The Journey Begins

Unfortunately, going to Istanbul every time we need to complete paperwork is not an option from where we live in Seattle, much though we would love it.

To complete the first step of our CBI journey, we needed to give our Turkish attorney power (power of attorney) to open Turkish bank accounts for us and deal with some of the paperwork. We are represented by the Los Angeles embassy, so we went down there in mid-March. As a former Southern California resident, I was not upset by this, since I was able to drive around and reminisce as well as getting work done.

Off we go!
Tacos. Siempre. When in LA…

Was this as much of a food adventure as a CBI/work journey? Maybe…

Indeed… this was one of my favorite places in Newport when I went to UCI a gazillion years ago, and they’re still going strong. Bagels not quite NY-level, but far better than what you can get here in Seattle.

This says it all. What numbskull decides to start construction on a major road on a Monday morning? We thought we were so prepared, even driving the route to the Embassy the night before to get a sense of the gotchas along the local roads. But the very next day — yep, they’d torn up the road, which made traffic ten times worse.

Luckily, we’d more than doubled Google Maps’ estimate to get there, and only ran 10 minutes late. For such an important appointment, we weren’t taking chances.

This was a Turkish government facility, so I didn’t take any pictures inside. But I just had to sneak one picture before going in to document this historic event. Note the Turkish flag on the door — we knew we were in the right place!

While inside, we spent a lot of time talking to an interpreter, walking back and forth between the seating area and the officials, and just waiting until we were needed for questions. (We should’ve taken a picture of the interpreter, who was wonderful. She was originally from Istanbul, and told us that she thought LA was slow-paced. )

In the end, we officially signed over POA to our attorney in Istanbul successfully. But we were lucky — our interpreter was told that we were the last foreigners allowed to have an appointment before the May Turkish elections. Since it was mid-March when we set this up, that delay likely would’ve killed our CBI process. Glad that we squeezed through all of the traffic!

Once that was taken care of, we spent some time at the breezy, but still beautiful, Manhattan Beach pier.

Step one complete! Now, on to putting money in the account, and selecting our properties…


Why Becoming Turkish?

Simply put, my husband Bruce and I love the country Turkiye. The people, the hospitality, the culture, the food… everything about it!

On our second long trip to the country, in mid-August 2021, Bruce and I sat in Story Café in the Moda district of Istanbul enjoying a treat. We said to each other – “what would it take to live here?”

Before finishing my cappuccino, I took to Google, figuring out visa requirements and how long Americans were allowed to stay in the country. The regular travelers’ visa would give us 90 days in Turkiye over a 180-day period. Great, we thought, we like enough of eastern Europe that we could jump back and forth to there, spending six months total in the region per year.

Sitting at Story Cafe in Moda with cookie

The infamous day at Story Cafe in Moda with the matcha/strawberry chip cookie, when we wondered: What if?

But what if that wasn’t enough?

Toward the end of the trip, we learned about the CBI (Citizenship By Investment) program. Turkiye isn’t the only country that has this type of program; other countries refer to it as a Golden Visa or something similar. It’s more or less a way to make an investment in a country to receive a second passport.

In our case, the second passport would allow us easier access to a country we love dearly: Turkiye. And, while all CBI or Golden Visa programs come in slightly different flavors, Turkiye’s requires that the applicant invests in property in the country. In the end, we will not only have our passports, but we will also own property that will hopefully give us some return on our investment!

Want more details on the Turkish CBI? That’s coming next time.