The extent of the use of fraudulent Turkish passports by Turkish citizens to exit Turkey [TUR41748.E]

References to the use of fraudulent Turkish passports specifically by Turkish citizens to exit Turkey could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints. However, several news reports that made reference to fake passports did not specify whether they were Turkish passports and whether those using them were Turkish citizens. They are as follows:

(1) In April 2001, the Los Angeles Times published a news report on the hostage-taking of 120 people in a "five-star" hotel in Islamabad by 13 pro-Chechen gunmen (24 Apr. 2001). Mohammed Tokcan, a Turkish citizen of Chechen origin was said to have led the operation (Los Angeles Times 24 Apr. 2001). According to the news report, Tokcan tried to flee Turkey in April 1999 on a "fake passport" after escaping from prison for his involvement in previous terrorist activities (ibid.).
(2) In September 2001, the Smuggling and Organized Crime Directorate of Ankara Security Directorate captured a network of five men who were sending people to Israel illegally by using fake passports (Anatolia 15 Sept. 2001). According to Anatolia News Agency, "[t]he gang was charging between 1,500 and 2,000 U.S. dollars from each person" (ibid.).
(3) Also in September 2001, Anatolia News Agency reported that "four high level Hizbullah terrorists" had been interrogated by the Ankara Security Directorate, and that "[t]he organization was ... making false passports" (Anatolia 18 Sept. 2001).
(4) In April 2003, a member of "the terrorist organization KADEK (Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan) was caught while trying to leave the country through the Kapikule border gate with a fake passport" (Anatolia 7 Apr. 2003).

In 1997, government officials reportedly stated that Turkish passports had "started to lose their credibility" and that the government would be introducing a new passport to prevent "long queues at airports and border crossings" and to prevent persons possessing fake passports from entering and exiting Turkey (Turkish Daily News 29 Dec. 1997). For further information on security measures and administrative procedures in place to guard against the issuance of fraudulent Turkish passports and against the issuance of Turkish passports by fraudulent means, please refer to TUR41615.E of 6 June 2003.

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. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Anatolia News Agency. 7 April 2003. "Turkey: Police Catch KADEK Member Trying to Leave With Fake Passport." (FBIS-WEU-2003-0407 7 Apr. 2003/Dialog)

_____. 18 September 2001. "Turkey: Hizbullah Members Confess to Killing 15 People." (BBC Monitoring 18 Sept. 2001/NEXIS)

_____. 15 September 2001. "Turkish Police Detain Five Persons for Smuggling People Into Israel." (FBIS-NES-2001-0915 15 Sept. 2001/Dialog)

_____. 22 March 2000. "Turkish, German Ministers on Terrorism, Crime, Migration." (FBIS-WEU-2000-0322 22 Mar. 2000/Dialog)

Los Angeles Times. 24 April 2001. Amberin Zaman. "Istanbul Hotel Siege Ends Peacefully with Release of Hostages; Turkey: Pro-Chechen Gunmen Hold 120 People, Including 54 Americans, Before Surrendering After 12 Hours of Negotiations." (NEXIS)

Turkish Daily News [Ankara]. 29 December 1997. "New Passports on Turkey's Agenda." http://www.turkishdailynews.com/old_editions/12/29/97/dom.htm [Accessed 17 July 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted


The Embassy of Turkey, Ottawa, did not respond to a letter requesting information within time constraints.

IRB Databases

Internet sites, including:

Al Bawaba

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002

BBC

European Country Origin Information Network

Human Rights Watch World Report 2003

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights

Middle East Times

Norweigian Refugee Council

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

United Kingdom, Immigration and Nationality Directorate

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