Austria - Constitutional Court, case no. 2010/01/0061

In order to acquire Austrian nationality, the applicant renounced her Turkish nationality in 1997. Over a decade later it came to light that she has re-acquired Turkish nationality in 1998, which according to Austrian law resulted in automatic loss of the Austrian nationality. She renounced her Turkish nationality again in 2009, but in 2010 the Austrian authorities confirmed that she was no longer Austrian since 1998. The Court found that this was not in violation of Austria's obligation to avoid statelessness since the applicant's statelessness was not caused by a decision of the  Austrian authorities. 

Case status
Case number
Date of decision
Court / UN Treaty Body
Constitutional Court of Austria (Verfassungsgerichtshof)
Language(s) the decision is available in
Applicant's country of birth
Applicant's country of residence

The applicant received a letter of assurance of obtaining Austrian nationality, dated 20 February 1996, if she renounces her Turkish nationality within two years. In October 1996 she submitted a letter from Turkish authorities permitting her to renounce her Turkish nationality in order to acquire the Austrian one. She finally became Austrian on 10 March 1997. On 22 September 1997 she submitted a letter confirming that she was no longer a Turkish national as of April 1997.

In September 2010 the Austrian authorities declared that the applicant is no longer an Austrian national as of 22 October 1998, as that was the date she re-acquired Turkish nationality. The voluntary nature of the re-acquisition was contested. 

Once the applicant realised that she might be a Turkish national and that it was leading to problems, she renounced her Turkish nationality for the second time in 2009.

Decision & Reasoning

The Court reasoned as follows:

“It is hard to accept the applicant’s claim of an "applicationless" reacquisition of Turkish nationality, either accidentally or on purpose, considering that the authorities illustrated that based on relevant provisions of Turkish nationality law an application by the person concerned is mandatory for the (re-)acquisition of citizenship. The applicant did not provide proof to the contrary, namely that her specific case of reacquisition of nationality happened without an application.”

“The applicant’s claim that the ground for loss is lacking as she promptly “corrected” the situation when she became aware that she might be a national of Turkey, challenged by the following. Based on the quoted excerpt from the Turkish civil status register (in translation) contained in the contested division, the applicant renounced her nationality “for the second time” in 2009. However, the authority was not able to take the into account the second renunciation, as the contested decision did not withdraw the applicant’s nationality, but merely declared the loss of her nationality which has already taken place on the 22nd of October 1998, ex lege, as an automatic consequence of the reacquisition of Turkish nationality.  Consequently, the applicant’s (current) statelessness was not caused by the contested decision.”


The Court dismissed the applicant's complaint.