wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
2005-02-02 11:49:00
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  


pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 ANKARA 000590 




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

2. (U) Post's responses are keyed to questions in Reftel A.
This is part 3 of 4 (septel).



A. (SBU) Turkish MFA Illegal Migration Department Head
Iskender Okyay stated that the two hundred sixty-two TIP
victims assisted by the GOT in 2004 amounted to "only the tip
of the iceberg." Others state that Turkey has a problem of
foreign prostitution and illegal migration, contending that
Turkey's liberal visa regime for Balkan, Black Sea Littoral,
and Caucasian states -- usually an automatic visa at the
border for a nominal fee -- obviates the need for human
smuggling gangs.

B. (U) Government agencies involved in anti-trafficking
efforts include the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health,
Interior (which includes the Turkish National Police and the
Jandarma (paramilitary rural police)), Justice, and Labor;
the Directorate General for Social Services and Child
Protection; and the Directorate General on the Status and
Problems of Women.

C. (U) The Turkish Jandarma printed and distributed 9000 TIP
brochures titled, "The Struggle Against Human Trafficking."
The brochures were distributed to police precincts and
citizens in: Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir, Trabzon,
Adana, Afyon, Amasya, Asiyaman, Aydin, Batman, Bartin,
Bayburt, Bitlis, Bursa, Burdur, Bolu, Cankiri, Corum,
Diabakir, Denizli, Edirne, Elazig, Erzurum, Eskisehir,
Gaziantep, Giresun, Hatay, Hakkari, Isparta, Karabuk, Kars,
Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kirikale, Konya, Kutahya, Mersin,
Nevsehir, Nigde, Malatya, Mugla, Mus, Ordu, Osmaniye,
Sakarya, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Sivas, Rize, Usak, Yalova,
Van, and Zonguldak.

In a November 2003 internal memo distributed to precinct
commanders, Jandarma Major General Mustafa Biyik, Head of
Operations, wrote the following: "Trafficking can be defined
as kidnapping women, children, and men with the purpose of
sexual abuse. I request you be informed about the 'Brochure
of Combating Trafficking' that is prepared with the objective
of informing staff on duty and enlightening the public by
distributing to citizens and to police stations."

The sixteen-page color brochure includes the legal
definitions of "migrant smuggling, human trafficking,
prostitution, abduction, rape, and slavery". The brochures
label TIP a "violation of human rights" and "one of the most
heinous crimes in humanity". The brochure instructs citizens
who "may have witnessed or have knowledge of" human
trafficking to "report the crime to a police station or
Jandarma precinct immediately". In the event citizens are

concerned for their own safety or cannot make a personal
appearance, the brochure, which was printed before the
toll-free TIP hotline was established, encourages citizens to
"call police or Jandarma at 155 or 156".

Also see para D in the Overview section.

D. (U) The GOT carried out extensive legal reforms during
the year aimed at meeting the requirements for European Union
membership; Parliament in September adopted a new Penal Code
and in May approved a package of constitutional amendments.
Elements of the new Penal Code included: increased sentences
for torture convictions; "honor killings" - the killing by
immediate family members of women suspected of being unchaste
- were defined as aggravated homicides; the statutes of
limitations for all crimes were lengthened; the State was
required to ensure that men and women have equal rights and
that this protection is put into practice. Before the
amendment, the Constitution only stated broadly that all
individuals were equal before the law.

Women's rights advocates reported there were eight
government-operated guest houses and three municipal shelters
that provided services to battered women. The Social
Services and Child Protection Institution operated
fifty-three family centers and several NGO-operated community
centers. Bar associations in more than 30 provinces provided
legal services for women. In July, Parliament adopted a law
requiring municipalities with populations over 50,000 to
provide shelters for women and children.

The Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women
under the State Minister for Women's and Children's Affairs
is responsible for promoting equal rights and raising
awareness of discrimination against women. In October 2004,
Parliament adopted legislation that allows the Directorate
General to expand its limited staff.

Independent women's groups and women's rights associations
existed but have not significantly increased their numbers or
activities, mostly due to funding problems. There were many
women's committees affiliated with local bar associations.
Other organizations included the Association for Supporting
and Training Women Candidates (Ka-Der), Flying Broom, the
Turkish Women's Union, and the Foundation for the Evaluation
of Women's Labor.

