This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 ANKARA 004580
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD PREF TU TIP IN TURKEY SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: TURKISH MEDIA ATTENTION, AUGUST 1- 15, 2004
1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public information campaigns, post provides as examples the following TIP press reports. Text of articles originally published in Turkish is provided through unofficial local FSN translation.
2. (U) Published August 15, 2004 by the International Herald Tribune and New York Times:
TITLE: Southeastern European Nations Unite to Battle Sex Trafficking; By DAVID BINDER
BEGIN TEXT: WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 - Investigators from Turkey and Romania teamed up recently to interview victims of a sex-trafficking ring, resulting in the arrest of five offenders. It was part of a stepped-up cooperative effort against organized crime in Southern Europe. A prosecutor and a police officer traveled from Bucharest to Spain to help shut down a Romanian operation that had trafficked 40 women.
Sex trafficking victims from Moldova testified in a Serbian court, resulting in prison terms for 14 traffickers.
Those and similar cases involving human trafficking where cross-border cooperation has been a rarity are the work of the Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative in Bucharest.
In addition to operations aimed at interdicting narcotics and contraband smuggling, the Cooperative Initiative's Center, which opened in 2001 with assistance from the United States, has conducted three regional sweeps against traffic in human beings, mainly of young women for sexual exploitation.
Southeastern Europe is a region where the International Organization for Migration estimates that 200,000 women are trafficked annually, including women from the region and women brought there for the sex trade. The center had help from the F.B.I. in training officials to interview the victims.
Officials here and in the region say that the latest sweep, by more than 1,000 police officers in June, has raised cooperation against organized crime among 13 countries to new levels. They are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
"For the first time we have investigators from several countries working together, we have prosecutors involved, and victims crossing borders to provide testimony without resort to legal assistance treaties," said John F. Markey, a director of law enforcement assistance programs for the State Department and the principal American liaison for the regional center, known as the SECI Center.
It "is unique in the world in terms of regional cooperation against organized crime," he said, noting that work was under way to replicate it for an area from Southeastern Europe to Central Asia by another United States-sponsored group comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova. The June sweep brought increases in most categories used to measure success relative to the network's previous operations: 594 victims identified; 86 victims assisted; 133 victims repatriated; 545 traffickers identified and 328 traffickers charged.
In addition, 120 requests for information on people suspected of crimes were registered in the Bucharest center from outlying law enforcement authorities from across the region. In an analysis, Maj. Gen. Alexandru Ionas, deputy director at the center, wrote, "This trend is a clear sign that the mechanism of the task force is fully at work and that countries rely more and more on its information exchange facilities."
He called for "international tracing of criminal assets and money laundering schemes." Some actions with regard to assets are already occurring. In conjunction with the sweep, Albanian state police officials in July announced that they had seized assets valued at $4.3 million. END TEXT.
3. (U) Published August 13, 2004 by the Prague Post:
TITLE: U.S. seeks solution to trafficking BEGIN TEXT: Expert lauds efforts, decries drift toward sex-trade legalization; By Dinah A. Spritzer; Staff Writer, The Prague Post; (August 12, 2004)
Ambassador John Miller, director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, paid a visit to the Czech Republic at the beginning of the month and met with trafficking experts. Miller's office helps countries to curtail forced labor and sexual slavery. His position was created last year as part of an expansion of the U.S. Trafficking Victim Protection Act. Passed in 2000, the act provided stiffer penalties against human traffickers and funding for assistance to victims of modern-day slavery. On Aug. 6 Miller discussed with The Prague Post the Czech fight against sexual slavery and U.S. concern over the Czech government's aim to legalize prostitution.
The Prague Post: The Czech Republic has been dubbed by some as the brothel of Europe because of its booming sex trade. Does that bother you?
John Miller: First of all, I am not in a position at all to look at the Czech Republic that way. I have seen a lot of other European countries that could make a pretty good claim to that title.
TPP: Nonetheless, the number of sex clubs here has dramatically grown in the last few years. Aren't you concerned that they fuel trafficking?
