and is still having, a major impact on the everyday lives of the people who call Turkey home. Hundreds died in the violence surrounding the coup, and now a government crackdown has left residents of Turkey on edge.
While the coup was unsuccessful, following the coup Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is cracking down on anyone suspected to be involved in the attempt to overthrow the government. While these measures may be necessary, they can encroach upon the rights of many citizens. In situations like this, many residents who have the right to live in another country might look into exercising those rights. For those who don’t it is advisable to have a back-up plan.
Citizenship by Investment and Residence by Investment
Fortunately, there are many countries that allow citizenship by investment. The most desired countries are those with a more stable political climate such as Cyprus and Malta in Europe. Furthermore, many European mainland countries offer Residence by Investment solutions. Examples include Germany, where business investors invest in an own a company in the country. Through this route they can receive a residence permit in Germany. Portugal offers a Golden Residence Permit Program to those willing to invest at least 500,000 Euros in an apartment or house. Other examples include: Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom, which offer well-known residence schemes for High Net Worth Individuals.
Instability as a threat
For those who stay, here is an idea of that post-coup Turkey will look like, at least for the following few months. The government has declared a state of emergency. When a government declares a state of emergency it has increased rights, rights that some say limit personal freedoms and democracy. For one, the President has increased power. He can quickly pass laws that would normally require a long parliamentary approval process. He can ban the distribution of media including papers, fliers, magazines as well as any television and radio broadcasts.
The government can also implement curfews and restrictions on public events, declaring private and public areas off limits, they can restrict meetings and government-backed security forces do not need authorization to search people. While these security efforts are meant to tackle a looming “threat to democracy,” they impose changes and restrictions that may leave regular citizens feeling threatened.
A Residence Permit as a Safe Harbour
While this coup was unsuccessful, it brings to the forefront how lives can be changed in an instant and shows the benefit offered to those who hold the right to live and work in another country, a right that through investments, is accessible to many. In general it is highly advisable for residents of unstable countries to be prepared with a back-up plan that allows instant relocation to one’s safe harbour.