Preparing for sanctions as a citizen of Turkey

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trr

New member
Hi, I am very happy that I discovered this website. I'm in a weird position and I'd really appreciate advice from experienced members.

I am able to write this post and develop these questions after literally more than 1000 hours of research over past 2 years about international taxation, sanctions, historical examples, geopolitics, talking with people from various countries on random forums. So I mean if you want to help me figure this out, I'd be grateful.

My position
-Citizen and resident of TR
-Financial accounts in US and EU. This is my only safety net. I don't have a support network like many others. So I don't want to bring my money to TR as I don't trust the government.
-Working on getting a residency from Latin America which has minimal maintenance requirements. If there are sanctions, plan is to go there and apply for naturalization after some years. Great passport but bad reputation.
-Can't afford to spend $100K on a citizenship
-I prefer to live in TR as long as I can. Mainly because of not having enough money and people usually like the country they grew up in, but I am mobile & can leave any day.
-TR is high tax on paper but its practically a tax haven if your business and accounts are offshore thanks to tax amnesties they publish every few years. They say "We'll close the books if you bring your money to TR and pay us a few percent". I don't.

My questions
1. Do you think I should get a citizenship as soon as possible, or stay in TR as long as I can?
2. I'm planning to open a new US bank account using my new residency even if I live in TR. Is this pointless if there are sanctions? Also is IRS ok with this? 2 different permanent residence addresses (and maybe FTIN) on W8 at different banks
3. Do you think I need a EU citizenship? PT wants 5 years on temp residency before you apply for the citizenship.
4. Would I stay under the radar, if I make $20K/yr with US account & US business and if I don't touch the money for 5 years? Right now I'm not making any money and not invested in equities, so maybe I should move to PT now and figure this out later?
5. After sanctions, I am assuming US/EU bank accounts close down your accounts based on your residency. Can I update my residency info remotely to not get effected after the sanctions? I guess not?

Details about TR and sanctions
I think probability of Russian level sanctions on Turkey in next 20 years is somewhere between 5% and 50%.
Sanctions are likely because
- You might not understand the severity of Turkey's position, if you're not Turkish with enough understanding of psychology, which in my experience is required to make accurate sense of any complex human behavior. So let me explain it. To me it often seems like TR is led by a government whose job description is to destroy Turkey, as in weaken the state, weaken the military, weaken the education system, decrease percentage of good genes in society, decrease amount of good engineers/doctors/etc, weaken the culture, weaken the society, prevent locals from reproducing, replace them with foreign groups who has no interest in integrating with society, decrease trust in society, crush average local's sprit from every possible angle, make people turn against their country, export talent and big earners to the west, import leeches... while appearing friendly to locals and muslims using religion and religious PR. They seem extremely successful at doing their job.
- TR is part of NATO but the government might leave NATO. TR probably wouldn't even need to leave NATO for the trouble to appear, since a contract is just a paper unless you have enough power to enforce it and TR being part of NATO might not mean anything.
- People are ready to believe in everything they see on the media, as we've recently seen. The amount of anti-Turk propoganda in the media over many decades would make most of the world celebrate the west attacking Turkey. Seems like they have everything in place in case they want to attack. They can decide that Turkey invaded say Greece anytime they want and people will believe it when they hear about it from all media companies and their favorite influencers. Sanctions might come after Turkey attacks or "attacks" another state or after TR turns into Syria (invaded, bombed).
- If this is how treat Russians, I can't imagine how they'd treat Turks. Russians are after all more similar to the west in terms of religion, culture, ethnicity.
Sanctions are unlikely because
1. We live in a highly interconnected world. Interests of groups are interconnected such that it's in our best interest if we don't kill each other.
2. Maybe TR is a puppet state but they're also trying to do whats good for locals when they can it seems like. So they're like a double agent in a way. I say this because they are doing some things right. E.g TR feels safer than US in daily life. I can write more examples if you like.
 
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Martin Everson

Offshore Retiree
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Well glad your not the only one thinking about future sanctions. I did my own thread on the topic here for my country and risk of sanctions. It is a risk that people in developing countries are really looking at now.

1. Do you think I should get a citizenship as soon as possible, or stay in TR as long as I can?

Yes or at least a second residency. You don't necessarily need to become a citizen of another state to live there.

2. I'm planning to open a new US bank account using my new residency even if I live in TR. Is this pointless if there are sanctions? Also is IRS ok with this? 2 different permanent residence addresses (and maybe FTIN) on W8 at different banks

If there are sanctions it will be most likely coming from US. Your walking into the lions mouth with such a move of maintaining the account in US during such a period.

3. Do you think I need a EU citizenship? PT wants 5 years on temp residency before you apply for the citizenship.

You need a second residency. Does not have to be EU. But if you fancy PT then go for it.