JM: There is no question that when you have a brothel, you have a demand for victims. Research indicates that enormous percentages of the women involved are not doing this of their free choice. The most recent survey -- it's an American study by eight doctors -- looks at 854 women engaged in prostitution in nine countries, ranging from Germany to Taiwan. That survey shows that the overwhelming majority report being continuously harassed, assaulted and raped. Eighty-nine percent want to escape [from prostitution].
TPP: You called it the oldest form of abuse, but don't women have the right to be prostitutes?
JM: If most women are not getting into it by their free choice, we have to acknowledge this fact. And if it is associated with rape and assault and harassment, we have to acknowledge that fact as well. For the most part it is a human rights violation.
TPP: So is this what you're telling mayors in this country: "Hey, I know you want to legalize prostitution: Don't do it"?
JM: I haven't talked to any mayors. I wish I had. But we feel making the state the chief pimp is not going to help matters. We talked to NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and they privately said this is not going to help the women involved. This is going to stigmatize them as a class. It is going to create a demand for more victims. It is going to invite organized crime to extend their tentacles.
TPP: Jitka Gjuricova, the Interior Ministry expert on prostitution, says the ministry "draws inspiration" from countries where regulation of licensed prostitution has proven to be an effective means in fighting trafficking.
JM: She draws inspiration, let's be blunt about it, from the Netherlands. If you look at the last decade in the Netherlands, the number of [trafficking] victims has quadrupled. They created a magnet for victims from all over the world, particularly from Eastern Europe. There is absolutely no evidence the Netherlands, this inspiration for those who seek legalization, has reduced trafficking in victims. It appears to be the opposite.
TPP: How do you assess Czech efforts to curtail sexual slavery?
JM: You now have a national action plan on trafficking. You have an organized-crime unit with officers focusing specifically on trafficking and this is something many countries don't have. You are just in the process of finishing a pilot project for victims, very advanced, and the government officials I have talked to want to expand it.
TPP: And the shortcomings?
JM: The Czech Republic is a Tier 1 [best-practices country according to the U.S. Global Report on Trafficking], [but] every government can improve. We did notice there were 15 or 20 arrests last year of traffickers, five convictions and then [only] one person went to jail and the rest got suspended sentences. There was an educational campaign a couple of years ago in the schools but it ended and I think there is something to be done there. And it has to be directed not just at potential victims but at society as a whole. There is a need to develop an attitude that recognizes that such women are not criminals; they are not a lower class; they are victims.
TPP: Does the U.S. fight against trafficking have any real influence on what governments do?
JM: A year ago, in our Trafficking in Persons Reoprt, we listed a host of countries in Tier 3, those not making significant efforts to stop trafficking. Included were some friends of ours, Greece and Turkey. In the three months after the report came out, while there was of course some criticism in these countries of our report, nonetheless there were people of goodwill who recognized this was a valuable tool. And so in these countries you found increased efforts at education, public service announcements directed at potential victims. You found law-enforcement training courses sensitizing police to look for victims, not just treating them as illegal immigrants. You found more arrests and prosecutions; you found more funding for NGOs helping victims. The point is to see progress.
TPP: Many people object to the U.S. government acting as a moral bully. What gives you the right to boss other countries around?
JM: There is not a government in the world that officially sanctions slavery. This is a universal value. I do not apologize for the fact that maybe the U.S. feels this value more acutely because of our history with slavery. I do not apologize for the fact that we take a leadership role on this. It is also not just a case of the U.S. looking at the world. One of the first things I did when I started this position was to commission a report on the U.S.
TPP: What is the greatest weakness in the U.S. effort to combat trafficking at home?
JM: Prosecutions. We have tripled them in the last two years, but there is more to be done. We know there are thousands [of victims] in the U.S. but the prosecutions are in the hundreds. END TEXT.
4. (U) Published August 10, 2004 by Turkey's Hurriyet News, page 6:
BEGIN TEXT: TRABZON - Two Russian women, together with their boy friends, went to a beach owned by the Trabzon Security Directorate. The two women started sunbathing topless and behaved improperly with their boy friends. When families complained, the two were taken out of the site. The Security then closed the beach to outsiders. END TEXT.
5. (U) Published August 8, 2004 by the India Tribune:
TITLE: INHUMAN CARGO
BEGIN TEXT: The plight of "aliens" languishing in jails in Greece, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan was brought to light after seven workers of Kuwait Gulf Links, a transport company, were taken hostage in Iraq. Those taken hostages had gone "legally" but the focus shifted to the "aliens" who were considered "vulnerable" to exploitation by companies engaged in Illegal international trafficking.
