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.
Warplanes bomb targets in Iraq's Sinat-Haftanin and Metina regions, Turkish military says
Rocket launchers, armoured vehicles and ammunition depots hit during operation, Turkish military source says
Justice and Development Party deputies carry confidence vote in 550-seat parliament
Protest in Turkish capital remembers 10 victims of 2010 Mavi Marmara aid flotilla incident
The 3-day curfew was imposed in 13 neighborhoods of the province of Mardin to nab PKK extremists
Turkey's leadership in helping least development nations should be emulated, according to senior UN official
'Those who are our friends, who are with us in NATO... cannot, must not send their soldiers to Syria wearing YPG insignia,' Turkish president says
A group of devout Muslims from across Turkey prayed before the city’s historic Hagia Sophia on the 562nd anniversary of the Turkish conquest of Istanbul, demanding that the site be turned back into a mosque.
Army, police sources say PKK has burned 180 properties in Sirnak amid anti-terror operations
According to Turkish military, 4 PKK were killed in Mardin province and 17 others in Sirnak
Rockets shot from Syria have landed at Gaziantep Airport this morning. Updates to follow
Extremists were killed while preparing to fire rockets into Turkey, military says
Touting new govt ahead of confidence vote, Deputy PM Kurtulmus says it is one of 'reforms, breakthroughs, and action'
Turkey's Deputy FM Koru says nearly 4,200 students from least-developed countries benefit from Turkish government scholarships
Istanbul police detain 15 people and seize firearms, ammunition in PKK-linked operation
Turkish dailies on Friday covered extensively surrender of dozens of PKK terrorists to security forces in southeast