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Cablegate: Turkey: 8th Annual Tip Report: Victim Protection

VZCZCXYZ0936
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #0426/01 0641519
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041519Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5468
INFO RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ANKARA 000426

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR: G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, EUR/SE, EUR/PGI
DEPT FOR USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: 8TH ANNUAL TIP REPORT: VICTIM PROTECTION
AND ASSISTANCE

REF: A. SECSTATE 2731
B. 07 ANKARA 2893

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

2. (U) Post's responses are keyed to reftel A questions.
This is part 3 of 3 (septels).

VICTIM PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE
--------------------------------

A. (SBU) Foreign victims identified by Turkish authorities
may apply for humanitarian visas and remain in Turkey for up
to six months. According to MFA reports, the GOT issued
three humanitarian visas in 2007 (and 38 since 2004). The
humanitarian visas carry a six-month residence permit and the
option to extend for an additional six months. Victims in
Turkey under the visa are permitted to work. Most victims,
however, choose to return to their country of origin.
Identified victims are not required to pay normal departure
fees or fines and the GOT does not take steps to bar re-entry
to Turkey. Identified victims are not deported and are
entitled to free legal, medical and psychological services
(see para B, below). IOM, in partnership with shelter
administrators Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF)
and Foundation for Women's Solidarity (FWS), assist victims
returning to their countries. Shelter and law enforcement
officials ensure victims' safe return using the following
techniques: TNP, in cooperation with MFA, request
documentation for the victim from source country authorities
(embassies); victims are permitted to await departure in
special, secure departure lounges; document check is handled
separately and victims are escorted directly to the airplane
(or border crossing); MFA provides information on the
victim's repatriation to source country authorities to
prevent re-trafficking.

B. (SBU) The GOT provides trafficking victims free access to
shelter, and legal, medical and psychological services.
Foreign victims have the same access to care as domestic
victims. The country has two shelters dedicated to assisting
trafficking victims. One shelter, operated by HRDF, is
located in Istanbul, and the other, operated by FWS, is in
Ankara. In 2007, the Istanbul shelter provided care to 64
victims; the Ankara shelter to 45 victims. The shelters
offer a full range of psychological, counseling, vocational
and legal services. The Ministry of Health provides free
medical services to victims. One HRDF shelter employee and
one FWS shelter employee participated last year in a
Department-sponsored TIP IVLP, along with a counterpart from
the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the Ministry of Justice
(MOJ). The two shelters are presently funded by the European
Commission (EC) through a two-year, 3 million Euro
comprehensive anti-trafficking project. Under the new
national action plan currently awaiting the Prime Minister's
signature, the GOT will assume direct funding responsibility
for the shelters at the completion of the EC project (see
part 1, septel). The Istanbul and Ankara municipalities
provide shelter facilities free of charge, and the Ankara
municipality includes all utilities. The Istanbul shelter
was financed during the reporting period with a direct YTL
200,000 ($167,000) allocation from the Prime Ministry Social
Solidarity Fund (the "Fund"). IOM granted an additional YTL
75,000 from Norwegian/Swedish-provided funds. FWS received
75,000 YTL in 2007 from the Fund to cover Ankara shelter
expenses, and IOM gave YTL 80,000 from
Norwegian/Swedish-provided funds. The Canadian aid agency
provided the Ankara shelter an additional YTL 4,000. Funds
for the Ankara shelter proved to be inadequate for FWS when
the GOT and EC faced delays in finalizing agreement on the
anti-trafficking project that was to fund the shelters over
the subsequent 17 months (see part 1, septel for additional
project information). FWS was thus forced to curtail
salaries in order to meet expenses (ref B). The Ankara
shelter did not cease operations, however, and the funding
situation has resolved itself upon the agreement's
finalization.

C. (U) The GOT provides funding and other support to HRDF
and FWS to operate the shelters in Istanbul and Ankara; the
Istanbul and Ankara municipalities provide the shelter
facilities rent-free (see above).

