“A grey passport” gives Turkish authorities the opportunity to allow individual Turkish citizens to enter Germany via the small official channels and without the bureaucratic hurdle of applying for a visa. The “grey passport” is an official service card that certifies that the holder is performing certain tasks on behalf of the issuing municipality in Germany. German customs have accepted such documents for years.
Now, however, the realisation is taking hold that – would you believe it? – an extensive abuse has been carried out. Eastern Anatolian communities in particular are suspected of simply selling the coveted documents to anyone who will pay for them. A “grey passport” is said to be worth 6000 to 8000 euros. In one case, a tour group put a used truck on the authority’s yard in return for 20 “grey passports”, the newspaper “Die Welt” reports.
Turkish companies in Germany reportedly occasionally write invitations to imaginatively invented events in Germany to their compatriots, for whose participation Turkish municipalities then issue the necessary service cards. The meetings never take place. Even in Corona times, many well-behaved German officials apparently did not notice that these were fake events. In other cases, invitations from German companies were apparently simply falsified.
So some Oriental officials are evidently playing a lucrative game with letters and seals that are taken seriously by German authorities and pave the way for Turks to come to Germany who would otherwise only have been allowed to enter as tourists for a few weeks. Nobody could have expected that, could they?