When entering Turkey my passport was scanned and then the immigration official went on the phone to someone. After that the same thing happened when I was leaving Turkey.

I am not sure why that was. Has anyone else experienced similar? Or why it could be?

I am a registered sex offender could it be that a green notice has been put on my passport?

Has it happend to anyone else where they have been stopped in turkey like this

  • 8
    Hard to say for sure but it sounds like the official checked or referred something with a colleague or a supervisor. It might help you get an answer if you provided more detail about your trip eg what was the purpose, have you entered/transited Turkey before/recently, how long was your stay, and what is your citizenship & country of residence.
    – Traveller
    Commented May 28 at 9:35
  • 1
    Did they ask any unusual questions (i.e. other than the standard why are you coming, how long are you staying, where are you staying, etc.)?
    – jcaron
    Commented May 28 at 10:20
  • They didn’t ask me anything they just spoke to someone on the phone and let me go I am a registered sex offender in the uk could it be that a green notice has been put on my passport? As I’ve travelled to Thailand and Dominican Republic never had a problem.
    – user146690
    Commented Jun 8 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


There could be many reasons for this:

  • The MRZ (Machine Readable Zone, the two lines of characters at the bottom of the photo page) is smudged/difficult to scan.
  • The MRZ has encoding issues (we've seen questions here about passports which had a > in the MRZ when this is not allowed by the standard, or non-standard MRZ lengths)
  • RFID chip on an e-passport did not respond
  • Partial match with someone on some blacklist (wanted, no-fly, lost or stolen passport...)
  • Something unusual in the passport
  • Missing records (you are shown as already being in the country when you enter, or not being in the country when you exit)
  • And probably many more

More generally, it means some kind of alert, warning or error came up, and the officer needed confirmation from someone else (a higher-up, usually) that they could still go ahead.

Policies may vary from country to country (some may give authority to the officer in front of you to override directly, some may require authorisation from a higher up, others will send you to secondary...) and of course depending on the type of alert.

For instance, if some of the data in your passport matched you with some known terrorist, but that terrorist is obviously 30 years younger or older than you are, it will probably trigger an alert (because of the match) but they will override it (because the officer can see it's obviously a false positive).

In passport reading/encoding issues you'll often just see the officer getting annoyed because they have to type things in manually when they usually just have to scan the passport.


I have seen several such things with a family member who has a relatively rare passport. Reasons were somewhat unusual conditions for visa-free entry, or the format of her passport number (less digits than in other countries' passports or something).

Additionally, she is from a country that is somewhat notorious for altered documents, irregular migration etc, so she also sometimes gets extra checks right before boarding a plane.

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