Featured in this quarter’s issue:
- Worldwide Caution
- The State of Emergency
- Consular Agency Izmir to Move
- Improvements to How We Communicate Safety and Security Information to U.S. Citizens
- Updated Turkish Visa Information for U.S. Citizens
- Voting in 2018 U.S. Elections
- Instructions for Taxpayers with Expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers
- FVAP Announces Changes to Legacy Electronic Transmission Service for 2018
- Contact Information
You may visit our website at any time to make an appointment or access the latest messages and local resources: https://tr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/
You may view the Department of State’s Country Specific Information on Turkey at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/turkey.html
The Department of State issued a Worldwide Caution on January 11, 2018 that contains information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions, political violence, and criminal activity against U.S. citizens and interests abroad.
The State of Emergency
On January 18, 2018, the government of Turkey extended the state of emergency (SOE) for the sixth time; it will remain in effect for three more months. The SOE first commenced on July 20, 2016. The SOE allows for expanded governmental powers, including detention and questioning of Turkish citizens and foreign nationals. U.S. citizens should carry identification at all times and make every effort to comply with the instructions and requests of Turkish authorities.
If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information. Turkish authorities may not inform U.S. officials of dual nationals arrested in Turkey or may not allow U.S. officials to visit or provide consular assistance to U.S.-Turkish dual nationals arrested in Turkey.
Consular Agency Izmir to Move
The Izmir Consular Agency will move to a new office building in 2018. For this reason, routine services, such as passport renewals and notarials, will be unavailable in Izmir from the end of February until sometime in mid-2018. If you need to renew a passport, apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or obtain a notary service in Izmir, please do so before the end of February 2018. From February until the Izmir Consular Agency moves to its new location, routine services will be provided only at the Embassy or Consulates. The Izmir Consular Agent will continue to provide emergency services, including assisting U.S. citizens affected by crime, illness, or arrest. We will announce the new location of the Izmir Consular Agency, and the date we will resume full services later in 2018. For questions about the Consular Agency’s services, and to schedule an appointment, please email Izmir@state.gov.
Improvements to How We Communicate Safety and Security Information to U.S. Citizens
On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the Department of State made changes to our safety and security information to make it easier to find, understand, and use. Also on January 10, the Department issued a Travel Advisory for Turkey in this new format, which replaced the Travel Warning for Turkey issued on September 28, 2017.
Travel Advisories have replaced Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Every country has a Travel Advisory, which provides one of four standard levels of advice. The Travel Advisory gives an explanation for the level and includes clear actions U.S. citizens should take.
Alerts replaced Security Messages and Emergency Messages. Alerts follow an easy-to-understand format with clear actions U.S. citizens should take.
U.S. citizens who have signed up to receive updates via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov) should have automatically received, via email, the Turkey Travel Advisory and any subsequent Alerts. They will continue to receive other messages as usual, including announcements related to voting, town halls, and administrative issues.
For more information about improvements to our safety and security information, visit http://travel.state.gov/travelsafely.
Updated Turkish Visa Information for U.S. Citizens
On December 28, 2017, the Department of State and U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Turkey announced the resumption of full U.S. visa services in Turkey. Reciprocally, the government of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the resumption of issuance of electronic visas (e-visas) to U.S. citizens via its e-visa website, as well as ‘sticker’ airport visas to U.S. citizens upon arrival to Turkey. U.S. citizens planning travel to Turkey who have questions should contact their airline or the closest Embassy or Consulate of Turkey. Please be aware that the Government of Turkey makes all decisions regarding entry into, or transit of, the country, and may change those policies at any time.
We advise that all citizens planning travel to Turkey review the Department’s Country Information page on Turkey at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Turkey.html
We advise that all citizens planning to travel abroad register at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at: https://step.state.gov/step/
Voting in 2018 U.S. Elections
Your vote counts! Did you know that many U.S. elections for House and Senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.
Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:
- Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections. The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.
- Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
- Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, or a courier service such as FedEx or DHL. You may also drop off completed voting materials by making a notary appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, the U.S. Consulate in Adana, or the U.S. Consular Agent in Izmir. Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials.
- New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! – the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents. Get more information here.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Consulate General in Istanbul, the Consulate in Adana, or the Consular Agency in Izmir.
Instructions for Taxpayers with Expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) with middle numbers 70, 71, 72, or 80 (for example, 9NN-70-NNNN) expired on January 1, 2018. if you or someone listed on your return has one of these numbers, you must renew the ITIN in order to file your U.S. tax return. Affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2018 must submit Revision 9-2016 version of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to the address found in the Form W-7 instructions.
See this link for more information: Understanding your CP48 Notice
FVAP Announces Changes to Legacy Electronic Transmission Service for 2018
Beginning January 1, 2018, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.
Voters in States that allow for email submission of registration requests, and return of voted ballots, should send those materials directly to their election officials. In the past, FVAP has forwarded email-to-email transmissions, but, when direct communication is possible, there is no benefit or purpose for FVAP to be included in a transaction between the voter and election office.
Beginning January 1, 2018, the following changes will go into effect:
- Voters whose States accept materials by email or regular mail will be instructed to send those materials directly to their election officials;
- FVAP will provide the “firstname.lastname@example.org” service for voters whose jurisdictions only permit faxing for electronic return of their election materials; and,
- Voters faxing materials will be encouraged to send the fax directly to their election office whenever possible.
As always, FVAP is available to assist voters and election officials who experience issues during the absentee voting process. If you have questions regarding these changes, or would like additional information on which methods of material return are accepted in your state, please visit fvap.gov or contact email@example.com.
U.S. Mission offices will be closed on the following U.S. and Turkish holidays:
Monday, February 19 Washington’s Birthday
Monday, April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/
Ankara: 110 Ataturk Boulevard
Tel: (90) (312) 455-5555
Fax: (90) (312) 468-6131
Istanbul: Poligon Mahallesi, Sarıyer Caddesi, No: 75, Istinye 34460, Sarıyer
Tel: (90) (212) 335-9000
Fax: (90) (212) 335-9102
Adana: Girne Bulvari No. 212, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir
Tel: (90) (322) 455-4100
Fax (90) (322) 455-4141
Izmir Consular Agent
Athens Federal Benefits Unit and Veterans Services
Tel: (30) (210) 720-2426
Fax: (30) (210) 720-0509