The applicant acquired Austrian nationality by naturalisation in 1997, and renounced her Turkish nationality in that context. In 2018 it appeared that the applicant was listed on the voter registers for Turkish nationals abroad. She did not provide proof that she did not re-acquire Turkish nationality, and on that basis the Austrian authorities declared she has lost her Austrian nationality automatically due to acquisition of a foreign nationality.
The applicant was born in 1967 in Turkey. She came to Austria in 1978 and has lived there ever since. She is married to an Austrian national, and they have two sons, both of whom are Austrian nationals. The applicant's only close relative who lives in Turkey is her mother.
On 27 July 1995 the applicant received a letter of assurance of acquisition of Austrian nationality if she renounces Turkish nationality within two years. In May 1996 she submitted a letter from the Turkish authorities confirming that she will be released from Turkish nationality with the purpose of acquiring Austrian nationality. The applicant became an Austrian national on 22 October 1996. On 10 March 1997 she formally lost Turkish nationality.
In 2018 the Austrian authorities became aware that the applicant was registered on electoral registers of Turkish nationals residing abroad and entitled to vote in Turkish elections, and requested the applicant to provide a full extract from the Turkish nationality civil status register in order to avoid potential loss of Austrian citizenship. The authorities also contacted the Turkish representation directly, but neither the applicant nor the representatives of Turkey responded to the queries. On 13 November 2018 the authorities adopted the decision, contested in the proceedings of this case, by which they declared that the applicant is no longer an Austrian national, as of at least 18 May 2017. On 10 May 2019, during the course of the Court proceedings, the applicant submitted to the Court a communication from the Turkish Consulate, dated 15 April 2019, confirming that she had approached the consulate with a request for an extract from the civil status register, however, it was established that she is no longer a Turkish national, and that she had taken Austrian nationality. The communication from the Consulate also states that according to the Mavi Kart (Blue Cards) Regulation, the civil status of individuals who lost Turkish nationality is no longer recorded in the civil status register, but in the “Blue Card Register” (Mavi Kartlilar Kütügü).
The Court reasoned as follows:
"The applicant had not complied with the request to submit a complete extract from the civil status register with all data relating to nationality. No adequate documents have been submitted to prove that the applicant has not re-acquired Turkish nationality after she had been granted Austrian nationality. Considering [...] the obvious impossibility of obtaining ex officio personal information from the Turkish authorities, the applicant's argument is to be regarded as a false claim to protect herself."
In the context of applying EU proportionality test, and considering the outcome of statelessness, the Court reasoned as follows:
"In addition, in the Court's opinion, there are no [...] circumstances that would make the ex lege loss of Austrian nationality disproportionate in the case of the applicant"
"In the case of the applicant, it can be assumed that she, as the holder of a Mavi Kart, does not currently have Turkish nationality, and is therefore stateless. She has lived in Austria since 1978 with her husband and two adult sons, all three of whom are Austrian nationals. In the case at hand, there are no obstacles towards a new application for Austrian nationality or a residence permit under the [immigration law]. As a former Turkish national, the complainant could also relatively easily reacquire Turkish nationality, and would thereby fall under the EEC-Turkey Association Agreement. Despite the loss of Austrian nationality, the applicant does not experience any professional or family disadvantages, as she could continue to reside in Austria and continue to receive her disability pension. The Court also does not consider that the applicant could no longer maintain her family ties due to the loss of Austrian nationality since her husband and her two children live in Austria and her mother lives in Turkey."
"The ex-lege loss of Austrian is not disproportionate in the opinion of the Vienna Administrative Court."
The Court upheld the administrative decision declaring loss of Austrian nationality ex lege, but adjusted the date of the loss, with the latter not having significant positive consequences for the applicant.