wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09ANKARA1050 2009-07-23 04:20:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

Turkey's Terrorism Laws: Little Likelihood of Change

Tags:   PTER PGOV TU 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #1050 2040420
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230420Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0292
INFO RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1716
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 7440
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5477
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0287
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 1433
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0459
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3306
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0400
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 4307
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
					  UNCLAS ANKARA 001050 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV TU
SUBJECT: Turkey's Terrorism Laws: Little Likelihood of Change



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Despite repeated prodding, Turkey continues to
resist suggestions that it needs to amend its terrorism laws to
broaden the definition of terrorism. Lacking releasable concrete
examples of shortcomings in the current law, continued USG requests
on this front are unlikely to meet with any success. Thus, while
we continue to look for cases that demonstrate our position (i.e.,
that Turkey's laws are inadequate in certain circumstances), in the
meantime we should focus on issues where we may be able to have a
greater, and more immediate, impact. END SUMMARY.

Turkey's Anti-terrorism Law


--------------------------





2. (SBU) The main terrorism-related provisions in Turkey's laws are
set forth in its 1991 anti-terrorism law and in a 2005 provision in
the Turkish Criminal Code. The main elements prohibit acts by
organizations which aim to change "the constitution, its political,
legal, social, secular and economic system; damage the indivisible
unity of the State within its territory and nation; or endanger the
existence of the Turkish State and Republic." Thus the focus of the
laws is almost exclusively internal to Turkey.

Attempts to Address Deficiencies


--------------------------





3. (SBU) Over the past two years, we have held numerous meetings
and consultations with the Turks to address their legislation. The
Turks maintain that their legislation is augmented by the 12
International Conventions on Terrorism to which Turkey is a party,
and that investigations and prosecutions for terrorism offenses move
forward appropriately under the current regime. During meetings in
Washington D.C. in January 2009, however, Turkish officials did
express a willingness to revisit the issue should circumstances
necessitate such a review. Up to this point, we have been been
unable to present to them a specific instance where a change in
their law would have allowed a more successful prosecution. Should
such an investigation develop, a re-initiation of the dialogue would
be appropriate and productive.



4. (SBU) The UK has also been active in this area. According to
the British Embassy's CT specialist, however, UK efforts have been
as futile as USG efforts.

Comment


--------------------------





5. (SBU) The Turkish Government is unlikely to address its
terrorism legislation anytime soon. First, they are not persuaded
there is a problem. Unless and until we can provide concrete
examples where a change in the law would have made a difference,
they are unlikely to change their minds. Moreover, Turkish
Government officials remain very concerned about EU accession, and
worry, justifiably or not, that any efforts to broaden terrorism
legislation will draw criticism from human rights lobbies and have a
negative effect on Turkey's bid to join the EU. For all of these
reasons, rather than continuing to make the same arguments, the USG
should continue to search for specific, concrete case examples to
demonstrate US concerns regarding the usefulness of the Turkish
laws. Until such case examples can be documented to Turkish
officials, USG efforts will likely be better spent elsewhere.
JEFFREY