|05ANKARA377||2005-01-25 10:11:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Ankara|
1. (SBU) On Jan. 24, PolMilOff called on Gezim Kiseri (Deputy
Head of Country) and Sandra Khadhouri (Country Chief of
External Relations) of IOM-Turkey's Iraq Out-of-Country
Voting (OCV) office. They reported that OCV registration in
Turkey has been low: 3,764 as of Jan. 23 (2,730 in Istanbul,
1,034 in Ankara). With only Jan. 24-25 left to go in the
(extended) registration process, it appears IOM will fall
short of its initial estimate of 10,000-30,000 eligible
voters in Turkey. They believe part of the low turnout may
be explained by the fact that the GOT insisted that Iraqi
voters be able to show that they have some legal status (even
if only a valid visitor visa) in Turkey.
2. (C) Kiseri and Khadhouri said that negotiations with the
GOT to establish the modalities for Iraq OCV in Turkey were
"difficult." IOM and the GOT only reached agreement on Jan.
4, later than most or perhaps all other countries. Since
then, however, the IOM officials characterized Turkish
cooperation as very good. Turkish police will provide
security at polling sites (two in Istanbul, one in Ankara),
but they will not have the authority to examine voting
documents, nor can they enter the polling station unless
requested by IOM. All poll workers will be Iraqis.
3. (C) PolMilOff asked if the GOT had approached IOM
regarding the presence on the Iraqi ballot of two parties the
Turks claim are PKK/Kongra-Gel fronts (see reftel). Kiseri
responded that the Turkish ambassador in Geneva had
approached IOM HQ regarding this issue on a worldwide basis,
and that HQ had told the Turks that it was bound to use the
ballot it was provided by the IECI.
4. (SBU) Kiseri and Khadhouri handed us a list showing the
status of all OCV registrations worldwide as of Jan. 23:
5. (SBU) A number of Embassy Ankara and AmConGen Istanbul
personnel will serve as observers for Turkey OCV.
6. (U) Embassy Baghdad and Iraq REOs minimize considered.