Press card is an official identity card which can be issued to the following individuals: Turkish owners and members of the national press institutions, Turkish members of the international press institutions, state information staff working in public institutions and organisations which are mentioned in the Press Card Regulation and resident or non-resident international journalists whose speciality areas comprise and who are working on behalf of one or several national or international press institutions in Turkey on condition that they are not engaged in any other profession apart from journalism.

The following criteria should be met for obtaining a Press Card: to be at least 18 years old, to be graduate of at least high school or equivalent, not to be restricted or barred from public services, not to be sentenced for crimes stated in the Press Card Regulation or for abetment to these crimes, to be contracted in accordance with the articles of the Law No. 5953, not be engaged in any other profession except for such occupations which can be combined with journalism.

As stated in the Article 6 of the Regulation, the occupations which can be combined with journalism are as follows: Parliament Member, Member of County or Municipal Council, Member of Radio and Television High Council, Member of General or Executive Board of Press Advertising Institution, Member of Executive Board of The Supreme Board of Radio and Television, Member of Executive Board of Anatolian News Agency, those officers who have held press card minimum five years working in the office of the governor, municipalities, public institutions and agencies and companies of which more than fifty percent belongs to public agencies, those who have served as press counsellor, manager or president in organisations or incorporations founded in accordance with the relevant bylaws, academicians in the field of journalism, directors or members of executive boards in press agencies, members of executive or supervisory board in associations founded by press agencies.

Required documents for the press card application for the first time are listed as follows: 3 press card declarations, 2 passport size photos, original and certified copy of the agreement prepared in accordance with the Law No. 5953, certificate of education, criminal record certificate, social insurance document. The press card declaration and agreement shall be prepared in due form and approved by the owners of the press institutions or officials.

Residents in Ankara shall apply directly to the Directorate General of Press and Information, residents in the cities where the Directorate General has branches shall apply their provincial directorates and residents in other cities shall apply to the governorate in their city. This rule has been applicable for all applications related to the press card. The applicants shall be subjected to a waiting period based on their application status. At the end of this period, the applicant shall receive his/her press card in cases where his/her application has been approved by the Press Card Commission.

Owners of the periodicals and members of executive board of radios and televisions are not subjected to the requirements of having contracted under the Law No. 5953 and not being engaged in any other profession than journalism. Owners of the periodicals and members of executive board of radios and televisions are not required to submit the original and certified copy of the contract prepared in accordance with the Law No. 5953 and the social security document. The applicants shall be subjected to a waiting period based on their application status. At the end of this period, the applicant shall receive his/her press card in cases where his/her application has been approved by the Press Card Commission.

The necessary documents to be submitted are stated as follows in accordance with the type of the press agency: JOURNALS AND PERIODICALS: 1- Original and certified copy of the list of authorized signatures, 2- Original and certified copy of the Trade Registry Gazette on which the foundation and mission of the agency is stated and the Trade Registry Gazette which indicated the last executive board, 3-Decleration of periodical to be submitted to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with the Article 7 of the Press Law, 4-Sending two copies of the journals and periodicals to the Directorate General and one copy to the Provincial Directorate where the application is submitted periodically, RADIO AND TELEVISIONS: 1- Original and certified copy of the list of authorized signatures, 2- Original and certified copy of the Trade Registry Gazette on which the foundation and mission of the agency is stated and the Trade Registry Gazette which indicated the last executive board, 3-Original and certified copy of press licence document issued by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, NEWS AND PHOTO AGENCIES: 1- Original and certified copy of the list of authorized signatures, 2- Original and certified copy of the Trade Registry Gazette on which the foundation and mission of the agency is stated and the Trade Registry Gazette which indicated the last executive board, 3- Certified copies of subscription contracts drawn up in accordance with the Paragraph e of Article 8 of the Press Card Regulation, 4- Declaration of periodical to be submitted to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with the Article 7 of the Press Law, 5- Informative bulletin or records regarding the activities conducted by the agencies, 6- Application documents of the journalists who have obtained press card earlier (the number specified on the Article 14 of the Press Card Regulation)

Waiting period refers the process starting with submission of the applications by the journalists, owners of the press agencies and members of the executive board and finalising with the date on which applications are submitted to the evaluation of the Press Card Commission. This waiting period has been stated on the Article 24 and Article 25 of the Press Card Regulation. Waiting periods assumed for the journalists in accordance with their education are stated as follows; 12 months for graduates of communication faculties, those having master’s or PhD degree from these faculties and those who can certify that they have received higher education from journalism related programmes, 18 months for graduates from different departments, 24 months for those having associate’s degree, 28 months for graduates of secondary education.

