Turkey to request Africans to provide fingerprints during visa applications

As part of efforts to prevent irregular migration, Turkey will require fingerprints from applicants of Turkish visas, starting from African nations, Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı has said.

Some foreign nationals arrive in Turkey through legal ways, but they overstay their visas, he noted.

“Moreover, some migrants destroy their IDs or passports once they are in Turkey which makes it impossible to identify their nationalities. Now, we are sending fingerprint scanners to the locations particularly in Africa where Turkish visas are issued,” Çataklı said.

From now on, fingerprints will be registered during visa applications and officials will be able to identify people even if they have destroyed their documents, according to Çataklı.

Those efforts are likely to help authorizes greatly prevent “regular migration from becoming irregular migration,” he said.

Turkey is home to more than 5 million migrants, and 3.7 million of them are Syrians.

Çataklı also informed that security forces prevented 451,000 people from illegally entering the country through its borders in 2021.

In 2021, nearly 163,000 irregular migrants were caught inside the country while in the first two months of this year, some 24,000 irregular migrants were apprehended, according to data from the Presidency of Migration Management.

Most of the irregular migrants captured last year were Afghan nationals at 70,300, followed by Syrians at 23,500. A little more than 16,000 Pakistani irregular migrants were also caught in 2021.

The number of irregular migrants captured peaked in 2019 at 455,000 and declined to 122,000 people in the following year.

He also noted that a recently introduced policy to put a cap on foreign population within local communities does not violate the existing regulation and international laws.

According to this policy, if the population of foreigners exceed 25 percent of total population in provinces, neighborhoods and districts, those locations will be closed to the further settlement of foreign nationals.

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