Protocol Procedures for the Arrival of Members of Staff at Diplomatic/Consular Missions and International Organizations
Notification of Arrival
The missions should notify the Ministry of the arrival of new mission members by a Verbal Note within seven days.
All applications should be made online through diplomatic.mfa.gov.tr. Subsequently, five copies of the arrival notification form (Online ID Application Form) fully completed, duly signed and sealed, together with passports, one copy of each passport and 2 photographs of each person concerned should be attached to the Verbal Note.
The Verbal Note and arrival notification form should explicitly state the name of the predecessor, the category (i.e. diplomatic, administrative-technical or service) and the title of the members as well as the functions she/he will assume (e.g. in charge of political, cultural, economic, administrative affairs or chief of chancellery).
Identity (ID) Cards
The rules and procedures about the ID cards are stipulated in the “Regulation on Identity Cards for the Resident Foreign Missions” (Official Gazette on 23 July 2013, edition: 28717).
ID Cards (Yabancı Misyon Personeli Kimlik Kartı) issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a polycarbonate, multilayered card (80x50 mm) in three main color bands. (Samples are shown on the next page, at 2.2.1.)
ID cards can only be issued for the accredited members and dependents of the diplomatic, consular and international organization missions and honorary consuls.
ID cards also serve as the residence permit. Holders are advised to carry their cards at all times in Turkey to be submitted the competent authorities upon request or as needed.
TYPES OF ID CARDSFamily Members
ID cards are also issued for the spouses and children under the age of 18. Nevertheless, children from the age of 18 to 25 studying in Turkey, can only be issued 4th category ID card which does not provide the bearer with any privileges and immunities. On the other hand, children, not studying in Turkey between the age 18 to 25, the parents and the parents in law of the mission members, are obliged to get a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior by applying to the Ministry.
For unmarried partners of opposite sex, upon the notification of the Mission by a Verbal Note ID cards or residence permits will be issued depending on reciprocity and other circumstances as applicable.
In Turkey same-sex marriage is not allowed by the law, thus same-sex partners cannot be accepted as family members of diplomats which means no ID card can be issued for them. They can however apply for a residence permit to the relevant Turkish authorities (without the intermediary of the Ministry) as a regular foreigner.Renewal
ID cards should be returned to the Ministry for renewal, latest by two weeks prior to the date of expiration. If the term of office is not indicated in the Verbal Note, the ID card will be renewed for two years.
The children, who are not entitled to ID cards, are obliged to get a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior by applying to the Ministry.
For unmarried partners of opposite sex, upon the notification of the Mission by a Verbal Note residence permits will be issued depending on reciprocity and other circumstances as applicable.
In Turkey same-sex marriage is not allowed by the law, thus same-sex partners cannot be accepted as family members of diplomats which means no ID card can be issued for them. They can however apply for a residence permit to the relevant Turkish authorities.Lost/Theft
The Ministry should be informed immediately in case of loss or theft of ID cards.
Requests for a new ID card following the loss, damage or any change in the previous card should also be made by a Verbal Note. In case of loss, a copy of the police report should be attached to the Note.
The Red and Green ID holders of the diplomatic Missions, consular posts and international organizations can apply to employ private servants on certain conditions.
Private servants employed by staff members of a Diplomatic Mission, Consular Post or Representation of International Organization are subject to the requirements of the current visa and residence regulations. Legal entry and stay in the country of the person to be employed as a private servant are essential. When recruiting a person living in Turkey as a private servant, members of diplomatic Missions must ensure that this person has the right to stay and take employment in Turkey.
The Mission, which the private servant will be employed by its member, should send to the Ministry "a Letter of Undertaking" in duplicate for approval. In any case, the "Letter of Undertaking" should be sent to the Ministry not later than 15 days from the date of entry in Turkey.
Documents certifying that the private servant is covered by the current social security provisions of the "sending state" or a "third state" (in this case, the country of origin of the private servant) with copies of relevant pages of the passport bearing visa if applied, the passport itself, four information forms for arriving private servants and five photographs should be attached to the Verbal Note requesting the issuance of an ID card or a residence permit. If the private servant’s social security does not cover the health insurance in Turkey, a separate local health insurance (private insurance companies are accepted) is necessary. Relevant documents should be attached to the application.
Upon certification of the status of the private servant with respect to insurance coverage, the ID card issued by the Ministry of the Interior for a year will be delivered by the Ministry to the mission in Ankara. The Ministry does not issue ID cards for private servants employed by members of mission in Istanbul. They must apply for a residence permit to be issued by the local police with the same provisions.
For renewals of ID cards and residence permits regular payments of insurance premiums should be certified by a Note with the relevant documents attached.
Locally Employed Staff
In case of a local staff employment (Turkish nationals or third country nationals with a valid residence permit), Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations should notify the Ministry with the labor contract and the papers documenting that she/he is enjoying social security coverage. Missions are also requested to present an updated list of locally employed staff working at the Diplomatic/Consular Missions and International Organizations. The list must be updated regularly.
For legal issues concerning locally employed staff, please see 6.5 Labor Law Offences
Temporary assignments should be notified by a Verbal Note to Deputy Directorate General of Protocol (PDGY) within one week after the arrival of the personnel in Turkey.
The Verbal Note should contain:
The duration of the assignment,
The title, duty or occupation of the personnel,
The reason of the temporary assignment,
Family members accompanying the temporarily assigned personnel.