Only last week, the first batch of 23 of the 106 Indian youth, who had been languishing in the Teheran Gurdwara from four weeks to three months, could return home safely after attempts to sneak into Greece in the Olympic year proved abortive. They were not only left destitute but had become mental wrecks. Despite the infamous Malta boat tragedy of December 25,1996, there has been no let-up in the activities of mafia engaged in human smuggling. It is not only the Doaba region of Punjab that is targeted by the agents but also other parts of the North, including Haryana.
In the Malta boat tragedy, 170 youth from Doaba, 88 Pakistanis and 149 Sri Lankans had drowned in the Malta- Sicily channel after "donkey," the boat they were travelling in, collided with a ship during a mid-sea transfer. The police may have registered more cases this year than last year against travel agents for cheating, but it has not checked the "outflow of both skilled and unskilled youth to western nations" by illicit methods. Rather, the number of victims is rising at an alarming rate.
Smuggling humans is a multi-billion dollar business. It has been thriving because of the lack of economic opportunities at home. "What do we do here? There are no jobs and agriculture is not remunerative. We are forced to take this risk," says Karnail Chand, a 29- year-old from Kapurthala, who has been one of the 23 who returned from Teheran last week.
"It is a complex network which operates not only at the village level in Punjab but also internationally. The beneficiaries are too many. Right from the agents who scout for youth lured by the greener pastures of the West to immigration and police officials manning international borders across the globe, all are part of the network," says a senior Punjab police official, maintaining that each victim has the "same horrid tale of misery, hardship and suffering to tell."
A powerful nexus between collaborators or suppliers of illegal immigrants from the region and those abroad have spread their tentacles all round the globe and turned the racket of into a thriving business. Increasingly clever and clandestine methods employed by the criminals, incredibly high profits involved and the non-interference of other countries, which often welcome the aliens as "refugees," are supporting factors that contribute to this flourishing trade. Investigations reveal that every year those indulging in human trafficking ensnare no less than 25,000 able- bodied youth from the region. Each one of them coughs up anything between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs. 20 lakh on being promised an "entry" into Europe or North America.
"Last year, almost 90 per cent of the people from Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq managed to sneak into Greece and Italy. But this year, the success rate has been only 9 to 10 per cent. In Greece, the authorities are very strict because of the Olympics. They deport as many as 1,000 "illegal immigrants" everyday," says Balbir Chand, also a victim.
Harpal Singh, a youth from Doaba, says he had struck a Rs1.75-lakh deal with a travel agent of Nakodar for taking him to Greece. "It all started well. The agent got us a visa for Jordan and put us up in a hotel for seven days. Food was not provided but the agent used to give us a few chappatis and some vegetable curry for lunch and dinner each day.
"Then started the second and most humiliating phase. Those who were not very ambitious settled down in Jordan or Lebanon where they have to churn out something between Rs 45,000 and 50,000 for a card to work there against a salary of US $ 250 to 300 a month. To get into Istanbul in Turkey, agents in Jordan charge you anything between US $ 450 and 500. Tourist buses take 15 to 16 hours to reach Istanbul."
"Sometimes, these buses are checked and "aliens" are pushed and dropped on the Iran border. There are several check posts and barriers. The aliens manage to either cross into Iran or look for assistance to sneak into Turkey again.
Since people in the border villages are poor, they also lend a helping hand. Some Kurds even facilitate their release from the border police, charging between US $ 250 and 400 and helping them reach the gurdwara in Teheran. Others are pushed into Pakistan," reveals another youth, who had managed to reach the gurdwara on paying $ 250 dollars to a Kurd.
Until last month, the agents used to make the kabootars (illegal immigrants) enter into Iraq from where they would join groups of "donkeys" (illegal immigrants are referred as donkeys in West Asia). But now this channel has been closed. "We were in Baghdad for a few days before we left for our next destination as donkeys," discloses another victim, alleging that agents have tie- ups with the police and other authorities.
