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Interior Ministry lifts restrictions on some 43,000 more Turkish passports

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Turkey’s Interior Ministry has announced that it has lifted restrictions on 42,893 passports that were imposed during a two-year-long state of emergency declared immediately after a failed coup in 2016.

As part of a large-scale crackdown after the coup attempt, Turkey dismissed some 130,000 public servants, imposing a travel ban on them and their first degree relatives.

Last year the ministry issued a regulation authorizing civil registries in cities and districts to accept appeals to the passport restrictions.

In February the ministry also lifted restrictions on 11,000 passports and in March 2019 on more than 50,000 passports.

Many people including children drowned in the waters of the Aegean Sea or the Maritsa River while trying to flee a government crackdown in Turkey on followers of the Gülen movement after the coup attempt. These people had to leave the country illegally to make their way to Europe because their passports had been revoked by the government.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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