With amendments to the Law on Passports and the Law on the Ministry of Interior’s Structure and Duties, the scope for the administrative rejection of passport issuance was expanded and passports, drivers’ licenses and other documents previously issued by the General Directorate of Security started being issued by the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs.
With changes to the Law no. 5682 on Passports, the Ministry of Interior was granted the power to determine the required documents for passport application and the application venues (Executive Decree 676 Article 10). Furthermore the phrase in the Law on Passports which read “passports are not issued to those whose departure from the country is deemed to be a security risk by the Ministry of Interior” was not seen to be sufficient, and the following phrase was added right after it: “passports are not issued to those who are a founder, manager or employee of any overseas education, training and health institution, or foundation, association and company which are known to have connection, links or association with terrorist organizations as determined by the Ministry of Interior” (Executive Decree 674 Article 23).
Changes were made to the Law no. 3152 on Ministry of Interior’s Structure and Duties. The duties of the Ministry were expanded with the addition of “conducting passport services”; while a clause added to another article introduced measures on the powers, principles and procedures concerning passports, equivalent documents and driver’s licenses (Executive Decree 676 Article 23, 25).
A temporary article added to the same law stipulates that the procedures on passports and driver’s licenses previously performed by the General Directorate of Security will be transferred to the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship within a year. The Council of Ministers has been given the power to extend this period (Executive Decree 676 Article 26).
In the context of passports and driver’s licenses in other legislation as well, all references to the General Directorate of Security were changed as General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, and any references to the local police forces were changed as local population directorates (Executive Decree 676 Article 26).
An amendment was made to the Law no. 6749 on Revision of the Executive Decree on the Measures to be Taken Under the State of Emergency. Accordingly, the names of those subjected to administrative sanctions or criminal investigations for membership, connection or association with structures, formations or groups deemed to constitute a threat against national security, or with terror organizations, will be communicated by the agencies running such procedures to the passport units in charge. Upon such notification, the passport units can cancel their passports (previously it read ‘shall’ instead of ‘can’) (Executive Decree 690 Article 25). Although this decision may be interpreted as a possible relaxation of passport suspensions, there is no concrete development to that effect.