Donkey, explains a victim, is the name given to a group of aliens who are moved, mostly at night, either in specially crafted light and medium transport vehicles or made to walk through inhospitable terrains criss- crossing international borders. These vehicles are otherwise used for ferrying sheep and cattle. "If you are a `donkey' then you should be prepared to wade through snow, slush, mud and difficult terrain. Sometimes, we had to walk for 24 hours at a stretch, without food and water. Our ordeal continued for almost three months till we, a group of eight people, managed to reach the Iran border and a Kurd helped us to reach the Teheran gurdwara," reveals a youth from Punjab.
"We managed to reach Greece from we were deported. In all, we were eight Indians, 55 Pakistanis and 10 Bangladeshis. In Istanbul, Greece, Lebanon and even in Jordan, the agents have set up open shops. For example, the rates for reaching Greece from Lebanon or Turkey vary. A truck-trailer at US$2,600 works out as the cheapest mode of transport, while the speedboat or ship at US $3,000 to 3,200 comes under the costly category.
"Money is taken only after one has reached the destination," says Balbir Chand, who was deported from Greece. "I was to pay US$450 on reaching Istanbul. Since I was caught on the way, I did not pay anything." In Turkey and Greece, the immigration officials are strict. They take fingerprints and collect as much data as possible to ensure that the alien does not attempt to sneak into their country again.
"In one case, five aliens were fired upon after they did not stop at a check barrier. A driver and an Indian boy were killed in the firing, while the other three occupants, all Pakistanis, were taken in custody. The body of this boy is yet to reach his village in Doaba," reveals Daljit Chand, also a victim.
Interestingly, not many of the victims or their parents show any interest in filing criminal cases against the agents because they apprehend a backlash or closing of channel in future." When things improve and authorities become lax, I may try again," says one of the victims, a 23-year-old from Kapurthala. "I have nothing to do here. No one is going to give me a job because I am a school dropout. Even if I get a menial job in Europe, I can support my family and parents back home. Doing the same job in India, I cannot even support myself. END TEXT.
6. (U) Published August 6, 2004 by the International Organization on Migration (Press Notes):
BEGIN TEXT: GEORGIA - "You Are Not For Sale" Information Campaign Receives New Funding - The IOM office in Tbilisi has launched the third stage of its ongoing information campaign, aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration from and through Georgia.
This two-year US$278,000 Dutch funded part of the programme will allow IOM to expand its information campaign in Georgian, English and Russian to include awareness material on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases awareness to be distributed to potential migrants and victims of trafficking.
The IOM information campaign "You Are not for Sale ", launched in December 2001 with funding from the Dutch Government, is helping to raise awareness about the realities of travelling abroad for work and the dangers associated with irregular migration.
Telephone hotlines, television and radio ads, campaign posters in the underground, railway stations, airports and other public places, and information meetings throughout Georgia are providing up to date and objective information on migration and alerting potential migrants to the dangers of irregular migration and trafficking.
IOM information centres in three Georgian cities (Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Gurjaani) provide face-to-face assistance to potential migrants, and encourage them to verify job offers or information received before taking the risk of moving abroad or paying money to mediators who promise employment abroad. A virtual centre where people submit questions via the Internet to IOM counsellors will also be set up.
The Turkish Embassy in Tbilisi is distributing 3,000 IOM brochures to visa applicants. The brochures are also being distributed at 11 border crossings, at the passport agency and by NGOs.
Since July 2002, the IOM hotline has received some 7,000 calls. The majority of the callers, females aged between 20 and 40, are interested in finding seasonal jobs abroad to support their families. The second most frequently asked question is visa procedures. Other questions include: legal migration opportunities, opportunities to study abroad, asylum, and reliability of employment offers.
The main destination countries for Georgian migrants are Turkey, Greece, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Western Europe. Migrant women work as housekeepers and nannies; men work in agriculture and construction. In almost all cases the work is illegal. Many irregular migrants eventually return home, but are forced to go abroad again in search of work. END TEXT.
7. (U) Published August 5, 2004 by Radio Free Europe:
TITLE: World: U.S. Diplomat Leads Charge Against Human Trafficking; By Don Hill
BEGIN TEXT: The U.S. diplomat in charge of leading an American worldwide campaign against what is called "trafficking in people" says that no nation in the world -- including the United States itself -- is doing enough to combat the practice. Ambassador John Miller, senior State Department adviser on people trafficking, says the world must take a more serious stance on a crime that is enslaving more than 800,000 people a year -- mostly women and children. Miller is visiting the Czech Republic this week in connection with a move there to legalize prostitution.