According to Flying Broom, there was a sharp increase during
the year in the level of media attention to women's issues.
The status of women at times became an issue in the context
of EU candidacy. Flying Broom prepared 26 one-hour women's
issues radio programs during the year; the print media also
covered women's issues more closely than in the past.

The GOT was committed to furthering children's welfare and
worked to expand opportunities in education and health. The
Minister of Women's and Family Issues oversaw implementation
of official programs for children. The Children's Rights
Monitoring and Assessment High Council focused on children's
rights issues.

GOT-provided education through age fourteen or the eighth
grade is compulsory.

E. (U) Officials claim financial difficulties in funding
prevention programs, though the GOT, for the first time, paid
IOM membership fees (152,000 Swiss Francs), provided a grant
to IOM for continuing anti-TIP training programs (10,000
USD), and funded Turkey's first VoT shelter and victim

F. (SBU) In June 2004, HRDF and the Istanbul Municipality
signed a formal agreement to establish a shelter for victims
of trafficking. Under terms of the agreement, the Istanbul
Municipality leased and renovated a residential housing unit
and turned administration of the facility over to HRDF. On
September 4, 2003, HRDF signed an anti-TIP protocol with the
MOI General Directorate of Security (text below).

GOT aspirations for EU accession and past G/TIP tier rankings
have spurred new awareness and acknowledgment of TIP issues
within the GOT. In past reporting periods, for example, the
GOT refused IOM airport access necessary to escort returnees
directly to their flights. IOM now characterizes its
relationship with the GOT as "excellent and amazing," noting
that the MFA has become a "supportive partner" and that the
MOI has granted IOM staff "full access to airports, including
restricted areas" for a fully operational voluntary
repatriation program. In December, the GOT applied for and
received full member nation status with the IOM.

IOM Chief of Mission Marielle Lindstrom told us, "I've always
believed this government has staged a silent revolution. The
difference between last year and this year is night and day."

According to HRDF outgoing Executive Director Demet Gural,
"we couldn't ask for better cooperation with our police
contacts; victims report that they are treated with respect,
competency, and sympathy. Whatever we ask for, the police


This agreement was signed between the Ministry of Interior
General Directorate of Security (herein after Interior) and
the Human Resource Development Foundation (herein after HRDF)
within the framework of Human Trafficking, programme
towards the below-mentioned principles in order to determine
the responsibilities of the two parties, by the executives
whose names and signatures are below, as two copies on
September 5, 2003.

The Definition of the Parties

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (General Directorate of
Security) (Interior), Supporting Agency

The Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF),
Implementing Agency
The responsibilities of HRDF:

Due to the financial aid HRDF will obtain, HRDF is
responsible for the tasks stated below, in order to implement
the programme activities defined in Appendix I:

1. To establish a network among non-governmental
organizations in Turkey and regional countries affected by
human trafficking,

2. To provide training for government officers to refresh and
consolidate on the recent amendments of Turkish Penal Code
and the standards of international legislation on human

3. To advocate for the amendments in Turkish Penal Code
required by the standards set by the international

4. To execute activities in order to strengthen the capacity
of Turkish NGOs for the promotion of human rights in Turkey
including the rights of trafficked persons and sex workers,

5. To establish a counseling center which will provide
psychological, health and legal services for trafficked

6. To provide a shelter for the victims, within the framework
of the procedures and fundamentals set by the Ministry of
Interior, concerning temporary residence permit and staying
in Turkey,

7. To provide a shelter for human trafficking victims,

8. To develop and distribute information, education and
communication materials to inform the public, related
institutions and the victims about human trafficking,

9. To evaluate the demands of collaboration and support of
international non-governmental organizations working in this
field, such as the International Office for Migration.

