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Opposition MP questions role of chip crisis in delay in issuing Turkish passports

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An opposition lawmaker has questioned the role of a global chip crisis in the delay in issuing Turkish passports, the duration of which has increased from a week to a few months, local media reported on Wednesday.

While the Turkish government has recently cited “double standards” facing Turkish citizens when they apply for Schengen visas in a report submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding the increasing rate of rejection of visa applications, it has also faced similar criticism about the delay in the issuance of domestic passports.

Turks who want to renew their passports or obtain new ones have been complaining that while Turkish passports were normally issued in a week, it now takes a few months.

Experts state that the delay stems from the chip crisis that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic and hit many global business sectors, especially automotive.

In a parliamentary question on Wednesday directed to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu wanted to know the reason behind the delay, who is responsible for it and if the passports couldn’t be issued in a timely fashion because a tender for the purchase of their chips hadn’t yet been held.

On the same day, Mehmet Muş, Turkey’s trade minister, talked about the global shortage of semiconductor chips during a public event in Kayseri, saying that Turkey wants to be among the countries that produce them.

“As Turkey, we have made some preparations, a place has been reserved in [the capital] Ankara for this. The Ministry of Industry and Technology is currently working on this investment,” Muş said.

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