Prague, 5 August 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Miller heads the U.S. State Department's office to combat "trafficking in persons," but the title, he says, is too mild for the crime it describes.
"What we're talking about," he said, "is human slavery."
A former congressman from the state of Washington, the ambassador speaks on his chosen topic in language atypical for politicians and diplomats. He told a press briefing today at RFE/RL's Prague headquarters that countries that treat people trafficking lightly are allowing abductions, beatings, and rapes by the thousands.
He said that he will urge the Czech government to move cautiously as it considers proposed new legislation to legalize and regulate prostitution.
"In our view, while it is important to treat the victims [prostitutes] humanely, and while a good case can be made, when you are talking about prostitution, for de-criminalizing when it comes to the women involved, the idea of legalizing the activities of the customers, the pimps, the brothel owners, regulating -- making the state the chief pimp -- our experience is that will just be throwing oil on the fire," Miller said.
Today marks the second day of Miller's three-day visit to the Czech Republic. The ambassador said that early in its transition from communism to a market economy, the Czech Republic was what he calls a "source country" for slaves -- women and children forced into prostitution, and men into factory and farm labor in other countries. But he said that has changed. "We are not happy with what is going on in Russia. They took some steps, they passed a new law with some criminal provisions. They cooperated a little more with NGOs. But overall the effort was weak and we dropped Russia from Tier 2 to Tier on the watch list." -- Ambassador John Miller
"As the Czech economy has grown, the nature of the problem has changed," Miller said. "Today if we look at trafficking in persons, or slavery, in the Czech Republic, we are talking about the Czech Republic as a destination country. People coming from Eurasia, Eastern Europe to the Czech Republic, engaging, being forced, into the various types of slavery. Although, talking with the NGOs, it is clear that the leading form of slavery in the Czech Republic is sex slavery."
Miller said he will advise the Czech leadership that, in considering the legislation, they will be choosing what kind of tourism they want their country to be known for. He asked if Prague really wants to be famous for, in his phrase, "sex tourism."
The United States has announced a fund of $120 million for its antislavery program. And one of Miller's tasks is to travel the world applying grants, advice, pressure, and -- possibly -- threats of sanctions to get other countries to take the issue seriously also.
Already, he said, the campaign has scored successes. He said that Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan -- among others -- have taken actions that have moved them from his office's list of countries who ignore the problem to its list of countries that have taken significant steps against it.
He said that Russia has moved in the opposite direction and his office has re-listed it. He said his office now considers Russia as belonging to the tier -- or level - - of countries doing little or nothing to combat human slavery.
"This [human trafficking] is a serious problem in Russia. Russia is not only a destination country. Russia is a source country, too, and it's a transit country," Miller said. "We are not happy with what is going on in Russia. They took some steps, they passed a new law with some criminal provisions. They cooperated a little more with NGOs. But overall the effort was weak and we dropped Russia from Tier 2 to Tier on the watch list." Miller said he wants to persuade countries to adopt stringent laws against abducting, smuggling, and enslaving people. He said he hopes for comprehensive antitrafficking programs including prohibiting, punishing, and preventing this crime. He also wants, he said, education to warn people of the dangers involved. And to make evident to governments that enslaving and trafficking human beings is a vile crime of major proportions. END TEXT.
8. (U) Published August 4, 2004 by the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
TITLE: KYRGYZSTAN: New passport to help combat human trafficking
BEGIN TEXT: ANKARA, 4 Aug 2004 (IRIN) - A new national passport has been introduced in Kyrgyzstan in a move to fight human trafficking and organised crime. The new travel document offers greater protection against forgery and is compatible with international standards, according to a migration official.
"The new passport has sufficient levels of protection [against forgery]. It is not filled in by hand, as was the case before. It also has a digital photo, making it impossible to stick in someone else's photo," Bermet Moldobaeva, a programme coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kyrgyzstan, told IRIN from the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
The current national passport is filled in by hand, which prompts some border officials to scrutinise the document, especially if the handwriting is not clear. "It is a real hassle for me to travel with my passport because whenever I arrive in Moscow airport the border officials spend a certain amount of time checking my document, which was filled in with bad handwriting," Asylbek, a Kyrgyz national working in the Turkish capital, Ankara, told IRIN.
