5,000 Istanbul taxi drivers dismissed after criminal record check
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Istanbul’s Chamber of Artisan Taxi Drivers and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality conducted a joint project to reduce the number of customer complaints, one of the results of which obliges them to have a clean criminal record in order to be a taxi driver. AA photoSome 5,000 taxi drivers in Istanbul have been dismissed from their jobs in the past year due to a new regulation in which they are obliged to present their criminal record to authorities.
Istanbul’s Chamber of Artisan Taxi Drivers (İTEO) and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality conducted a joint project to reduce the number of customer complaints, one of the results of which obliges them to have a clean criminal record in order to be a taxi driver.
Yahya Uğur, the head of İTEO, said taxi driving had begun to be seen as a casual job, thus attracting more people, some of whom have criminal records.
“Our profession turned into such a situation where even drug addicts could become taxi drivers,” said Uğur, stressing that customers were pleased with the new implementation.
He said around 5,000 people had been prevented from driving taxis with the new implementation, and that customer complaints had therefore been significantly reduced.
“Of the 2,728 complaints İTEO received in the past year, we have not received any complaints about petty criminal acts such as stealing money with tricks, giving out fake currency to customers and fraud. Complaints about misbehavior to customers have also been decreased by around 2 percent,” Uğur said. “We are receiving thank you messages now.”
The İTEO head said 85 percent of complaints received nowadays were related to taxi drivers refusing to take customers over short distances. “I think we will solve this in the shortest span of time,” he said, adding that their main goal was to serve customers with “gentlemanly taxi driving.”
He said that at the time when they took office, the taxi driving profession had lost its reputation and lost the customer’s confidence. “We have promised our customers that we would work until ‘gentlemanly taxi driving’ was brought back. We launched projects after negotiations and work we conducted with the [Istanbul] metropolitan municipality. We wanted to introduce the ‘gentlemanly taxi driving’ perception to Istanbulites, who had been longing for it,” said Uğur.