Assistance To Victims Of Trafficking In Women In Turkey

1. Introduction

Until very recently, Turkey had been recognized as a
'sending' country in terms of international migratory flows.
However, today, it has become both a 'receiving' and a
'transit' country. The recent political turmoil and clashes
occurring in neighboring areas have pushed migrants into the
country with the hope of a better life, security and
protection from persecution. Turkey becomes a destination
country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual
exploitation and labor. Most victims come from countries of
the former Soviet Union, including Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Although there exists efforts for the prevention of human
trafficking and rehabilitation programs for the victims of
the trafficking in Western and Eastern European countries,
the only response to the problem of human trafficking in
Turkey is from the formal security departments. As a growing
international problem governmental, intergovernmental and
non-governmental bodies should work together on this issue
within a network. When we look at the situation in Turkey
only a limited number of policemen from various security
departments of different cities encounter with the
identification, accommodation and rehabilitation problems of
the victims together with the criminalisation of the
traffickers and there exists almost no NGO activity targeting
the victims of human trafficking and no special programme on
the issue.

The Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF) based in
Istanbul is a leading NGO working in the field of population
and development with an emphasis in reproductive health.
HRDF has been implementing programmes aiming to strengthen
the social and health conditions of sex workers and
supporting refugees in different ways since 1989. Although
migrant sex work and human trafficking are two different
categories, they may represent together the problem of a
woman trafficked from a former soviet country and working as
a sex worker in Turkey. Working under oppressed conditions
means that a sex worker does not take care of her/his health
and cannot negotiate for safe sex. Increasing figures of
people living with HIV/AIDS among migrant sex worker
population reveals this fact in Turkey.

2. Objectives

The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to
international efforts and to enhance the national capacity of
Turkey to prevent trafficking in women as well as to increase
awareness of Turkish population on trafficking in women. The
following short term objectives are determined for a period
of two years to be implemented by the HRDF to contribute the
achievement of the overall objective.

a. To establish a network among non-governmental and
governmental organizations of regional countries influenced
by human trafficking in Eastern Europe including Turkey.

b. To provide training for the government officers on the
recent amendments of Turkish Penal Code regarding human

c. To determine the necessary legislative efforts to be
undertaken in Turkey for the elimination of human trafficking
and providing support for the victims of human trafficking.

d. To strengthen the capacity of Turkish NGOs for the
promotion of human rights in Turkey including the migrants
and trafficked persons.

e. To establish a counseling and rehabilitation center and a
hot-line for victims of human trafficking.

3. Strategies and Activities

a. As trafficking in women is a transnational problem,
collaboration among all kinds of organizations is very
crucial in the elimination of the problem. The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) mission in Turkey and
various organizations in neighboring countries have already
been gathering valuable data on human trafficking but the
dissemination of the data gathered is rather slow. In order
to disseminate results of the research, generate discussions
and brainstorming about future practical steps, and to future
activities in the field, a regional seminar will be organized
in Istanbul. The Seminar will bring together 50 participants
from the former Soviet States and the international
community, including NGOs as well as governmental
representatives. The Seminar will be an opportunity to
present the results of the completed researches, and outline
and elaborate further practical steps in combating
trafficking in women in the region. Special emphasis will be
made on enhancing cooperation between governmental entities
and NGOs in the region, as well as enhanced networking
between NGOs. The Regional Seminar will be organized
together with the British Council, IOM, OSI, Kadikoy
Municipality and HRDF.

A second meeting at the end of first year for the evaluation
of the activities implemented will be held for approximately
50 participants from different countries. The results of the
evaluation will be disseminated to the organizations
participating in the project activities. The last meeting
with the participation of the first meeting's participants
will be held in Istanbul for the general evaluation of the
project implementation and for the determination of the
future activities.

b. Although the recent amendments on the Turkish Penal Code
defines human trafficking as a separate crime and offers some
possibilities for the victim, the government officers have
little information on the subject. They mostly regard the
victim as an illegal prostitute and start deportation
immediately without taken into consideration of humanitarian
aspects of the issue. Training for the government officers
on human trafficking will help to identify and support the
victims of human trafficking as well as penalize the

The eight training courses for the police and customs
officers will take place at Istanbul (3), Izmir, Trabzon,
Antalya, Ankara and Van for 160 participants. An
international consultant from the British Council will
facilitate the meetings. The training will be for two days
and not more than 20 participants will be trained in each
course. The issues that will be discussed during the
training sessions will be as follow:

Office of Migration (IOM) and to inform the said
organizations about the activities and present
implementations of Turkey in this field.
The responsibilities of the Interior:

