Cablegate: Turkey 7th Annual Tip Report: Investigation And
DE RUEHAK #0459/01 0600943
ZNR UUUUU ZZH(CCY AD8C6B7E VSG0203 634)
P 010943Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1145
INFO RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
UNCLAS ANKARA 000459
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM
DEPARTMENT FOR IWI, EUR/SE, EUR/PGI
DEPARTMENT FOR USAID
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - TEXT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY 7TH ANNUAL TIP REPORT: INVESTIGATION AND
PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
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 2 of 3 (septels).
Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers
A. (U) Chapter 1, Article 80 of the Turkish Penal Code
specifically defines human trafficking and prescribes
penalties for traffickers and their accomplices. The law
covers both internal and transnational forms of trafficking.
Penalties range from eight to twelve years of imprisonment
(up from five to ten years in earlier versions of the law),
and, at judicial discretion, an additional penalty of up to
ten thousand days. Trafficking crimes can also be (and have
been) prosecuted under statutes of the Law on Combating
Benefit-Oriented Criminal Organizations, Turkish Citizenship
Law, Labor Law, Law on Motivating for Prostitution, Law on
Working Permits for Foreigners, and the Law on the Prevention
of Money Laundering.
As noted septel, the Turkish President signed into law
amendments (passed by the Turkish parliament on December 5,
2006) 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 the Law on
Motivating to Prostitution (Article 227), the prostitution
and pimping article. 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.
Chapter 1, Article 80: Human Trafficking (as amended
December 19, 2006):
(1) A person who procures or kidnaps persons or who takes or
transports persons from one place to another or who harbors
persons with a view to force them to work or to provide a
service, made them be involved in prostitution or to subject
them to slavery or similar practices or to donate their
organs by exerting threats, pressure, force or violence, by
abusing his authority, by deceit or by obtaining their
consent through taking advantage of the opportunities they
have to control them or of their helplessness shall be
sentenced to imprisonment for a term of eight to twelve years
and a judicial fine imposed of up to ten thousand days.
(2) In the event of actions which are undertaken for the
purposes referred to in the first paragraph and which
constitute an offense, the consent of the injured party shall
be deemed void.
(3) Where juveniles under eighteen years of age are
procured, kidnapped, taken or transported from one place to
another or harbored for the purposes referred to in the first
paragraph, the perpetrator shall be sentenced to the
penalties referred to in the first paragraph, notwithstanding
that none of the acts instrumental to the offense has been
(4) Security measures shall be taken for legal entities on
account of the above-mentioned crimes.
On June 1, 2005, Article 80 replaced the following
anti-trafficking statutes in effect since August 3, 2002;
some court cases are continued under this article during the
Turkish Penal Code Article 201(b):
(1) Those who provide, kidnap, take or transfer from one
place to another and house other individuals with the
intention of making them work or serve by force, subject them
to slavery or similar treatment, threaten, pressure, use
force or coercion to persuade them to give up their bodily
organs, use undue influence, secure their consent by
deception or by using the desperation of such individuals
shall be sentenced to five to ten years of heavy
imprisonment and a heavy fine of not less than one billion
(2) If the actions that constitute a crime attempted with
the intentions laid out in the first paragraph exist, the
victim is assumed not to have given his/her consent.
(3) If children below the age of eighteen are provided,
kidnapped, taken or transferred from one place to another or
housed with the intentions specified in paragraph one, even
when no intermediary actions in relation to the crime are
committed, the penalties foreseen in paragraph one shall
still be applied to the perpetrator.
(4) If the crimes listed in the paragraphs above are
committed in an organized manner, the penalties foreseen for
the perpetrators shall be doubled.
B. (U) The revised Penal Code provides penalties for
traffickers of eight to twelve years of imprisonment and, at
judicial discretion, an additional ten thousand days
imprisonment. The penalties apply to both traffickers of
people for sexual exploitation and traffickers of people for
C. Labor exploitation can be prosecuted under Article 80,
which carried penalties of eight to twelve years imprisonment
and heavy fines (see B above). There is no evidence that
Turkey is a labor source country and it is a very limited
D. (U) Chapter 1, Section 6 of the revised Penal Code
provides varying degrees of penalties for sexual assault,
rape, and sexual abuse of adults and minors, as noted below.
Penalties may range from two years to life imprisonment,
depending upon the circumstances. Penalties for rape can be
less or more than penalties for trafficking, depending on the
situation. The new Code excludes several controversial
articles from the previous law. For example, under the 2004
revisions, rape is considered a crime against the individual,
rather than a crime against society.
Under the previous Code, rapists could escape punishment by
marrying their victims, and punishments for rape varied
depending on the marital status of the victim and whether the
victim was a virgin.
