Why do I need a HES code?
A HES (“Hayat Eve Sığar”) code is a code consisting of a unique series of numbers which can be acquired free of charge. It is now mandatory for all persons in Turkey to present a valid HES code in order to access public services, such as when taking public transportation or when entering a public building, as well as for all intercity travel. HES Codes have been introduced as a way to more easily track individuals who may have become exposed to coronavirus, and therefore prevent the further spread of the virus.
How can I get a HES code?
There a 3 ways to obtain a HES code.
Last updated: 6 September 2021
The following changes to Coronavirus-related measures came into effect on 6 September 2021:
Negative PCR test requirements
- Unvaccinated persons are required to present proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours before attending public events, such as concerts, cinema and theaters.
Unvaccinated persons and/or persons who have not been infected with COVID-19 before are required to present proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours before intercity travels by public transportation (bus, plane, train etc.)
- A negative PCR test result will not be requested from unvaccinated persons who have previously been infected with COVID-19 and are considered to be immune due to recent infection.
The vaccination and infection history of individuals will be checked at public events via HES codes.
- Schools in Turkey have resumed face-to-face classes.
This section of the website is dedicated to information on precautionary measures introduced by the Turkish government in order to stop the further spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In this section, you can find a compilation of information on administrative changes as well as rights and obligations during the pandemic.
Because of the nature of the pandemic, the Turkish government is introducing new measures and/or modifying already existing ones. Please check the Refugee Rights Information Portal regularly for updates.
If you are facing a medical emergency, please dial 112 Emergency Hotline.
For general information about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may call
the Ministry of Health’s Coronavirus Counselling Hotline 184.
For general information about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Arabic, Farsi, English, Pashto, German and Russian, you can also dial
the Foreigners Communication Center YİMER Hotline 157.
The information presented below is of a general nature. Please keep in mind that there are some exceptions to all of the precautions and prohibitions. If you need further information, you can call one of the aforementioned hotlines.
You may also seek additional information on the current Coronavirus-related measures and regulations by contacting our organization, Refugee Rights Turkey. We currently continue our services remotely for a temporary term and provide information over the phone. You can dial 0549 510 52 02 (Arabic and English) or 0549 510 52 03 (Turkish and Farsi) from Monday through Friday, 10 am – 5 pm. If you would like to communicate in another language, interpretation can be provided upon request. You can also send an e-mail to [email protected] in any language you prefer.
Since March 2020, there have been various restrictions being put into effect in Turkey in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. Restrictions on movement are among such measures.
As of 1 July 2021, all such restrictions (curfews, stay-at-home orders) have been lifted.
Depending on the course of the pandemic and the ongoing needs, different measures can be put into effect in different locations. We recommend that you follow closely the measures taken in your locality for your own and your family’s safety.
Restrictions on intercity travel that have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus are lifted.
Please be aware that asylum seekers and refugees wishing to travel to other cities are still required to obtain a travel permission from the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management of the city they are registered in.
It is important to note that travel permit is not provided to every applicant: it is reserved for critical and emergency situations and is issued for a specific duration. Accordingly, if you travel to another city without a travel permit or if you stay there for beyond the permitted duration, you may risk being irregular and have difficulty accessing services.
HES code is mandatory for all intercity travels taking place via public transportation means and the travelers are expected to provide this code to the service providers before buying their tickets. It has been introduced as a way to more easily track individuals travelling together and prevent the further spreading of the virus. In current practice, those who cannot obtain a HES code or whose HES codes cannot be verified by transportation companies (i.e. because they have COVID-19 and are expected to not use public transportation) cannot travel to another city.
HES code which is a free-of-charge code consisting of separate combination of numbers and letters for each individual can be obtained via 3 means:
- You may send an SMS to 2023. In this SMS, you need to write in order and by leaving space in between: HES (all capital); your 99-starting Foreigners ID number, year you were born and the duration for which you need this code (in days). Turkish citizens and those holding a residence permit in Turkey are expected to write the last 4 digits of the serial number on their respected IDs and permits, in lieu of the year of birth.
- You may use e-Devlet . Choose “HES Kodu Üretme ve Listeleme” (meaning,”Create and List HES Code”) and select “Yeni HES Kodu” (new HES code) in order to get your HES code.
- Alternatively, you may download the application called “Hayat Eve Sığar” (HES ) and get your HES code from the relevant section in this application.
Usually it takes only a few minutes to get your HES code using one of these means described above. In the case you experience any problems in accessing your HES code or in receiving a confirmation of your HES code while buying your ticket, you may contact YİMER at 157.
Please keep in mind that these restrictions and prohibitions have been issued as health precautions. Because the virus can be transmitted among individuals very easily and quickly, such measures are necessary to prevent transmission from people to people and thus protect the health of society as a whole.
While using public transport, the use of face masks has become mandatory in many cities. For this reason, you are obligated to wear a face mask. In addition, you must follow the rules introduced which require passengers to maintain physical distance from one another while using public transport. Again, these rules have been introduced in order to protect the health of all of us.
You should avoid forming crowds when in public, maintaining a minimum distance of 1 meter with the person next to you and other pedestrians. This practice is not only advised, but also obligatory.
