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Electronic ID cards coming to Turkey

Thursday 12 July 2007

The new ID cards will play both the role of an ID card and the role of a health and social security card.

The pilot program, due to start in July 2007, is launched with a joint protocol agreed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and Social Security Board (SGK). During the three-stage pilot project, the citizenship card and card readers will be developed by the National Research Institute of Electronics & Cryptology (UEKAE), one of the national institutes attached to TUBITAK, which will also create the operating system and run the tests of the applications. In the second stage, a pilot program will be implemented in a district to be chosen by the involved parties. In the final stage of the pilot, the application will be implemented in nearby districts to expand its reach to 300,000.

Project management and coordination will be in the hands of State Planning Organization (DPT), which will integrate requests from:

  • The Interior Ministry's General Directorate on Citizenship Affairs and the Health Ministry, in charge of testing the processes for the use of the cards in health services and their printing and distribution.
  • The General Directorate on Population and Citizenship Affairs will be responsible for the production and distribution of the cards nationwide.
  • The National Research Institute of Electronics & Cryptology (UEKAE), in charge of establishing the security criteria in relation with international standards and of developing the Operating System. UEKAE will also do the security tests of the system and monitor the compliance with the criteria.
  • Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health.

The new card will hold static information only: the identification information of the bearer. Fingerprint match will be used as a biometric ID verification method, but fingerprints will only be stored in the card and not in any other database. Turkey has 71 million inhabitants.