Section 6: Offenses Against Sexual Integrity
Article 102: Sexual Assault
(1) The perpetrator who violates the physical integrity of
another person by means of sexual conduct shall be imprisoned
for a term of two to seven years upon the complaint of the
(2) Where the act is committed by means of inserting an
organ or similar object into the body, the perpetrator shall
be imprisoned for a term of seven to twelve years. If the
act is committed against the spouse, legal investigation and
prosecution shall be initiated if the victim lodges a
(3) If the offense is committed,
a) Against a person who is physically or mentally
incapable of defending him/herself,
b) By breaching of duties and/or abusing the functions
pertaining to the official status,
c) Against a person of first, second, or third degree
blood relation or a relative by marriage,
d) By using weapons and with the cooperation of more than
penalties imposed in accordance with articles above shall
be increased by half.
(4) In case excessive violence is exerted on the victim
during the commitment of the offense, the perpetrator shall
also be punished for deliberate wounding.
(5) In case the offense causes damage to the physical or
mental health of the victim, the perpetrator shall be
imprisoned for a term of not less than ten years.
(6) If, as a result of the crime, the victim enters into a
vegetative state or dies, the sentence will be strict life
Article 103: Sexual Abuse of Children
(1) The perpetrator of child abuse shall be imprisoned for
a term of three to eight years. Sexual abuse means:
a) any act of a sexual nature against a minor who has not
reached fifteen years of age, or, if over fifteen years of
age, lacks the competence to perceive the legal meaning and
consequences of such acts.
b) sexual acts against other minors depending on use of
force, threat, deception, or by any other reason affecting
the will of the child.
(2) Where the sexual assault occurs as a result of
insertion of an organ or similar object into the body, a
penalty imprisonment from eight to fifteen years shall be
(3) Where the sexual assault is committed by a first,
second or third degree blood relative, step-father, the
person who has adopted the person concerned, guardian, tutor,
teacher, caretaker, or other person in charge of providing
health services or who bears the obligation for protection or
supervision, or through abuse of the service relation, the
penalty to be imposed, in accordance with the above
paragraphs, shall be increased by half.
(4) Where the sexual assault is committed against a minor
indicated in paragraph 1(a) as a result of force or threat,
the penalty to be imposed, in accordance with the above
paragraphs, shall be increased by half.
(5) Where the force and compulsion used with the aim of
sexual assault lead to aggravated consequences of the offense
of deliberate wounding, provisions of the offense of
deliberate wounding shall apply additionally.
(6) In case the offense results in damage to the physical
or mental health of the victim, the perpetrator shall be
imprisoned to strict life imprisonment.
(7) Where the offense leads the victim into a vegetative
state or to death, the perpetrator shall be sentenced to
strict life imprisonment.
E. (U) Prostitution in Turkey is legal and regulated. Sex
workers must have Turkish citizenship; foreign citizens
cannot legally practice prostitution. Trafficking, smuggling
with the intent to traffic, pimping, enforcing, or in any
other way supporting the activities of a trafficking
operation is illegal. The law also prohibits and provides
punishment for individuals who own, operate or work to
support the operation of brothels associated with human
trafficking. The minimum age for prostitution in Turkey is
F. (U) According to figures provided by the Ministry of
Interior, security forces apprehended a total of 422 persons
in 2006, an increase from 217 in 2005. In 2006, 156
suspected traffickers were arrested, 127 were freed to be
tried on release, 115 persons are being sought on arrest
warrants and 24 persons were released without charges.
According to charts provided by the Ministry of Justice's
Judicial Records Statistics Bureau via the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Turkey's Heavy Penal Courts opened 26
Article 80 cases involving 116 suspects and continued work on
116 cases (under Article 80 and other relevant articles)
involving 477 suspects from January through June, 2006.
Forty-three cases involving trafficking under several law
articles (including some under the old penal code) were
resolved with 192 suspected traffickers: 102 were acquitted;
29 were remanded to other courts or dismissed; 36 were
convicted. Of the 36 convicted, one received only a judicial
fine while the rest received varying jail terms and fines.
Statistics for the July-December 2006 term and the first term
of 2007 were not yet available. The Ministry of Justice does
not yet have a computerized database, causing Ankara to rely
on each province faxing in reports.
There is no evidence that Turkey is a labor source country.
Labor exploitation can be prosecuted under Article 80, which
carried penalties of eight to twelve years imprisonment and
Post was unable to obtain detailed statistics on actual time
served by convicted traffickers. The GOT does not have a
central database or tracking system for incarcerated
individuals and must seek information from each province by
G. (SBU) IOM statistics claim that a solid majority of
trafficked individuals have no more than a middle school
education; less than one-third have graduated from high
school. These individuals are recruited mostly through
personal contacts, such as a person posing as a friend or by
an actual relative. While the trafficking rings are believed
to be operated by men, the recruiters are overwhelmingly
female, some of whom are former trafficking victims
themselves. These recruiters often work under pressure from
the traffickers, who threaten to kill their children or
family members unless they cooperate. Women recruiters are
prized because they more easily gain the trust of their
female victims. Foreign victims trafficked to Turkey are
typically recruited by small networks of operators. Groups
may be as small as four or five people. Trafficking networks
operating as tourist agencies or firms in source countries
bring women to Turkey with official work permits. We have no
evidence that government officials are involved. Most
reports indicate that profits are channeled into expanding
the networks' capacity and affluence. Networks tend to
deposit proceeds in source country bank accounts through the
Turkish banking system. Jandarma and other officials
repeatedly insist trafficking in humans, arms, and narcotics
are closely connected.