4. Would I stay under the radar, if I make $20K/yr with US account & US business and if I don't touch the money for 5 years? Right now I'm not making any money and not invested in equities, so maybe I should move to PT now and figure this out later?

You wouldn't fly under radar. If Turkey suddenly went under severe sanctions then US banks may voluntarily not maintain accounts for Turkish residents. Maybe having an address in neighboring Georgia or Armenia may help. For example over 35k Russian IT workers moved to Georgia after sanctions on Russia for example so it does work. You can try PT but figure things out first before taking any action.

5. After sanctions, I am assuming US/EU bank accounts close down your accounts based on your residency. Can I update my residency info remotely to not get effected after the sanctions? I guess not?

They will close your account based on type of sanctions once they are announced. Many banks will not let you update your address once sanctions are announced as that is aiding circumvention of sanctions. You would want to ideally make changes before sanctions are in effect.


think probability of Russian level sanctions on Turkey in next 20 years is somewhere between 5% and 50%.

Turkey already has some Trump era sanctions because of purchase of S-400 from Russia. And EU has some cause of drilling activity in eastern Mediterranean. So yes there are many areas of conflict and potential for any situation to spark more sanctions on Turkey.

From reading your post you are clearly aware of the geopolitics and potential situations in play for sanctions to be harshly put on ordinary Turkish people.

However sanctions on Turkey will just push them into hands or Russia. I don't think Turkey will leave NATO as that is only card they have to prevent harsher action being taken against them. You guys have a US base with nukes on your soil. But tensions may rise over the Kurd or YPG/PKK situation with Turkey seeing them as terrorist while US sees anyone who helped them against ISIS or Assad in the Syria as rebels or freedom fighters.

It's sad but its clear the west i.e EU/US do not want Erdogan in power. After the last failed coup attempt by allegedly Gulen based in US. One can only say it was green lighted by US. As nothing like that gets organized in US without US government knowing or being involved. They have a history of such activity.

But lets not digress. Good luck and just find a second address or at very least have an exit plan.
 

trr

New member
My advice is to stay away from the EU
Can I ask why? It seems smart to be a resident and/or citizen of a country thats a long term ally to the west/US. Even if EU stops existing, PT would still be an ally.

Your walking into the lions mouth with such a move of maintaining the account in US during such a period.
They might close down accounts or take your money based on place of birth?
I thought best place to keep your money would be the US, since they control the world and they only care about profit.

But if there's an actual war between TR and west, I guess they'd just take my money and spend it for weapons. Like what they did with Japan.

You wouldn't fly under radar. If Turkey suddenly went under severe sanctions then US banks may voluntarily not maintain accounts for Turkish residents. Maybe having an address in neighboring Georgia or Armenia may help. For example over 35k Russian IT workers moved to Georgia after sanctions on Russia for example so it does work. You can try PT but figure things out first before taking any action.
Say I set up a US LLC and US bank account with an address in Georgia. Then I move to PT and become a tax resident of PT. So in that case would I be ok? (Since I'm not rich enough for them care about me)

I've seen western digital nomads being on NHR with US LLC & US account. They pay no tax to PT on that and they don't declare it because they are on NHR (they don't know about effective management rules or they pretend not to know).
Some people say PT is corrupt even their lawyers do this sort of thing, so this is fine as long as you are not rich and making 20K/yr is not rich. But some people say PT is just as strict as Sweden and Germany.
After 5 years I'd qualify for citizenship, then I'd leave PT. I'd be a resident of a Latin American country or somewhere like Georgia

Do you think that would be a good idea?

I thought at worst case scenario (you can only bank in countries you're a citizen or resident of), I can keep my money in PT as a non-resident citizen.
From my research, banks in Latin American countries and countries like Georgia are not reliable. E.g Argentina took people's money in 2001 default. Mexico has many news of banks losing people's money.
 
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Martin Everson

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They might close down accounts or take your money based on place of birth?

That should not happen. As for example there is nearly a million Turkish people who hold the Turkish passport living in Germany alone. It would be a disastrous policy to for EU especially to do such a crazy thing and would be likely illegal under EU law and not to mention unethical.

I thought best place to keep your money would be the US, since they control the world and they only care about profit.

But if there's an actual war between TR and west, I guess they'd just take my money and spend it for weapons. Like what they did with Japan.

Conflict between Turkey and west which is unlikely as Turkey is a NATO member and that would be very odd situation. However if any conflict did happen look to the playbook of what they did to Russia. EU would just turn a blind eye while US will funnel weapons and CIA training to YPG/PKK to destabilize Turkey internally. In reality US will just do what they did to Imran Khan in Pakistan in first instance with plausible deniability.

