Turkey, Life

Turkish biometric passports available on November 1

Biometric passports was requirement for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in EU's Schengen zone

31.10.2016
Turkish biometric passports available on November 1

By Sertac Bulur

ANKARA

As of Nov. 1, passports for the Turkish citizens will be biometric, according to the ministry’s sources.

The new Turkish passport -- introduced as part of steps toward visa-free travel in the EU -- boasts a chip containing the carrier’s personal information, according to the Interior Ministry.

The biometric data will include fingerprints and facial image.

The new version of passports has been ready since June, according to the ministry.

The use of biometric passports was a requirement for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the EU's Schengen area.

Visa liberalization has been one of the key promises of the EU as part of a deal hammered out in March to enhance EU-Turkey cooperation in addressing the refugee crisis and to accelerate Turkey’s EU membership talks.

Turkey had so far met most of the requirements for visa liberalization, but the EU’s demands for change in Ankara’s anti-terrorism laws led to a deadlock in negotiations.

Moreover, the foiled July 15 coup attempt in Turkey and Ankara’s declaration of a three-month state of emergency led to further uncertainty about future talks on visa liberalization. Ankara insists that due to the serious terrorism threat, it will not make any changes.

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