World Bulletin/News Desk
Since last year, some 5,000 taxi drivers in İstanbul have been discharged from the profession as part of an initiative launched by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the İstanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers, Turkish media outlets reported on Tuesday.
As of last year, the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality began to ask taxi drivers for a copy of their criminal record. Roughly 5,000 drivers who either did not present evidence of a lack of a criminal record to the municipality or who had been convicted of a crime in the past have lost their authorization to work as a city taxi driver.
İstanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers head Yahya Uğur said even drug addicts were eligible to become cab drivers in the past since the drivers' criminal records were not requested.
Highlighting that the removal of taxi drivers with a criminal background increased customer satisfaction, Uğur said the chamber promised customers that they would make the profession prestigious again. “When we first took over the post [in the chamber], the profession of taxi driving had lost its [positive] reputation and the customers had lost their confidence in it,” he was quoted as saying in the Turkish media.
Uğur explained that after his chamber established a hotline for complaints and suggestions from customers, they faced a “dreadful” reality when the comments were evaluated. Among the most common complaints were fraud, including giving the customer counterfeit money, and mistreatment. “Then we decided that the driver profile had to be changed and went to the municipality to propose several projects. The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which has always been helpful to us, made it obligatory for all taxi drivers to submit a copy of their criminal record. This way, those who have committed disgraceful offenses were discharged from this profession,” he said.
Customer complaints decreased dramatically following the municipality's move, Uğur said, adding that the next problem they wish to address is the fact that many drivers do not accept customers for short-distance rides.
Prosecution source identifies Rakim Bulgarov, Vadim Osmanov as two of trio of suicide bombers
ISIL armed group most likely responsible for Tuesday's deadly Istanbul airport attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.
32 remanded in custody, others deported, bailed, according to official records
Mevlut Cavusoglu becomes first Turkish minister to visit Russia since Nov. 24 crisis began when Turkey downed Russian jet
Kremlin spokesman says time, place not fixed for presidents to meet before September summit Dmitry Peskov
Aid ship "Lady Leyla" is expected to reach Israeli port of Ashdod within 30 hours
New law will reduces number of departments in Supreme Court of Appeals, Council of State
Turkish FM Cavusoglu says relationship should be built on cooperation, not competition
Travel + Leisure magazine pens piece extolling beauty of Turkey, urging readers to visit
Motorcycle racer Kenan Sofuoglu breaks land speed record at 400 km on 2,682-meter-long bridge named after Ottoman leader
In 2016 alone, 1,654 people were held, of which 791 were foreigners, Turkish interior minister tells parliament
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs decree lifting charter flights ban to Turkey
Suspects taken to the Istanbul Police Department's Anti-extremism Branch after suicide bombings killed 44 people and wounded 239 at Atatürk Airport
Four soldiers killed in Çukurca of Hakkari, two in Derik of Mardin and two in Genç of Bingöl during operations against PKK extremists
UN 'stands firmly with people and government of Turkey in fighting against extremism,' UN chief says
Turkish authorities elevated security measures to the highest level following the attack, according to security sources