Cablegate: Turkey 7th Annual Tip Report: Overview And


DE RUEHAK #0458/01 0600942
P 010942Z MAR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 06 ANKARA 6672
B. 06 SECSTATE 202745

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect

2. (U) Post's responses are keyed to questions in Reftel A.
This is part 1 of 3 (septel). Embassy point of contact is
Cathy Westley, telephone number 90-312-455-5555 X 2513, fax
number 90-312-468-4775. Westley (FS-03) spent approximately
80 hours in preparation of this TIP report. Istanbul
political officer Christopher Friefeld (FS-04) spent
approximately 10 hours in preparation of this report. Deputy
Political Counselor Kelly Degnan (rank: FS-02) spent
approximately 2.5 hours in preparation of this report.


A. (SBU) Turkey remains a destination and transit country
for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual
exploitation and some forced labor. Though no territory
within the country is outside government control, porous
borders and a liberal visa regime provide a comfortable
environment for traffickers smuggling victims to, within, and
through Turkey.

There are no reliable estimates of the number of internally
or internationally trafficked victims beyond formally
identified victims. The GOT and IOM keep reliable numbers of
identified victims.

The Istanbul Shelter NGO, Human Resources Development
Foundation (HRDF), the Ankara Shelter NGO, Foundation for
Women's Solidarity (FWS), and the International Organization
for Migration (IOM) combined to repatriate 191 foreign
victims in 2006, a decline from 220 in 2005.

The Ministry of Interior reports 246 identified victims in
2006. Of the 191 assisted by IOM in 2006, the source
countries were distributed as follows: Moldova (59), Russia
(39), Ukraine (33), Kyrgyzstan (24), Uzbekistan (16),
Azerbaijan (9), Turkmenistan (4), Georgia (2), Bulgaria (2),
Kazakhstan (1), Belarus (1), Armenia (1).

According to IOM statistics, the most vulnerable group of
persons are women between the ages of 18 and 24 who are
trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

B. (SBU) The GOT continues to take the issue of trafficking
in persons seriously and has taken significant measures
within the rating period to prevent, combat and prosecute

The Turkish President signed into law amendments (passed by
the Turkish parliament on December 5) to two key articles in
the Turkish Penal Code (TPC) that will improve
anti-trafficking efforts in Turkey once implemented (ref b
and septel). Lawmakers added forced prostitution to Article
80, the primary anti-trafficking article, and removed forced
prostitution from Article 227, the prostitution and pimping
article. Up to now, prosecutors had tended to use the less
stringent Article 227 to try cases against traffickers as a
majority of trafficking crimes in Turkey involve forced
prostitution. With the amendments, lawmakers have ensured
that traffickers will be tried under the appropriate, tougher
provision, Article 80. Now, victims will be assured of
automatic protection, legal counseling and health care.
Traffickers will be subject to stricter sentencing
requirements of eight to twelve years. Statistics on
prosecution of TIP-related crimes will be more reflective of
the real story as most TIP crimes are tracked under Article
80 prosecutions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates
the change to be reflected in implementation by March.

Law enforcement forces launched investigations against 422
individuals in 2006, up from 379 in 2005. Convictions of
traffickers rose to 17 cases involving 36 persons according
to statistics through June 2006, up from 9 convictions
between January and September, 2005.

During the rating period, the GOT signed a bilateral
cooperation protocol to fight trafficking with Kyrgyzstan in

September 2006, in addition to previously signed protocols
with Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. The MFA claims
good cooperation via these protocols with Moldova
particularly, and to a lesser extent Ukraine and Belarus.
The GOT is undertaking a series of visits to Georgia in
February and March to improve law enforcement cooperation
with Georgia.

The GOT continued to support a focused public awareness
campaign reaching out to victims, law enforcement, and
customers. A toll-free 24-hour hotline for victims of
trafficking continues operating. Since May 2005, calls to
the hotline have resulted in 109 rescued individuals. During
the rating period, the GOT continued to support the
IOM-implemented public awareness campaign begun in 2005: one
advertising the hotline, and the other appealing to the
strong sense of family in Turkey by revealing that one-third
of the women trafficked to Turkey are mothers.

Most victims enter Turkey willingly and some arrive with the
knowledge that they will work illegally in the sex industry.
Most, however, initially expected to work as models,
waitresses, dancers, domestic servants, or in other regular
employment. Many such victims are trafficked by persons from
their home country in cooperation with Turkish traffickers.
Once in Turkey, traffickers typically confiscate the victims'
personal documents and passports and force victims into
confinement where they are raped, beaten into submission, and
intimidated by threats of retaliation against the victims'
family members.

C. (SBU) There are credible reports that some law
enforcement officials received bribes either to smuggle
aliens or turn a blind eye to illegal prostitution. Salaries
for police officers are relatively low. The GOT does not
lack the resources to aid victims; it provides funding
directly to the two trafficking shelters in Istanbul and
Ankara (septel).

The Ministry of Health provides free medical and psychiatric
services to victims of trafficking and assisted 155 victims
admitted to shelters in 2006.

D. (SBU) The MFA, which chairs the National Taskforce,
updates its counter-trafficking website periodically, at
least every six months after a taskforce meeting. The GOT,
however, has had limited success in implementing a
government-wide system for reliably monitoring and assessing
its anti-trafficking efforts, particularly regarding arrests,
prosecutions, convictions, and sentencing of traffickers.
The MFA provides a yearly assessment of its anti-trafficking
efforts to the USG.


A. (U) The Government of Turkey acknowledges that
trafficking is a problem in this country.

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 of
Women. The MFA serves as national coordinator for the
government's task force on human trafficking.

C. (U) Turk Telecom and the GOT began operation in May 2005
of a new toll-free hotline number, 157, for victims of
trafficking. Operators who speak Russian, Romanian, English
and Turkish man the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a

In conjunction with the hotline, the IOM conducted an
international trafficking campaign from June 2005 to
September 2006 that promoted prevention of TIP across the
Black Sea region. In addition to the USD 600,000 funding
from the USG, the GOT contributed USD 100,000. In August
2006, IOM began implementing a similar project with funds
from the Government of Norway and the Swedish Interational
Development Agency, with the full cooperation of the GOT.

In Turkey, authorities continued to distribute small passport
inserts to travelers entering the country at key border
crossings, although during the rating period IOM and the
Istanbul shelter HRDF suggested that the insert campaign
should be examined to determine whether it was the most
effective outreach method to potential victims. Turkish
consulates continued to hand out the inserts to visa
applicants in source countries. The passport inserts
publicized the hotline and included warning signs of
trafficking. Billboards in major sea ports and regional
airports in Turkey, Moldova and Ukraine also advertised the
hotline. The campaign also included stepped up training for
law enforcement, and medical, psychological and direct
assistance to trafficked individuals.
The IOM began a trafficking awareness campaign entitled "Have
You Seen My Mother?" in February 2006. At the heart of the
campaign was a 30-second commercial, filmed in Moldova with
four Moldovan children, asking where their mothers are
because the children miss them. It appealed to the Turkish
strong sense of family and especially to potential clients.
Poster space was donated by the Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon,
Antalya, and Izmir municipalities, as well as by airport
authorities in Istanbul, Trabzon and Antalya. Embassy
officers observed that these posters remained on display
throughout the rating period.

The Turkish National Police and Jandarma continued
comprehensive training programs for their cadres during the
reporting period (septel).

D. (U) The GOT supports programming to keep children in
school. UNICEF and the Ministry of Education continued its
"Haydi Kizlar Okula" (Let's go to school, girls) campaign
across the country. The goal of the campaign was to close
the gender-gap in primary school enrollment.

With a USD 6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor,
the Turkish Ministries of Labor and Education, the
International Labor Organization and IMPAQ International
continued a project combating exploitive child
labor through education in Turkey that began in September
2005. Objectives of the project include raising awareness of
the importance of education for all children and improving
and mobilizing a wide array of actors to improve and expand
educational infrastructures; strengthening formal and
transitional education systems that encourage working
children and those at risk of working to attend school;
strengthen national institutions and policies on education
and child labor; and ensuring the long-term sustainability of
these efforts.

In June 2006, the Turkish Directorate General on the Status
of Women organized a regional conference called "Assessment
of Regional Needs and Tendencies in Combating Human
Trafficking -- the Role of NGOs" in Antalya, Turkey. It
sought to seek the contributions, cooperation and services of
civil society in preventing TIP and assisting trafficking
victims. Participants included representatives from Moldova,
Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan,
Belarus and NGOs with TIP expertise.

E. (SBU) IOM reports good cooperation with the Task Force
and law enforcement. HRDF and FWS continue to be impressed
and pleased with the cooperation of law enforcement contacts.

F. (SBU) The GOT does not monitor immigration and
emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Passport
inserts advertising the 157 hotline continue to be
distributed at some points of entry, including the Istanbul,
Trabzon and Antalya airports and the Istanbul and Trabzon

G. (U) The Director General for Consular Affairs at the
Turkish MFA spearheads the GOT's anti-trafficking
initiatives, and is the National Coordinator for the GOT's
Counter Trafficking Task Force. 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, and the Directorate General on
the Status of Women, State Planning Organization, Office of
the Prime Minister-Human Rights Presidency, IOM, HRDF, FWS,

as well as Ankara and Metropolitan Municipalities.

The Government also participates in anti-trafficking
initiatives through the OSCE, the Southeast European
Cooperative Initiative (SECI), the Council on Europe, NATO,
the International Center for Migration Policy Development,
Interpol, Europol, the Berne Initiative, the Budapest
Process, the Global Commission on International Migration and
Core Group of States, the Issyk-Kul Dialogue, the European
Committee on Migration, CIREFI, MEDA, and the Stability Pact
Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings.

During the past year, the Government implemented bilateral
and multilateral protocols with neighboring countries and
regional groups to encompass anti-trafficking law enforcement
agreements, including the cooperation protocols first signed
with Georgia in March 2005 and Ukraine in June 2005, Moldova
in February 2006, Ukraine in June 2005. The GOT signed a
bilateral cooperation protocol to fight trafficking with
Kyrgyzstan in September 2006.

The Prime Ministry Public Employees Ethics Board, established
in 2004, monitors all public employees, with the exception of
the President, parliamentarians, ministers, armed forces
members, the judiciary and university employees.

H. (U) The Taskforce recommended and the government adopted
a National Action Plan for TIP in March 2003. All members
(including NGOs) of the Taskforce were involved in developing
the action plan. The 2003 action plan has been disseminated.
A new action plan will be formulated with the conclusion of
a Twinning Project with Germany and Austria on "Strengthening
Institutions in the Fight Against Trafficking in Human
Beings" (septel).

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