Mandatory new license fees drop from 101 to 15 liras after Twitter outcry
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
According the new regulations, drivers will be periodically subjected to new tests if they want to keep their licenses. DHA photoThe fee for the renewal of driver's licenses has dropped to 15 from 101 Turkish Liras, after a huge outcry mainly on Twitter that prompted Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek to the budget commission reconsider the decision.
The change, which would force all drivers to pay up to 101 liras to renew their licenses, and around 420 liras if deadlines were missed, caused a strong backlash June 4 as citizens took to Twitter to voice their objections, making the relevant hashtag #ehliyetiçin101TLvermem ("I will not pay 101 TL for a license") one of the top trending topics within hours.
Şimşek responded to the outburst of reactions through Twitter. "I spoke to our Plan and Budget Commission head, the renewal fees will be reconsidered. Still, the fees will not be lowered below the cost."
The government had recently bashed the social media networks, especially during the Gezi protest with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan describing Twitter as a "troublemaker."
The proposition came after the government planned the mandatory renewal of licenses with new ones containing electronic chips. According the new regulations, drivers will be periodically subjected to new tests if they want to keep their licenses.
The regulation was explained as 101 liras being the fee foreseen for "valuable documents." The opposition reacted saying that the license card had a cost of merely 5 liras, which was denied by ruling Justice and Development (AKP) members who said the cards with chips had an approximate cost of 15 liras.
Each driver who missed the deadline would be treated as if he or she were trying to get their license for the first time under the new regulations. The initial fee to be paid for a first-time license ranges between 110 and 556 liras, depending on the category of the license.