Delivery of new Turkish IDs to be complete by 2018
Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ISTANBULThe delivery of new, modernized Turkish identity cards will be completed across the country by 2018, as Turkish authorities recently announced Turkish IDs would be updated in line with the country’s deal with the European Union on easing visa restrictions for Turkish citizens traveling to Europe.
The move followed a new deal signed between Turkey and the European Union which will grant visa liberation for Turkish citizens traveling to Schengen countries by late 2016, as Brussels agreed to pay Turkey 3 billion euros to stem the flow of refugees into Europe and to re-energize Turkey’s EU accession talks. The renewal of passports is just one of many conditions that Turkey still needs to fulfill to meet the accession criteria.
Planned to be single-colored and valid for ten years, the updated identity cards will have eight security features to protect against any breach which would lead to misconduct and were designed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), the top science body in the country. They will also include biometric data and all personal information will be electronically stored, according to a bill passed in parliament in Ankara late on Jan. 13. Biometric information cannot be reached unless identity verification is needed.
The cards will no longer be known as “birth certificates,” as the updated name for the cards will be “identity cards,” after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a bill on the registry of Turkish citizens.
The cards could not be marked or seized by any institution or person. After marriage, couples will be provided with international marriage licenses, as fees of new identity cards, marriage licenses and blue cards, a certificate Turkey provides Turkish-origin people holding foreign passports for protection of their rights to work and reside in Turkey, will be paid during the application process.
The new cards will be printed by the Finance Ministry until Dec. 31 this year and delivered to civil registries and the Foreign Affairs Ministry for the around 80 million Turkish citizens, including those living abroad.