Their comments followed a recent presentation of the new travel document in Bishkek. During the presentation Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev said: "The creation of a new national identity document is a major step in strengthening state security, which testifies to the active participation of the Kyrgyz Republic in international efforts to build peace and combat international terrorism, trafficking in human beings and other organised crime."
The old Kyrgyz passport is not in compliance with international standards, a fact the authorities feel could contribute to human trafficking and terrorist activities, and threaten national security. There have been some unconfirmed reports that human traffickers fly their Uzbek and Tajik victims via the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and other countries using forged Kyrgyz passports, something deemed impossible with the use of new travel documents, experts say.
"It will be impossible to forge the new passport because the latest technology was used, [including] several layers of seal, a special dye, personal data imprinted on laminated covering, etc," Moldobaeva said.
Produced by the Moldovan company Registru, the new passports are designed according to standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Each will contain an identity number printed on the biographical data page and repeated on all pages by laser; a machine-readable code; a digital photographic image of the holder; and special paper with watermarks, which contain fluorescent fibres only visible by ultraviolet light. Meanwhile, the national passport issuing system has changed. Under the new regulations, there is now a special centre for issuing the documents. Units that formerly issued passports cannot do so anymore. They can only gather passport applications from the population and send them to the new centre. There this information will be checked and then put into the database storing all the necessary information.
Moreover, in an effort to ensure better border control, border-crossing points are set to be connected with this database. "If people crossing the border present this new passport it will be checked with the data stored in the database. Thus, the receiver of that passport and the person who presents the document at the point will be checked. So, even if someone has somehow forged the new passport he will be detected at the border because there will be a photo of the initial holder of the passport in the database," Moldobaeva explained.
According to the Kyrgyz government agency for information technology, citizens can apply for the new travel document from 12 August. The IOM has provided a US $1.6 million grant funded by the US State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to help develop the new passport infrastructure in the country. END TEXT.
9. (U) Published August 3, 2004 by Turkey's Hurriyet News:
TITLE: "Police Saved the Sex Slaves"
BEGIN TEXT: Moldavian Daniela Yonichi was detained on charges of selling young girls to men. Yonichi allegedly confiscated passports of young girls that she brought from abroad with promises of employment, then forced them into prostitution.
Two young Russian women were saved during the operation. They had been marketed to men in a hotel room that they were locked for months. One of the women is four months pregnant.
The two women embraced the police and cried. After taking their testimony the two will be sent back to their country.
Police are after Mikhail, a Greek who reportedly is the head of an international gang involved in women trafficking. END TEXT.
10. (U) Published August 3, 2004 by Turkey's Anatolian News Agency:
TITLE: POLICE CAPTURE 48 ILLEGAL MIGRANTS IN GAZIOSMANPASA
BEGIN TEXT: ISTANBUL (A.A) - 02.08.2004 - Police captured 48 people of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi origin in the Gaziosmanpasa district of Istanbul on Monday on charges of entering Turkey illegally.
Acting on a tip-off, police raided a house in Gaziosmanpasa, capturing 48 migrants and a Pakistani citizen who had helped those people enter Turkey illegally.
Police said the Pakistani citizen was sent to prison while the 48 migrants would be deported. END TEXT.
11. (U) Published August 2, 2004 by Turkey's Milliyet News:
TITLE: The Prime Ministry Human Rights Presidency (HRP) pulled a Turkish prostitute who applied for help from a brothel and placed her in a shelter. The Presidency will find her a job and eventually will unite her with her kids.
BEGIN TEXT: S.C. (42) married her husband when she was
15. She fled and eventually got divorced. She later had to work as a prostitute to survive.
S.C. sent a letter in January to the Prime Ministry HRP and requested help. She noted that after her divorce, her kids were taken away from her and she fell into the trap of prostitution and meanwhile she was forced to use drugs.
In her letter she wrote, "I want my kids. I would like to live freely in a civilized and clean society. I'm tired of fighting against those who sell me. They made me carry the stain of being a prostitute for 23 years. Save me."
