Turkey, taxi driver and passengers

Turkish taxi drivers to ask foreign passengers for documentation

A new rule requires taxi drivers in Turkey to ask passengers for their legal documents and passports, in order to travel between cities.

From now on, Turkish taxi drivers will have to ask all foreign passengers for their documentation, according to a new regulation approved by the Turkish Ministry of Interior, which stipulates that those taxi drivers who do not verify that their travellers have valid documents before carrying out a trip, could be accused of “migrant smuggling”.

Turkish newspaper Milliyet published the news yesterday, noting that the new regulations have already been sent to taxi drivers’ associations for compliance by the immigration authorities of the 81 provinces of Turkey. However, it will only be mandatory to request official documentation from foreign passengers who are going to make a taxi trip to another province.

In the case of Syrian refugees, who in Turkey have a special protection status recognized through an identity document provided by the immigration offices, they must now obtain a “travel permit” to be able to travel between cities.

The new regulation indicates that the taxi driver will not be able to start the trip without having visually verified that the customer has both documents, or else “he will be fined” and “accused of smuggling immigrants.” If the foreign passenger is a tourist, in this case he must “show the passport” in order to start the journey to another city.

In the case of foreign passengers who have entered Turkey legally with the intention of living in the country, and who have applied for a residence permit, they must show to Turkish taxi drivers, in addition to their identification documentation (passport), a document showing that they have submitted the application for his residence permit in the country, according to the newspaper.