Waiting period for the owners of press agencies and presidents of the executive board as of the submission date of the press card declaration to the related authorities are stated as follows 1 year for dailies, news and photo agencies, national, cable and regional radio-television agencies, 18 months for weeklies, 24 months for other press agencies.

New application is required if any chances occur on the press agency where s/he currently works, on his/her title or on the state of education.

Those who applied for the press card for the first time are required to apply for the second time to the press agencies which are stated in this Regulation maximum 3 months and minimum 1 month prior to the expiry date of the application with the document certifying their journalism related profession. For this purpose, they shall apply to the Directorate General or Provincial Directorates with all the documents required for the initial application except for education document and social security document.

In case of job switch, a new application with all the documents requested for the initial application except for the education document is required. The applicant shall receive his/her renewed press card on condition that his/her new agency meets the criteria stated in the Regulation.

In case of title change in the press agency the applicant work for, a new application with all the documents requested for the initial application except for the education document and social security document is required. The applicant shall receive his/her renewed press card on condition that his/her new title is among the valid titles stated in the Regulation.

In that case, the holder of the card should apply to the relevant authorities with a petition including a lost notice or a police report and a document confirming h employment at the relevant media organisation. Following the assessment of the application, a new press card will be issued for the applicant.

In that case, the holder of the card should apply to the relevant authorities with a petition including a document confirming his/her employment at the relevant media organisation. Following the application, a new press card will be issued. The old card should be returned as well.

In case of temporary unemployment, a freelance press card may be issued. To get a freelance press card, the applicant should: • Not to be entitled to pension • Return their press card in three months after resignation • Prove their unemployment during that period with a document they will get from a media professional organisation Following the application, • Applicants who have used a press card for up to five years may obtain a nine-month press card • Applicants who have used a press card between 5-10 years may obtain a twelve-month press card • Applicants who have used a press card more than 10 years may obtain an eighteen-month press card

The press should be returned within one month in following cases: • Change of the title or the employer • Leaving the job due to military service, retirement or similar causes • Assignment to another job unfit for keeping the press card • Transfer of the ownership or cessation of the activities of the media organisation • End of validity if the card is temporary

The press card will be revoked in following cases: 1. Holder of the card does not meet or later loses the qualifications stated in the fifth article of the Press Card Regulation 2. The affiliated media organisation does not meet or later loses the qualifications stated in the Press Card Regulation 3. The expired press card is not returned in time 4. Applicant provides false statements or the relevant authority approves the false statements 5. Holder of the card fails to inform DGPI about resignation or change of title 6. Holder of the card works in a non-media related field while holding a freelance press card 7. Holder of the card allows someone else to use the press card or press traffic card 8. The press card is lost 9. Individuals who have obtained press cards due to their government jobs vacate their office Related public agencies and professional organisations will be informed about revocations. If the press card is revoked due to the 1st, 2nd and 6th cases above, no press cards will be issued to the holder in one year beginning from the revocation date (even if the grounds for revocation are no more valid). If the press card is revoked due to the 4th case above, no press cards will be issued in three years to the holder and in one year to the relevant approving authority beginning from the revocation date. If the press card is revoked due to the 3rd, 5th and 7th cases above, no press cards will be issued to the holder in six months beginning from the revocation date. A new application is necessary after the end of the periods mentioned above. However, in case the previous press card is not returned, the new application will not be valid.

In order to get a permanent press card, any of the following criteria should be met; • Holding a press card for at least 18 years • At least 20 years of service under the Law nr. 5953 • Disability preventing the profession of journalism When calculating the periods mentioned above, in case the holder of the card has had a freelance press card, at most 18 months of this period will be considered.