The Prime Ministry instructed the Social Services Directorate to take action. They took S.C. from Mersin and put her in a shelter that is located in an undisclosed place. Meanwhile, works are underway to help her find a job and get her son back from the Mersin orphanage.
"Milliyet" visited her in the shelter. S.C. told the reporter that she owed her new life to the state and thanked the state officials. She said that she was forced to work at brothels in Istanbul, Adana, Iskenderun and Mersin.
"Once you fall into the hands of pimps there is no way out. I got married when I was 15. I could not get along with my husband, so I fled. A woman who promised to help me pulled me into prostitution. I suffered for 23 years. I rebelled and tried to flee but each time they found me. My kids don't even call me 'mom.' But I've repented. I would like to devote myself to my kids and lead a clean life," she said.
She admitted that she made many mistakes and went on, "All the bad things that I experienced occurred because I was young, ignorant and nobody stood up for me. Write everything openly. Let my bad life be a lesson to all young girls.
I enjoy gardening that is very relaxing. Now I'm looking for a job. If a philanthropist person helps me, I would be grateful. Once I find a job I'll get my 13-year-old son Murat from the orphanage. I would like to work and earn my living." END TEXT.
12. (U) Published July 30, 2004 by Turkey's BIA News Center in English:
TITLE: Van Women's Association activists apply for shelter; BIA News Center; 30/07/2004
BIA (Van) - Members and leaders of "Van Women's Association" petitioned to the remote southeast city of Van Municipality urging that violence against women stopped and a center for shelter and consultation opened.
According to international standards, for every 7,500 persons there should exist one women's shelter. This sums up at least to 8,000 shelters for the women of Turkey whereas there exist only 9," explain the group of 17 activists.
The "association" points to the fact that women are forced to commit suicide and murdered under accusations of acting against the traditional codes of honor. The group recalled the case of Nemciye Aralin who was burned to death by her husband in Van's Ozalp village last week.
Van Women's Association urge that
* All municipalities in Turkey should open shelters and the municipality of Van should take the necessary steps,
* Precaution should be taken for all shelters that are open and that will be opened, * Shelters should function along the guidelines of confidentiality and provide security and psychological support,
* Shelters should remain under the supervision of women's organizations who should be endowed with a say in their management. (BB/MN/EK)
13. (U) Published July 30, 2004 by Tbilisi 24 Saati in Georgian:
Title: Abkhazian Exiled Security Head on Smuggling, Trafficking, Lost Uranium
[Interview with Levan Kiknadze, exiled head of Abkhazian Security Service, by Nino Gomarteli; place and date not given: "Kinds of Transnational Crimes in Abkhazia"]
Begin FBIS Translated Text: [Gomarteli] What kind of smuggled goods are in circulation in the Abkhazian conflict zone and how do they get in?
[Kiknadze] According to our service's information, there are several main smuggling routes. These are the Psou border, the sea, the Inguri line; the Caucasus pass is also active in the summer.
As for the kinds of smuggled goods, it is cigarettes, fuel, narcotics, and arms that are mainly being smuggled; these are smuggled in through Abkhazia and have very negative effects on the Georgian economy and the environment in general. Specifically, the movement of these smuggled goods has completely criminalized the area around Inguri, the guerillas and the local population as well as the refugees, the Abkhazian side itself and the peacekeeping forces.
[Gomarteli] What have been the means used to combat smuggling so far and what is the situation like now?
[Kiknadze] Combating smuggling using administrative means as was done in past years yielded no results: The new government has now started implementing legal measures along with the administrative ones against major smugglers, organized criminal groups, local government, and members of the law enforcement structures, which has had much better results so now the indicators of smuggling are much lower.
[Gomarteli] What information does your service have regarding human trafficking in Abkhazia?
[Kiknadze] We have a lot of serious materials about how people are lost in Abkhazia. These are mainly citizens of the Russian nationality. However, the trafficking of people of Turkish nationality brought to Abkhazia by deceit has increased in Abkhazia of late. Numerous people have been searched for for a long time now, mainly men who went to Abkhazia to spend holidays or set up a small business and whose departure from the territory has never been recorded anywhere. I can even tell you the names of some of them, for example, Vladimir Fedorchenko, Nikolay Kazakov, and Nikolay Kvortsov, who havbe been being searched for since 2002, and this list is very long. Of course, there have been cases when women were taken to the territory that we do not control who were then transferred to Turkey.