H. (U) According to GoT officials, Turkey actively
investigates cases of trafficking using special investigative
techniques, including undercover operations, electronic
surveillance, and mitigated punishment in TIP cases.
In December 2004, Turkey revised its Code of Criminal
Procedures to codify TIP-Specific surveillance, undercover
operations, and mitigated punishment for suspects in
trafficking crimes. The Code regulates how to conduct
criminal procedures in TIP investigations, as well as the
rights, powers, and obligations of individuals involved in
the process. This Code does not prohibit police from
engaging in covert operations.
I. (U) The Turkish National Police (TNP) has
institutionalized TIP-related training internally and
conducts regular train-the-trainer sessions with its cadre.
TNP also participated in several joint trainings with various
countries at the Turkish Academy to Fight Against Drugs and
Organized Crime (TADOC). In 2006, a total of 1150 police
were trained on topics such as:
- What is human trafficking?
- The difference between human trafficking and illegal
- Who are human trafficking victims?
- National and international regulations in the fight
against human trafficking
- The importance of national and international coordination
in the fight against human trafficking
- The UN Palermo Convention and supplemental protocols and
international implementation in the fight against TIP
- Bilateral cooperation agreements in the fight against
- Elements to pay attention to in operations against human
- How to approach a victim
- The importance of cooperating with NGOs while approaching
- Administrative arrangements on approaching a victim
- Case studies
In 2007, the TNP also began efforts to educate the media on
trafficking, particularly the difference between illegal
foreign prostitutes and trafficking victims, as well as the
difference between trafficking in persons and human
smuggling. The media often reports inaccurately on both
During the reporting period the Jandarma continued training
its personnel via its mobile training unit using a course
titled, "The Importance of the Fight Against Trafficking and
Necessary Measures." It continued to distribute thousands of
copies of a "Guide to Fight Human Trafficking Crimes" to all
relevant Jandarma officers. The guide includes all national
and international legal documents, the aspects that one
should bear in mind during an investigation, how evidence
should be collected for the investigation, protection of
witnesses and how to talk to victims.
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 (septel).
Under the auspices of an EU-twinning project, the Ministry of
Interior continued a project called "Strengthening the
Institutional Capacity in the Fight Against Human
Trafficking," in conjunction with the Ministries of Justice,
Labor, Social Security, Health and Foreign Affairs, as well
as the Social Services and State Orphanages Directorate and
the Directorate General on the Status of Women. Its aim is to
achieve the necessary standards to reduce human trafficking
and strengthen the involved institutions involved in
combatting TIP. The project will also adopt a new
comprehensive strategy against TIP to be adopted by the
National Task Force and implement several related
sector-specific action plans.
J. (SBU) 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 2007 to improve law enforcement
cooperation with Georgia. The TNP public order department
complained, however, that source countries do not conduct
thorough investigations of alleged traffickers in response to
Turkish law enforcement requests. They report that law
enforcement officials in source countries respond to their
requests for investigative assistance on suspects too quickly
and cite no information found, which the TNP claims
demonstrates a less-than-thorough investigation.
K. (SBU) The universal jurisdiction norm is recognized by
the Turkish Criminal Code on the basis of certain offenses
and crimes. Included in this norm are migrant smuggling and
trafficking in human beings. A foreigner or Turkish
trafficker is indictable and punishable in Turkey. The
Turkish Minister of Justice may request a trial process be
launched in Turkey against an accused person who has already
been through the legal system in conjunction with these
offenses in another country. We have no information
regarding the extradition of persons charged with
trafficking from other countries during the reporting period.
L. (SBU) We do not have evidence of government involvement
in or tolerance of trafficking at higher levels. There were
reports of approximately 10 low-level police or Jandarma
officials arrested for crimes related to trafficking during
the reporting period, although exact statistics were not
available. Contacts state there is some tolerance of foreign
prostitution as long as it is kept within certain limits.
M. (SBU) We do not have statistics on the exact number of
police or Jandarma officials taken to trial for trafficking.
Press reports and contacts provide an estimate of about 10
officials arrested and prosecuted. We do not have
information on how many have been convicted during the
N. (SBU) We do not have evidence that Turkey is a source or
destination country for organized child sex tourism. IOM
reported 11 underage TIP victims during the reporting period.
O. (U) Turkey has adopted the following conventions:
- ILO Convention 182 (Ratified early 2001).
- ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory Labor
(ILO Convention 29 went into effect on January 27, 1998 and
ILO Convention 105 on December 21, 1960).
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child
Pornography (Ratified May 9, 2002).
- The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish
Trafficking-in-Persons, especially Women and Children,
Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime (Signed December 2000; Ratified January 31,
2003 and implemented February 4, 2003).
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