D. (SBU) The GOT has a formal system for proactively
identifying trafficking victims. The procedure is as follows:


- In the province where the crime is committed, the TNP or
Jandarma conduct an initial interview with a psychologist and
attorney. Any potential victims and/or any foreign person
apprehended at a crime scene are referred to the TNP,
Foreigners Department;
- A joint interview of the potential victim is conducted by
the expert police liaisons to the Ankara and Istanbul
shelters and experts from IOM and HRDF (if near Istanbul) or
FWS (if closer to Ankara), always including a translator and
psychologist;
- After a determination is made that the individual is a
trafficking victim, the victim is placed at a shelter.

The sole authority for trafficking victim identification lies
with the TNP Foreigners Department, though it actively and
effectively engages IOM and NGOs in the process. Any foreign
person at a crime scene is automatically referred to the TNP,
Foreigners Department, and thus screened by TNP experts.

The GOT identified 148 victims in 2007. IOM assisted 118
such victims in 2007, and assisted an additional 15 though
February 15, 2008. The balance of victims rejected IOM
assistance and returned directly to their home countries.

E. (U) As reported in part 2, septel, it is illegal for
foreign women to participate in the legal, regulated
commercial sex trade.

F. (SBU) The rights and confidentiality of victims are
respected. Identified trafficking victims -- even if they
deny their victimization -- are neither deported, jailed nor
fined. Identified victims are not prosecuted for violations
of other laws. However, depending on the location of the
crime scene, some potential victims wait for a few days or
more in detention centers until they are interviewed by TNP,
IOM and NGOs experts. With Antalya having emerged as a
trafficking hot-spot, IOM, in partnership with the EC, has
entered into discussions with TNP and the Antalya
municipality to develop a dedicated facility there to hold
potential victims while they await screening.

G. (U) MOJ, through local bar associations, provides free
legal services to trafficking victims, including to foreign
victims choosing to remain in the country and testify against
traffickers. With the support of the Dutch and Swedish aid
agencies, IOM is administering TIP training to Turkish bar
association lawyers with the aim of developing a core group
of experts -- particularly women -- who can provide legal
services to TIP victims, including visa and immigration
services, and assistance to witnesses cooperating in
prosecutions. The Turkish Penal Code contains provisions
permitting a trafficking victim to seek restitution in civil
court. To date, we are not aware of a victims having filed
such a suit. There is no impediment to a trafficking
victim's access to legal redress.

H. (SBU) The GOT assures victim security and provides
victim protection through the Ankara and Istanbul shelters.
Security at the shelters is good; there are cameras and
alarms. We are not aware of any specific protections
afforded to witnesses who are not themselves victims. (See
para B above for additional information on the shelters and
shelter services.) Once a trafficking victim is placed in a
shelter, the victim is part of an international referral
mechanism for rehabilitation and reintegration. The shelters
provide computer courses and other vocational training to
interested victims.

Statistics show that the majority of victims are between the
ages of 18-35; few identified victims are children. Juvenile
victims fall are under the care of the Prime Ministry Social
Services and Child Orphanages Directorate, but are normally
placed safely in one of the two shelters.

I. (U) The government provides specialized training for
government officials to identify trafficking victims and in
the provision of assistance to victims (see part 2, septel).
Children are a small percentage of trafficked victims, and we
are not aware of any specific training on the special needs
of trafficked children. However, the TNP provides training
on child pornography. Turkish consular officers warn at-risk
visa applicants of the risk of human trafficking through
passport inserts advertising the 157 helpline in Russian,
Romanian, Turkish and English (see part 1, septel). However,
nationals from some source countries do not require visas to
visit Turkey (see part 1, septel). We have no evidence that
Turkish nationals are trafficked abroad. Turkish embassies
and consulates would be prepared to offer all available
services to any Turkish nationals in distress.

J. (U) See above.

K. (U) IOM -- of which Turkey is a member state contributing
to the administrative budget -- is the principle IGO working
with trafficking victims in Turkey. As noted elsewhere,
septels, IGO and NGO cooperation with Turkish authorities is
excellent. Through partnership with IOM and the GOT, HRDF
and FWS coordinate shelter, medical services, psychological
and legal counseling, and repatriation services for victims.
(See para B, above, for NGO funding information.)

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

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