1. To support the HRDF for the national and international
efforts detailed below and future necessities about combating
human trafficking in Turkey and in the region,

2. To inform the HRDF when a victim of human trafficking
is arrested or during his/her investigation, trial, house
arrest or before s/he is deported and to facilitate interview
process of the HRDF representatives with the victims. To
assist the mentioned victims to take advantage of the health
and legal services that will be provided by HRDF,

3. To provide the victims of human trafficking to take
utmost advantage of the counseling and shelter units,
established by HRDF,

4. To provide collaboration of the units, established by
HRDF, with the related non-governmental organizations in the
countries of the victims of human trafficking before they are
deported. To provide the security of human trafficking
victims, transportation operations that will be supported by
the funds received,

5. To provide the security of counseling and shelter units
established by HRDF and the staff working in the programme,

6. To evaluate the denunciations on human trafficking
issued from the regional countries as an outcome of the
network established by HRDF; to take the necessary action for
the denunciations reported via the units established by HRDF,

7. To provide trainers for the training about Turkish and
international laws and regulations on human trafficking that
will be organized by HRDF experts and also to enhance the
participation of the police officers, who are in need of
these trainings,

8. To participate in the national and international
monitoring and evaluation activities of the programme that
will be developed,

9. To support the communication of the staff working in
the units established by HRDF with the police officers
working in the departments of Public Security and Foreigners,
and to facilitate the access of the staff in these
departments. END TEXT.

G. (U) Turkey borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia,
Iran, Iraq, and Syria, as well as EU member Greece. Istanbul
has a large international airport. Other international ports
of entry by land, sea, and air include Adana, Ankara,
Antalya, Izmir, Erzurum, Sarp, and Trabzon. Although the
government expends considerable law enforcement resources to
monitor its vast and remote borders, it is not always
successful. Contacts report, however, that the overwhelming
majority of trafficking victims and other foreign women who
engage in prostitution enter Turkey legally, either by
obtaining at Turkish Embassies abroad permission to work or,
more commonly, by obtaining, and overstaying short-term visas
at the Turkish port of entry. Turkey has adopted a liberal
visa regime with governments that emerged after the fall of
the Soviet Union to encourage trade and tourism. Women who
are deported for prostitution return to Turkey repeatedly,
according to police. Turkish police assert that corrupt
government officials or organized criminals in many source
countries contribute to the problem by helping women obtain
fake or altered travel documents.

H. (U) Ambassador Murat Ersavci, Director General for
Consular Affairs at the Turkish MFA, is the National
Coordinator for the GOT's Counter Trafficking Task Force. In
December 2004, Akif Ayhan replaced Haldun Otman as Taskforce
Deputy Director. The Taskforce, chaired by the MFA since its
establishment in 2002, is composed of representatives from
the Ministries of Health, Interior, Justice, and Labor, plus
the Directorate General for Social Services and Child
Protection, the Directorate General on the Status and
Problems of Women, scholars from Marmara University, and the
Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF). The Taskforce
is closed to international organizations (e.g. UN, IOM),
foreign government missions (e.g. U.S. Embassy Ankara,
Embassy of Belarus), and members of the press. The Task
Force met two times in 2004, in February and October, though
committees with specific anti-trafficking agendas (hotlines,
shelter, public information campaign) reportedly met more
frequently. In March 2003, the Taskforce recommended and the
government adopted a National Action Plan for TIP.

I. (U) In addition to IOM, the GOT participates in
anti-trafficking initiatives through the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Southeast European
Cooperative Initiative (SECI), the Council of Europe, the
European Union, NATO, the International Center for Migration
Policy Development (ICMPD), Interpol, Europol, the Stability
Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, and the
United Nations High Commission on Refugees. In 2003 and
2004, the GOT submitted draft protocols proposing bilateral
anti-TIP cooperation with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria,
Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine (see para I in
Overview section). Only Belarus responded.

J. (U) See para G in Overview section. The government's
National Countertrafficking Taskforce developed and adopted a
National Action Plan on TIP in March 2003.

K. (U) MFA Director General for Consular Affairs Murat
Ersavci spearheads the GOT's anti-trafficking initiatives and
chairs the government's National Countertrafficking