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Turkey starts distributing biometric identity cards


Turkish authorities have started distribution of its new biometric identity cards and have selected Kirikkale as the pilot province for this new program.

The new biometric identity cards will be valid for ten years and contains a chip that, according to the country’s Electronic Authentication System website, can hold up to 1 GB of information, including the user’s finger and palm prints.

This change in the country’s national ID system will replace the current color-coded card system (pink for women and blue for men) they have been using for almost 40 years.

The new initiative comes as Turkey works to fulfill EU requirements toward lifting the visa regime with the Schengen zone countries. Turkey must fulfill 72 requirements in the visa roadmap, including issues such as migration management, public order, security and issuing biometric identification documents, passports and IDs, containing fingerprints. 37 requirements have been completed to date with 35 still remaining.

A recent European Commission progress report on Turkey fulfilling the requirements of the EU’s visa liberalization roadmap praised the new biometric ID cards. The new smart ID cards contain tight security standards to hinder duplication, falsification, and forgery.

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