You must follow the precautions given in markets, grocery stores, and other enclosed public areas, including the above-mentioned obligation to wear a face mask and maintain physical distance. In addition, customers may only be admitted into shops one by one. Wearing a face mask in markets, grocery stores and other enclosed public areas is an obligation.
If it is determined that you have left your house in defiance of the measures, the police will take action against you and you will be fined.
Detailed information on the payment of fines is provided on the paper ticket given to you by the police at the time of the violation.
If you feel that you have not violated the prohibitions and the fine issued to you is unjust, you may appeal this fine. This objection can be made with an application to the Criminal Court of Peace within 15 days from the date when the ticket was handed out or you were verbally notified of this fine. Your right to appeal is reserved, even if you have already paid before submitting an appeal.
If you have further questions, you can contact Refugee Rights Turkey.
Pharmacies and supermarkets all around Turkey have re-started selling face masks. Accordingly, you may buy face masks at one of such stores.
In line with precautions introduced to stop the spread of Coronavirus disease, PDMMs have also modified their work procedures. According to the measures announced on 17 May 2021, PDMMs in all provinces have resumed their normal operations.
In Turkey, coronavirus disease-related diagnosis, treatment and medication is accessible to everyone free of charge. Therefore, if you are in Turkey and you are suffering from coronavirus disease, you can access health care services.
If you are not able to access health care services, you may call the Ministry of Health’s Coronavirus Counselling Hotline 184 or the Foreigners Communication Center YİMER Hotline 157.
If you have further questions or needs, you can also contact Refugee Rights Turkey.
To receive general information about COVID-19, you may call the Ministry of Health’s Coronavirus Counselling Hotline by dialing 184. If you need this information in another language, you can reach the YİMER Hotline for support in Arabic, Farsi, English, Pashto, German and Russian languages by dialing 157.
You can also visit the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website which contains up-to-date information regarding the pandemic and other relevant information material.
If you are in an emergency medical situation requiring immediate medical assistance, you should call the Emergency Hotline by dialing 112 and following the instructions given to you by the operator.
It is important to understand that, because of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of general health services have been impacted and many hospitals converted into pandemic hospitals designed to serve only those who suffer from COVID-19.
If you are in an emergency medical situation requiring immediate medical assistance (such as childbirth or a traumatic injury), you should call the Emergency Hotline by dialing 112 and following the instructions given to you by the operator.
If you were scheduled to undergo surgery or another medical procedure and your doctor has cancelled this appointment, you should wait to hear again from your doctor or contact the hospital for more information. Such measures are designed as a precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19 and increase the capacity of healthcare institutions as they continue fighting COVID-19.
To receive more information on non-emergency medical assistance, you can call the Ministry of Health Hotline by dialing 184. If you require information in Arabic, Farsi, English, Pashto, German or Russian, you can call the YİMER Hotline by dialing 157. You may also consult with your Family Physician, if you have their number.
Refugee Rights Turkey is a legal information and support provider, and therefore does not provide any social or economic support. However, you can contact Refugee Rights Turkey to find out if there is any assistance or support available in your locality.
You should be aware that, because of the increased demand for social and economic support due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the Coronavirus disease pandemic, both governmental and non-governmental organizations are receiving a high volume of requests while also working to continue their operations and respond to various needs. You can approach public institutions, muhtars, municipalities or civil society organizations in your locality to receive information about available social or economic support.
If you are already benefiting from any type of social or financial assistance, this assistance should continue. If there is any interruption in the assistance you are receiving, please consult with the organization you had previously been in contact with regarding the aid.
Individuals under International Protection or Temporary Protection in Turkey can benefit from the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), a cash assistance program also known as KIZILAYKART. ESSN aims to cover the basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers. In order to benefit from the ESSN program, you should first submit an application. Your application will be assessed, and you will be informed of the results. If you would like to learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process, please visit the program’s website or call the Türk Kızılay Call Center by dialing 168.
Another important support program is Social Economic Support (in Turkish: Sosyal Ekonomik Destek), operated by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services. This program aims to support children and youth who are in need of protection, as well as their families. You can submit your application via the e-government gateway. You will need your foreigner’s identification number and your e-government password to file the online application. If you do not have an e-government password, you can get your password by going to the post office (PTT) with your foreigner’s identification number. Please note that not all applicants will receive the support. The Ministry will review your application and notify you if you have been deemed eligible for the support or not. For more information about the Ministry’s support services, you can visit the Ministry’s website or visit a Social Service Center.
It has also been announced that “Vefa Social Support Groups” will assist elderly or seriously ill people who cannot meet their basic needs due to lockdown measures. Such persons may call 112, 155 or 156 and notify authorities.
The Turkish Ministry of Health has launched a website dedicated to information on the Coronavirus disease pandemic, protection measures, current developments regarding the pandemic and other critical information. This website contains various informational materials including documents and videos in Turkish. You can access this website by clicking here.
Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has prepared various informational materials covering preventative measures against COVID-19, how to properly wear face masks, and other related topics on their website, available in English, French and Arabic, among other languages.