Say I set up a US LLC and US bank account with an address in Georgia. Then I move to PT and become a tax resident of PT. So in that case would I be ok? (Since I'm not rich enough for them care about me)

I get it that you want to use US probably because of no CRS. Any other reason why US? There is no more advantage over using EU Banks for example. If CRS is an issue then Armenia is not part of CRS and is next door to you also. You got HSBC there.


I've seen western digital nomads being on NHR with US LLC & US account. They pay no tax to PT on that and they don't declare it because they are on NHR (they don't know about effective management rules or they pretend not to know).
Some people say PT is corrupt even their lawyers do this sort of thing, so this is fine as long as you are not rich and making 20K/yr is not rich. But some people say PT is just as strict as Sweden and Germany.
After 5 years I'd qualify for citizenship, then I'd leave PT. I'd be a resident of a Latin American country or somewhere like Georgia

Do you think that would be a good idea?

Can't comment on US LLC part as I don't involve myself with anything US. However idea sounds ok on paper.

From my research, banks in Latin American countries and countries like Georgia are not reliable. E.g Argentina took people's money in 2001 default. Mexico has many news of banks losing people's money.

That's a general problem with banking in developing countries sadly.
 
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trr

New member
idea sounds ok on paper.
I wish there was a way to know how strict PT is. Maybe no tax means no citizenship, even if you've been spending your money there for 5 years and pass the tests

I get it that you want to use US probably because of no CRS. Any other reason why US? There is no more advantage over using EU Banks for example. If CRS is an issue then Armenia is not part of CRS and is next door to you also. You got HSBC there.
Did I get this right?
Keep your new income activity in somewhere like Armenia instead of US
Use US as a safe country to keep your money
If PT requests info from US or TR, they'd see nothing weird

Any other reason why US? There is no more advantage over using EU Banks for example.
Not really. Do you think EU banks are better, if yes how? They both follow sanctions

If you have less than $10-20M net worth then you are overthinking.
Do you mind elaborating? I have MUCH less than that
 

Martin Everson

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Keep your new income activity in somewhere like Armenia instead of US
Use US as a safe country to keep your money
If PT requests info from US or TR, they'd see nothing weird

Ah ok you mean keep your banking in US while living in PT. That's not an issue then as long as US does not put sanctions.

Not really. Do you think EU banks are better, if yes how? They both follow sanctions

You answered with a question but anyway the answer is no. And EU follows US sanctions they have a subordinate relationship with US.
 
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trr

New member
Ah ok you mean keep your banking in US while living in PT. That's not an issue then as long as US does not put sanctions.



You answered with a question but anyway the answer is no. And EU follows US sanctions they have a subordinate relationship with US.
Yeah. If they put sanctions, the US account with TR address would get effected, the US account with PT address wouldn't get effected, right?
I think I answered with a no other reason than CRS. FATCA is supposed to be two way though, so maybe it's pointless.

could you PM me kardeşim.
I can't see any option to PM. Can you?
 

Martin Everson

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Yeah. If they put sanctions, the US account with TR address would get effected, the US account with PT address wouldn't get effected, right?

Correct unless bank moves you into high risk category for cross border banking based on nationality. i.e a North Koreans living in PT would unikely be able to hold a US account....lol.
 
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trr

New member
I did more research and it looks like buying a Caribbean passport costs less than getting a PT citizenship if you consider cost of living and extra taxes over the years.
So maybe I should get a residency from a cheap country instead of EU and wait until I can afford to buy a passport instead of spending the same amount of money living in EU for many years.

Any thoughts?
 

Martin Everson

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So maybe I should get a residency from a cheap country instead of EU and wait until I can afford to buy a passport instead of spending the same amount of money living in EU for many years.

Any thoughts?

A second passport makes sense. It can be a very good insurance policy not only for you but your kids down the line for example.
 

joffreylol

Active Member
Yes, but imo passport from an EU country like Portugal is more useful for traveling (and working inside EU) visa free than any Caribbean passport you can buy.
 

Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
I did more research and it looks like buying a Caribbean passport costs less than getting a PT citizenship if you consider cost of living and extra taxes over the years.
So maybe I should get a residency from a cheap country instead of EU and wait until I can afford to buy a passport instead of spending the same amount of money living in EU for many years.

Any thoughts?
Pricing comparison from a Sovereign Man email:

CBI Programs.png


If you have children, it is worthwhile to research the citizenship by descent for each program for children and grandchildren. Not all programs are the same in that regard.
 

Martin Everson

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Yes, but imo passport from an EU country like Portugal is more useful for traveling (and working inside EU) visa free than any Caribbean passport you can buy.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious that an EU passport is better in EU for travel and work than a non-EU passport :rolleyes:.
 

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