The minimum criteria for obtaining a driver's license will be raised and driving tests will be held by a professional independent agency, according to a decision taken by the High Board of Traffic Safety.
The board convened on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the new set of rules for driver's licenses. The decisions, approved by the prime minister, include making the driving test more difficult for applicants.
The decisions have been relayed to the governor's offices of all provinces, according to a report in the Milliyet daily. Erdoğan also ordered amendments to the related legislation to restructure driving tests and teaching centers.
Learners take private courses in the current system, then take a driving test to get a license. However, the courses, overseen by the Ministry of Education, have been controversial, as there have been allegations that in some cases people enroll, but don't attend class and only show up on the day of the driving test. The course centers teach about the parts of the engine, first aid and traffic rules for a month, then shift to practical driving lessons for two weeks. The official driving test is taken at the end of this period.
The main purpose of the changes, Milliyet reported, was to make sure that people are already good drivers the day their license is issued. The Ministry of Education will authorize an independent agency to organize driving tests, as per the board's new decisions. A commission with representatives from the Ministry of Education, the police and the Ministry of Transport and Communication will be in charge of overseeing the work of the independent agency.
The new changes will also introduce provisional driving licenses for learners.