The European Union may be unwilling to grant a full membership to Turkey but Turks have come up with a new way to gatecrash, thanks to their ancestors.
A new craze over a recently introduced free genealogy service also paved the way for a new trend: Applying for dual citizenship in European countries. Many people after discovering that they had a grandmother or grandfather who had migrated from the Balkan countries, have rushed to apply for dual citizenship, reported the Turkish-language daily, Türkiye. Turkey is home to a large number of migrants from Bulgaria, Romania and other countries that were once ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish government recently introduced a free service in its e-governance site that enabled citizens to inquire data about their forefathers, up until the 19th century. It allows users to inquire the names, birthplace, dates of birth and death of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Initially, the site repeatedly crashed after millions of Turkish citizens flocked to use the service.
Some found out that their ancestors were not "migrants" as they long thought while others discovered that their grandfathers or grandmothers had migrated from Bulgaria, Bosnia, Greece and Romania.
Even though no exact data on the number of applicants is available, several law firms have started putting out online ads that offer consultation for dual citizenship inquiries.
Greece is the only exception in dual citizenship as the country does not grant citizenship to descendants of those who migrated to Turkey as part of a population exchange in the 1920s. Still, Turkish citizens with a living ancestor who has a valid Greek ID can apply for dual citizenship.