Turkish citizens’ personal data easily accessible for a few dollars, news sites report

According to two separate investigations by online news outlets T24 and Politikyol, leaked data of millions of Turkish citizens, including those of public figures, are available for fees as low as 150 liras ($4.69).

Duvar English

Websites and social media accounts offer leaked personal information of millions of Turkish citizens, according to reporting by online news outlets T24 and Politikyol on March 6.

T24’s investigation reveals that people’s data is accessible through paying a membership fee to social media accounts advertising these services.

The fee ranges from 150 TL (4.69 dollars) weekly to 750 TL (23.47 dollars) for unlimited usage.

The data, sourced from Turkey’s Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Central Population Administration System (MERNİS), includes names, identification numbers, addresses, hospital records, and mobile phone numbers.

Additionally, information on marital status, property ownership, employment details, educational history, vehicle registrations, and IBAN numbers, as well as photos of identification cards, is available.

T24’s accessed website also offers the ability to generate fake ID cards.

Politikyol, after paying a fee of 150TL through a Telegram channel called ‘Mercy Check’, was referred to a website resembling the interface of Turkey’s main opposition party’s website.

The website claims to have over two million queries and approximately two thousand users.

Similar to T24’s inquiry, a vast amount of recent personal data, including those of public figures, is accessible.

It remains unclear whether T24 and Politikyol accessed the same platforms.

These revelations follow earlier reports of major digital security breaches in 2023. A website called Sorgupaneli.org offered access to Turkish citizens’ private data reportedly stolen from the e-Devlet government site, claiming even to have President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s personal information.

(English version by Wouter Massink)