[Gomarteli] What are the ways of smuggling arms, what routes are there for this?
[Kiknadze] Is it not smuggling when the de facto government itself is importing arms? Moreover, Russia is helping it with this and that is why there is no need to look for the routes of the arms inflow. What they need is being brought from Russia without any problems. Incidentally, as soon as the situation in so- called South Ossetia became tense, the import of arms and heavy equipment to Abkhazia increased.
The point is that Abkhazia's de facto government does not trouble itself by carrying arms through the passes or putting them on the backs of donkeys as these are being brought in by train, car, and airplane. This has been officially made legal. The rest of the groups, for example, Kishmaria, the Kvekvesiri brothers, and the Kirtadze brothers, are mere performers who are implementing the government's tasks and this is why no one resists them.
[Gomarteli] What is the drug smuggling and production situation in Abkhazia? According to information that has been disseminated, there is a plant producing narcotics that is functioning in Sukhumi; has this information been confirmed?
[Kiknadze] We have not been able to confirm that there is such a plant in Abkhazia, but we have information that there are small manufactories that have been processing poppy and similar substances. The demand for it results from the fact that drug addiction in Abkhazia in general is now on a big scale. According to the latest research, 25 percent of the population consumes drugs and young women are the majority of them. It cannot be ruled out that heroin gets to Abkhazia from Georgia as well, but it is from there that we get poppy seeds.
There is a danger that radioactive materials could get abroad from Abkhazia. It is well known that before the war in Abkhazia, uranium was being enriched in a special Sukhumi Physics Institute laboratory; according to our information, there was about 2 kg of enriched uranium there. During the conflict, in order to prevent it from leaking, it was placed in a burial facility. This uranium was later lost. Today, people in Abkhazia are saying that they have no radioactive materials. The Georgian Government suggested carrying out monitoring in order to investigate the situation but was refused. We think that there is a danger that these materials will be transferred abroad. END TEXT.
14. (U) Published July 29, 2004 by Belapan News Agency, Minsk (in Russian):
BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED EXERPT: Minsk, 29 July: A shelter for the victims of human trafficking is to open today in Minsk. It will be established in the framework of a project to counteract trafficking in women in Belarus, jointly implemented by the EU and the United Nation's Development Programme.
The shelter will be established on the premises of a structural subdivision of the Minsk City Executive Committee, and is designed for six to eight people. Its location has not been made public. The shelter will accept the first women in August.
The project is aimed at providing timely and professional social, psychological, rehabilitation and legal assistance and temporary accommodation to victims of trafficking in women.
The shelter is to be funded by the European Commission.
A regulation on the rehabilitation centre for victims of trafficking in women was signed by a representative of the UNDP, Kevin McGrath, and the Chairwoman of the Committee for Labour and Social Security of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Iryna Alyakseyeva, in February 2004.
Experts estimate that the annual turnover of human trafficking in Belarus alone reaches 15m dollars. Women from virtually all Belarusian cities are sold to Russia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Lebanon. END TEXT.
[Passage omitted: working hours and contact information of the shelter]
15. (U) Published July 28, 2004 by Belapan News Agency, Minsk (in Russian):
BEGIN BBC Monitoring Service Translation: HEADLINE: BELARUS, TURKEY SIGN UP TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL MIGRATION BODY: Minsk, 28 July: Belarusian Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumaw and his Turkish counterpart Abdulkadir Aksu signed a memorandum of understanding today between the interior ministries of Belarus and Turkey to counter human trafficking and illegal migration.
The document was adopted as a follow-up to the cooperation agreement between the interior ministries of Belarus and Turkey signed on 25 June, and sets forth specific areas of cooperation to fight human trafficking and illegal migration, Navumaw said. He added that the parties had agreed to exchange information and experts, conduct consultations, and develop measures to help those who fall prey to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In addition, some Belarusian law-enforcement officers will go through training at the Turkish interior ministry.
(Passage omitted: Abdulkadir Aksu praises cooperation with Belarus) END TEXT.