Turkey removes limitations on more than 50,000 passports

The Ministry of Interior Affairs has lifted restrictions on the passports of 51,171 people, Turkish media reported on Friday, despite claims that previous similar decisions were not implemented.

Following a coup attempt in July 2016 the government imposed restrictions on the passports of hundreds of thousands of people without justification and limited their right to travel. Many people, unaware of the move, realized their passports were unusable when they attempted to travel abroad.

In 2018 the government announced the removal of restrictions on 155,350 passports. However, many people have not been able to get their passport privileges reinstated by authorities without any explanation offered.

Most of the people who were affected by the passport restrictions were civil servants who were purged in the wake of the failed coup and their family members.

Dilek Türker Dündar, the wife of exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar, said in a video message last month that despite the lack of any investigations into her, due to cases against her husband her passport was revoked and she has been prohibited from leaving Turkey since 2016. She said the police told her that her travel abroad was a threat to national security and asked how that could be the case.

Thousands of women and children have fled Turkey to Greece and other neighboring countries to escape from Turkish government persecution following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced at the end of 2017 that 234,419 passports had been restricted as part of investigations since the abortive putsch. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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