The Syrian consulate in Istanbul has began the renewal Syrian passports, after a recent resolution issued by the Assad regime on April 21 permitted the granting and renewal of passports without additional procedures, including a security approval.
The regime specified a $400 fee – or its equivalent in euros – for the issuing of a new passport, and $200 for passport renewals. Political activist Ismail Khattab said in an exclusive interview with al-Souria Net that he visited the Syrian consulate in Istanbul to ensure the consulate had begun the renewal of Syrian passports "immediately", referring to the ill-treatment by consular staff to the Syrian applicants. Khattab explained the embassy staff in Istanbul are dealing with applicants inappropriately, saying: "The embassy staff want to humiliate the Syrians during the renewal process, while some Turkish policemen are screaming at Syrians, which angered some of the passers-by near the consulate".
"During my time at the consulate, between 250 to 300 people applied to renew their passports, but the consulate staff only accepted the applications of 30 of them. The consulate takes $200 to renew each passport and $400 to grant a new one. The renewal was free previously, and the consulate takes more than the specified amount; $220 to renew the passport instead of the $200, in addition to $10 to transfer the fee to the regime's accounts in Syria. The burden of these amounts is an indication of the economic deficit the regime currently suffers", Khattab added.
Commenting on passport renewal procedures, Khattab said: "You are required to register your name first, and after you pay the fees to the Kuwaiti-Turkish Bank, then you can submit your application".
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer