Whether a Turkish citizen who is the subject of an arrest warrant can obtain a passport by using an agent; documentation required in order to obtain a Turkish passport; possibilities of obtaining Turkish passports by bribery or other fraudulent means [TUR33487.E]

An official at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa stated on 21 December 1999 that if a Turkish citizen is the subject of an arrest warrant, he or she must resolve any outstanding legal cases with the justice system before he or she will be given a passport. If the applicant for a Turkish passport submits his or her application at a Turkish consulate outside Turkey, the consular authorities will need to see the applicant's old passport, or they will require a letter from the local police to account for the passport if it is missing.

In Turkey, passport applications are normally submitted to the local provincial government, and the applicant must submit three passport-sized photographs and his or her personal identity document (nüfus hüviyet cüzdani, nufus huviyet cuzdani), to prove Turkish citizenship. In addition, the applicant must fill out and sign a standard application form and pay a fee. The passport is normally issued two to three days after the submission of the application. If an applicant is unable to appear in person before the relevant authorities in order to obtain his or her passport, another person can pick up the passport, if that person is in possession of properly notarized power of attorney.

A 2 April 1997 report states that a Turkish parliamentary report had revealed that in the 1980s Turkish government officials began issuing "special (green) passports" to organized criminals in return for services to the Turkish government (Reuters 2 Apr. 1997).

On 3 April 1998 an indictment was issued against Mehmet Agar, a member of the Turkish parliament from the True Path Party (DYP) and former senior security official in the Turkish government, for a variety of offences, including the allegation that he had

exploited his post by providing green passports to people who are wanted, providing them with documents to carry weapons and equipping them with privileges that they didn't deserve and providing opportunities to those people to go abroad and return to Turkey easily (Anatolia).

On 3 May 1999 the Istanbul State Security Court ruled that legal proceedings against Agar should be suspended following his re-election as a member of parliament (Anatolia).

On 23 August 1998 Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit admitted to journalists that a red (diplomatic) passport found in the possession of alleged Turkish criminal Alaatin Cakici when he was arrested in France that month had been issued at Turkey's embassy in China (Anatolia 23 Aug. 1998; ibid. 19 Sept. 1998). On 19 September 1998 Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stated that although the Turkish government was not linked to organized crime, several civil servants had been corrupted and were collaborating with organized crime gangs following a concerted effort by those gangs to infiltrate the "state administration" (ibid.). Yilmaz added that the government had ordered a review of procedures related to passports following the discovery that Alaatin Cakici's diplomatic passport had been issued at a Turkish embassy, and that Turkish intelligence agents were under investigation (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References


Anatolia [Ankara, in English]. 3 May 1999. "Court Suspends Susurluk Trial of Reelected Deputy Bucak." (FBIS-WEU-1999-0503 3 May 1999/WNC)

_____. 19 September 1998. "Yilmaz: Some Public Employees Part of Organized Crime." (FBIS-WEU-98-262 19 Sept. 1998/WNC)

_____. 23 August 1998. "Ecevit Confirms Embassy in PRC Issued Passport." (FBIS-WEU-98-235 23 Aug. 1998/WNC)

_____. 3 April 1998. "Mehmet Agar, Sedat Bucak Indicted; Face Prison." (FBIS-WEU-98-093 3 Apr. 1998/WNC)

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, Ottawa. 21 December 1999. Telephone interview.

Reuters. 2 April 1997. Suna Erdem. "State-Backed Mobsters Kill, Trade Drugs: Report." http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v97.n054.a05.html [Accessed 7 Jan. 2000]