The passport of the personnel should be attached to the Verbal Note. A visa indicating their temporary assignment status will be affixed to the passport.
Duration of temporary assignment should not exceed 6 months.
Accreditation Procedures for Military Attaches
Diplomatic Missions should notify the Deputy Directorate General of Protocol (PDGY) of the proposed appointment of military attachés (naval, air etc.) through a Verbal Note . Detailed CV of the Attaché should be attached to this notification.
Missions are kindly requested to contact PDGY regarding details required in the CV.
Appointment of Consul Generals
In accordance with the VCCR the appointment of Consul Generals should be notified by the Diplomatic Missions to the Directorate General of Consular Affairs (KOGM). An exequatur will be issued following the consent of the Ministry as stipulated in the VCCR.
Establishment of Honorary Consulates in Turkey depends on the consent of the Ministry (KOGM-Directorate General of Consular Affairs). An Exequatur will prepared by the Ministry upon the receipt of the "Consular Commission" or similar instrument of notification of the sending state.
Definite Departure Procedure
The Ministry should be informed of the definite departures of all staff members of Diplomatic/Consular Missions and International Organizations online, and subsequently through a Verbal Note containing a duly signed and sealed hard copy of the Definite Departure Notification Form within one week after the date of departure.
ID cards as well as the firearms licenses, and airport entrance cards have to be returned to the Ministry within one month after departure.
Airport Entrance Cards
The State Airports Administration issues special airport entrance cards for the authorized staff members of the diplomatic missions to enable them to meet and see off their official guests, delegations and diplomatic couriers at Esenboğa, Atatürk and other airports. Reciprocity is applied in granting the airport entrance cards as well as in determining the number of cards for each mission. In principle , each mission can obtain three airport entrance cards for Esenboğa Airport free of charge. A reasonable number of additional cards can also be obtained for charge. However, it is not possible to obtain more than three cards for Atatürk Airport.
These cards are valid for one year. Expired airport entrance cards as well as the cards issued for personnel departing from Turkey should be returned to the Ministry.
Airport entrance cards grant access only to certain designated zones of the airport indicated on the card. Airport entrance cards are strictly personal and non-transferable to other mission members.
Requests for airport entrance cards should be made by a Verbal Note to the Ministry which contains the name and the position of the staff member as well as two photographs and a copy of ID card.
Accompanied Diplomatic Bags
The diplomatic courier has to present a courier letter in English or French indicating her/his status and the number of packages containing the diplomatic bag. The courier letter should be signed and sealed by the sending authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy or Consulate General). No other document is required for the passage of diplomatic bags through Turkish customs.
The diplomatic bags containing documents and other articles for the official use of diplomatic missions should be duly sealed.
The diplomatic bags (pouches, bags and boxes) should be of reasonable size and weight (total weight should not exceed 30 kg. per container).
The diplomatic bags meeting these requirements cannot be detained, opened or scanned through x-ray, except the principle of reciprocity has to be applied.
Unaccompanied Diplomatic Bags (inbound or outbound)
A courier letter and a separate bill of lading for each incoming or outgoing unaccompanied diplomatic pouch, bag and box of reasonable size not exceeding 30 kg. Per piece should be presented to the customs authorities by an official of the Mission holding an Airport Entrance Card. Diplomatic bags over 30 kg. Per package can be inspected by the customs authorities, upon the consent and under the supervision of an official of the diplomatic mission, if there are serious grounds for presuming that it contains items other than documents and articles for the official use of diplomatic missions.
Unaccompanied diplomatic bags cannot be detained, opened or scanned through x-ray, except the principle of reciprocity has to be applied.
Unaccompanied diplomatic bags (and accompanied diplomatic bags) exceeding 30 kg. in weight per container coming from abroad can be claimed from the customs only upon the presentation of "takrir" indicating the contents and bearing the approval of the Ministry.
For the exportation of unaccompanied diplomatic bags exceeding 30 kg. per package, a "takrir" indicating its contents and approved by this Ministry, should be sent attached to a Note Verbal requesting permission. If the diplomatic pouches include articles bought in Turkey, the original copies of the invoices should be presented to the customs authorities.
Diplomatic Bags Consigned to the Captain of a Commercial Aircraft or Naval Vessel
Diplomatic bags may be entrusted to the captain of a commercial aircraft or naval vessel by the sending authority. The bag should be dispatched at the cabin of the captain. Such diplomatic bags of reasonable size and weight will be granted free passage through the customs if the captain holds an official letter indicating the number of packages, signed and sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the sending state.
The diplomatic bag should be delivered to the official of the Embassy or Consulate General holding an airport entrance card by the captain or staff of the aircraft or naval vessel at the customs-free area.
The above-mentioned rules also apply to the diplomatic bags of the representations of international organizations.
The Deputy Directorate of Protocol Department (PRTY) is in charge of making necessary arrangements for the use of VIP Lounges by Head of Foreign Missions and visiting delegations. In principle, requests for utilization of VIP Lounges are evaluated on the basis of strict reciprocity by the Deputy Directorate of Protocol Department.
The members of accompanying delegations can use the VIP Lounge only when they are travelling with the head of delegation considered to be eligible to use VIP Lounge.
Requests forms for the utilization of the VIP Lounges should be filled and sent to the Deputy
Directorate of Protocol Department online through Diplomatic Portal.
For further issues regarding the VIP Lounges, please refer to the Ministry’s Circular Note: PRTY/2013/39664552/52830 dated 27.03.2013.