Turkish opposition leader briefly denied passport over ‘terrorism links’

Temel Karamollaoğlu, the leader of the Turkish opposition Islamist Felicity Party (SP), has said that his request for a new passport was rejected by the authorities for a brief period of time last year, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

Speaking to Halk TV, Karamollaoğlu said the rejection took place when he visited the relevant authorities to apply for a new passport, who told him he was officially listed as being “affiliated with terrorism.”

He said the mistake was later corrected and that the terrorism accusation was removed from the registry.

“I don’t know who put it there or who removed it. I’m revealing it a year later, but it’s scandalous,” he said.

“The Interior Ministry was behind it. I don’t know if it was the minister himself who gave the instructions. Shame on you for connecting a political party leader to terrorism.”

No reason was specified as to why neither Karamollaoğlu nor his party reported the scandal to the public at the time it occurred.

Following a controversial coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish 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.

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

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