Turkey Begins Issuance of Biometric IDs

Turkey’s government has gone ahead with its first pilot project testing new biometric identification cards. The cards have begun to be distributed in the province of Kirikkale, and should soon spread throughout the country.

Turkey Begins Issuance of Biometric IDsThe cards are a major technological upgrade over the plain biographic ID cards they are replacing, which have been in place for decades. They can store up to a gigabyte of data, and that will include citizens’ finger and palm biometrics.

Their introduction comes alongside the launch of new biometric passports, with both identity documents aimed not only at modernizing the country’s citizen ID systems, but also complying with European Union requirements in an effort to allow visa-free travel between the two regions. With respect to those requirements, Turkey is only about halfway there at the moment, but the issuance of biometric ID documents represents a substantial step forward.

Turkey is seen as an integral partner in helping the EU to manage its ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, and these more secure identity documents may prove valuable in those efforts going forward.

Source: Anadolu Agency

March 23, 2016 – by Alex Perala