I learned something new yesterday and thought I would share it.
Yesterday, upon entering Bauhaus (the German version of Home Depot which is also in Turkey), we were asked to show a “HES kodu.” Luckily, I was with my husband because I had no idea what they wanted. However, once he informed me what it was, I panicked.
Why did I panic? There was nothing urgent that I needed from Bauhaus. (Believe it or not, shopping is not my thang. However, when I first got that document, weeks ago, I really didn’t know what it was, how important it was, or that I needed to have it with me at all times.
So what is the HES kodu? It is a QR code (the square barcode) issued by the Turkish Ministry of Health that everyone is required to carry with them to “protect the health of yours and loved ones during the pandemic.” No joke. Big Brother is tracking you and those in your household.
Apparently, there is an app or a website the Turks use to get it. Turks were showing it on their phones and BH employees scanned the code for each guest. My best guess is that if you or someone in your household is known to have covid, the information is stored in the QR code ad you would be denied entry.
So how do you get the QR code as a tourist? Within 72 hours of entering Turkey, you must fill out a form online called the “Form for Entry to Turkey.” It’s on the Ministry of Health’s website and you can find it by clicking here. You will immediately be provided a document with a QR code. It’s best to print it on paper, and save a pdf on your mobile phone. The form asks for basic information, passport number, email, local address, phone number.
Alas, I did find the document in my wallet! So most likely there was a notation on the website to carry it with me. And just like that, I found myself shopping in Bauhaus.