Eligible members of the media may apply to DGPI with a petition and a press card form. Upon the Press Card Commission’s consent, the applicant may obtain a permanent press card. In case the commission rejects the application, only at the third meeting of the commission following the rejection may the next application be considered.

Press traffic cards are issued to holders of press cards in accordance with a protocol between DGPI and Turkish National Police. Applications may be made to DGPI, provincial offices of DGPI or governors’ offices depending on the place of residence. Required documents are: • Press traffic card form • Photocopy of the press card (both sides) • Two passport size photographs • Photocopy of the vehicle licence

Press Card Commission convenes at least three times a year upon convocation by DGPI. Presence of the 2/3 of members is necessary for convention.

Press cards issued upon applications in Ankara may be collected from DGPI main office or sent to the home address of the applicant. Cards issued upon applications in other provinces will be sent to the place of application and collected either from the provincial offices or governors’ offices. Permanent press cards will be sent to the home address of the applicant.

•Free or discounted transportation in scheduled services offered by the state, municipalities, special provincial administrations or other affiliated bodies •Free entrance to public places like museums, galleries, exhibitions, stadiums and hippodromes •Free entrance to venues of meetings which are non-confidential by law or by the decision of the relevant authority •Following the official ceremonies in convenient spots •Priority in using the devices in post offices such as telegraphs, fax machines, telexes and the like and sending all kinds of printed materials with a discount (by showing the press card) •Parking, standing and stopping permits and right of way on occasions such as state ceremonies, national or international competitions, press conferences and official visits and travels of high level Turkish or foreigner state officials.

Holders of a press card will apply to DGPI Department of Press and Publications with the following documents: a) Petition stating the upcoming travel abroad b)Document confirming the ongoing employment of the applicant c)The original and the photocopy of the press card (both sides) d)Three passport size photographs taken within the last 6 months e)The original and the photocopy of the ID (with Turkish ID number) f)Previous passports g)Letter of Undertaking h)Information and documents concerning the assignment abroad DGPI examines the application and prepares an assignment approval document. The applicant then fills in the passport form, which is approved by the employer, and the form is then transferred to the relevant authorities. Pursuant to the relevant circular of the Turkish National Police, the holder of the service passport should return the passport to DGPI main office at most a week after the end of the travel. The passport will be kept at DGPI main office until the next travel of the holder.

PRESS CARD AND ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES CONCERNING THE INTERNATIONAL MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

It is an identification badge issued for a definite period for the professional use of the members of media, who are assigned as the representatives of the international media organisations in Turkey.

Members of the media who are assigned as representatives, correspondents, cameramen and photo journalists in Turkey may obtain a press card upon their demand. Foreign news agencies and television corporations can each obtain a maximum of seven press cards and radios and other broadcasting corporations can each obtain a maximum of three press cards.

International members of the media who are assigned in Turkey on a permanent status may apply on-line (http://www.byegm.gov.tr/english/foreign-press/permanent-accreditation) to DGPI or one of the provincial offices of DGPI for accreditation. A press card will be issued valid for the relevant year.

1.“Journalist” or “press member” visa obtained from the Turkish Embassy or Consular Office in their countries for those assigned to Turkey on a permanent basis (first comers only)
2.Letter from the applicant’s organization confirming his/her assignment to Turkey as a journalist and the wage relation between the applicant and the media organization
3.Letter of introduction from the Embassy or Consular Office of the country where the organization is based
4.Photocopy of the ID and visa pages of the passport
5.Photocopy of residence permit and extension pages (except first comers)
6.Passport size photograph
7.Clippings or audio/visual CDs of journalistic work in Turkey by uploading via this address http://www.byegm.gov.tr/english/international-press/permanent-accreditation. (except first comers)

International members of the media may renew their press cards at the beginning of each calendar year, following the same process in the first application. The renewed cards are valid until the end of the relevant year.

Press cards are issued in 2-3 days after the application.

RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMITS

International members of the media holding a press card should apply to the Immigration Departments of the province where they reside. - For applications in Istanbul, the Istanbul office of DGPI and for applications in Ankara and other provinces, the main office of DGPI in Ankara contacts the related Immigration Departments, acting as an intermediary for the journalists in obtaining the residence permit, which will be valid during the period of the press card.

- Following the renewal of the press card at the end of the year, the residence permit should be extended annually as well. What is the role of DGPI in obtaining work permits for foreign nationals? - Pursuant to the Law nr. 4817 on Work Permit for Foreigners, Ministry of Labour and Social Security asks for the opinion of DGPI when issuing work permits for foreign nationals to be employed in the media sector. - Department of Information of DGPI conveys its opinion on the relevant work permit to the Ministry.

The third article of the “Principles Concerning the Customs Facilities to be Granted to Foreign Media and Foreign Media Representatives” published in the Official Gazette on 12 November 1987 states that;
International media organisations and their members of foreign nationality are exempt from all customs tax and duties on the professional equipment and spare parts, office equipment, any items that will be used or consumed, automobiles, minibuses, caravans and other similar vehicles which they will bring along or after their arrival. All items should be listed on the “Takrir”*, which has to be approved in advance by the Directorate General of Press and Information.

The fourth article of the “Principles Concerning the Customs Facilities to be Granted to Foreign Media and Foreign Media Representatives” states that; - Journalists of foreign nationality who are assigned to permanent jobs in Turkey, in accordance with the “Takrir” approved by the Directorate General of Press and Information, can either bring along tax-free private vehicles on their arrival or import six months after their entry into Turkey or purchase locally. The fifth article of the “Principles Concerning the Customs Facilities to be Granted to Foreign Media and Foreign Media Representatives” states that; - Representative offices of the foreign media in Turkey can import tax-free service vehicles.

In case of a demand to import items, the relevant representative office in Turkey if available or the media organisation represented should fill in five copies of the “Takrir” and add the following documents: a)Document from the media organisation represented certifying that the journalist is appointed to a permanent job in Turkey, b)The service contract signed between the journalist and the international media organisation represented, c) Working and residence permits obtained in Turkey, d)Document certifying the entry of the vehicle into Turkey, e)Certificate of ownership, f)Third party liability insurance policy, g) Original purchase invoice, h)Traffic licence, i)Photocopy of the identity card In addition, information about all specifications of the car should be provided, including the accessories of the vehicle and the date and place of entry into Turkey. DGPI examines the “Takrirs”, approves the appropriate ones and sends them to the relevant customs office.

The re-export, sale or transfer of imported vehicles is within the discretion of DGPI.

According to the Highways Traffic Law, the vehicle could not be driven by other than himself/herself or his/her spouse.

Pursuant to the “Takrir”, international media organisations and foreign members of the media can import all kinds of technical equipment and their spare parts that are necessary for professional use tax-free. - For importing a new or another main item within the assignment period, an application to DGPI for permission that provides the details is necessary prior to ordering the item.

In case of the termination of activities or definite departure, with the permission of DGPI, professional equipment may be transferred to journalists or representative offices enjoying the same privileges, or sold to third parties provided that all custom duties and relevant taxes have been paid. Moreover, these professional equipment could be duly disposed of by re-exportation or abandonment to the Customs.

The 19th article of the “Principles Concerning the Customs Facilities to be Granted to Foreign Media and Foreign Media Representatives” states that; - Foreign media members appointed to Turkey may import tax-free personal and household items and office equipment for their representative offices upon or six months after their arrival pursuant to the “Takrir” which includes a detailed list of the imported items. Detailed information is requested for electrical and electronic items. - For importing another item of the same type, an application to DGPI for permission that provides the details is necessary prior to ordering the item. - Permission from DGPI is necessary to re-export or transfer all imported durable goods.

Department of Information of DGPI acts as an intermediary for the representatives of international media outlets in arranging interviews with high-level government officials. The accreditation and residence permit procedures should be completed first. Subsequently, an application should be made to DGPI including the content, date and time, names of the correspondent and the cameraman.