How the Turkish Government Cancels The Passports of Critics

Imagine that you have enough money and a passport to travel abroad. You may be a businessman to follow your meetings or just a tourist hoping to practice new things during your trip in another country.

If you are a Turkish citizen, you should think twice.

It is not a secret that after Erdogan consolidated his power, Turkey has already turned into a dictatorship. The sources now reveal that Turkish Government has started another unlawful activity against his citizens. The Turkish Government cancels the passports of some journalists, businessmen and NGO representatives through some fabricated applications.

The first step of this conspiracy engineered by the Turkish Government is to fabricate 'a loss notice' in a newspaper on behalf of the targeted individual. Once the loss notice appears in a paper, the Government cancels the passport. The people find out this illegal cancelation only when they are about to go abroad at the airport venue. The police seize their passports and don't let them go out. But it may also happen when you are out of Turkey. Many people who are already out of Turkey face similar difficulties during the security check at the Customs. They are told that their passports are seen 'lost' in their system and advised to visit their Embassies or Consulates to solve the problem. However, when the people go to their Embassies, their passports are being seized without any explanation.

Some aggrieved has already started legal term by means of their counselors. Those who face this conspiracy while they are abroad apply to Interpol and inform that their passports are not lost.

According to the claims, hundreds of Turkish businessmen, journalists, teachers, and bureaucrats were recorded by a team established by Police Intelligence Department and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Information about the names on the list prepared by these organizations are sent to the Passport Department. And the Passport units cancel the passports of the persons, whose names appear on the list.

The illegal practice was revealed when S. A., a person involved in business in Ankara applied to Ankara Directorate of Security, in order to extend the validity of his passport. The businessman went to the Passport department last month. He stated that he wants to extend the validity of his visa, because he wants to go abroad. But the personnel at the passport department told him that his passport was cancelled through a 'loss' notice, and that he might find the detailed information at Police Passport Department. Thereupon the businessman went to the Passport Department's campus in Ankara, he repeated again that he didn't issue such any loss notice for his passport. The officials rejected to provide any detailed information.

A teacher working abroad also faced a similar problem. The teacher who went to the airport to go back to the country he worked after his vacation in Turkey found out at that his passport was cancelled at the passage. Even though the teacher never issued such a loss notice for his passport, the justification was the same.

The last aggrieved of the passport conspiracy was Mrs. Nevin İpek, the wife of Mr. Akın İpek, the President of Koza İpek Holding which was taken over by President Erdogan last year. İpek applied to Embassy of Turkey in London last week, to extend the validity of her passport. The Embassy officials seized İpek's passport, stating that there is a 'loss notice' for her passport. İpek told them that she never issued any loss notice on a newspaper in or abroad. Yet, she could not persuade the Embassy officials. Mr. Nazif Apak, a columnist for Turkish Yeni Hayat Daily, who first drew attention on the passport conspiracy of the Turkish Government in his article titled 'Who plays with the passport?' on April 23, wrote that a businessman, whose family has done trade for three generations faced a similar incident, too. He wrote that, when the businessman reacted 'How come! I came to your land with this passport and want to go to that country from here,' then the officials said that his passport is seen 'lost' in their system. When the businessman carries the case to Interpol, the respond was this: 'Unfortunately Turkey is forging on the documents and declares passports of many people lost,' Apak wrote.

Issuing a loss notice is under the authority of only the bearers of passports and ID cards. Even should a loss notice be issued, when the passport is found later, it is legally valid and the police officials are not appointed or authorized to follow the loss notices. As long as there exists no ban to travel abroad forwarded to a person by the Court, one may travel to anywhere. This is a universal right and under the protection of freedom of travel. The passports of persons may not become invalid due to loss notices, and detention of people from going abroad by such means is a Government fraud and only happens in a dictatorship.