The Regulation on Procedures and Principles Regarding Obligations of Air Carriers was published in Official Gazette number 29525 on 7 November 2015 ("Regulation"), entering into effect on the same date. The Regulation outlines principles and procedures to encourage systematic migration, deal with unaccepted passengers, as well as prevent irregular migration.
The Regulation requires air carriers to take relative precautions to prevent transporting unaccepted passengers (Article 5). Unaccepted passengers are deemed to be people who are not allowed to enter the destination country or pass transit due to not meeting relevant legislative conditions.
The Regulation imposes obligations on carriers which transport passengers who pass through Turkish airports, destined for a third country, but are turned away (back to Turkey) by their destination country (Article 5). In these circumstances:
- Operations regarding the passenger's arrival into the third country must be completed within three days.
- The carrier must cover nutrition, housing and health expenses until the passenger arrives at the third country
- If the passenger is not accepted by the destination country and being sent back to Turkey, the carrier must cover expenses related to deporting the passenger from Turkey.
- The airport's local authority must assist the passenger's transfer if the carrier proves that it (or any other carrier) does not have any flight to the destination country, or there is a delay, weather condition, cancellation, or the destination country's airports are closed for any reason.
The Regulation outlines obligations for maintaining safety of unaccepted passengers (Article 6):
- The airport local authority must maintain safety of unaccepted passengers.
- The airport operator must maintain proper housing for unaccepted passengers.
- Housing facilities must be designed according to passengers' humane and basic needs.
- The carrier must protect passengers' luggage and allow access to their belongings.
The Migration Administration General Directorate ("Directorate") can request API and PNR information from carriers in order to prevent irregular migration. The Directorate determines the scope of information which can be requested. Use of information collected outside this scope is prohibited unless it relates to a situation regarding public order or homeland security. The Directorate decides which foreign countries information will be shared with, taking into account opinions of other relevant institutions (Article 9).
Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).
Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven
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