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Cablegate: Turkey/Tip: New Public Awareness Campaign

VZCZCXRO1467
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #1709/01 2691217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251217Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7555
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/TREASURY DEPT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001709

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G/TIP, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE, USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TIP SMIG PHUM KWMN KFRD ASEC ELAB TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY/TIP: NEW PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
LAUNCHED; CAPACITY CONTINUES TO BE STRENGTHENED

REF: ANKARA 610

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The GOT has launched a media campaign,
including posters, TV and radio spots, to raise public
awareness of TIP and promote the "157" hotline, and is taking
additional steps to generate public support in the fight
against TIP. A draft GOT-commissioned report on demand for
TIP in Turkey is expected to be released soon and should shed
light on sources of demand for trafficked victims, including
victims trafficked domestically. Institutional capacity has
been strengthened greatly this summer through "train the
trainers" courses for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement
officials. We are still awaiting formal adoption of the
National Action Plan and a solution guaranteeing long-term
funding for shelters and hotline operation; shelter funding
is ensured for the remainder of the reporting period and GOT
officials assure us that a solution will be reached. Turkey
supports the Council of Europe convention on TIP, but wants
to ensure its ability to implement all provisions of the
convention before signing. END SUMMARY.

PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
----------------------------------
2. (U) The GOT launched a new trafficking-in-person (TIP)
public awareness campaign June 30. The campaign features TV
and radio advertisements and more than forty thousand posters
in municipalities throughout Turkey, primarily in TIP
hotspots, promoting the GOT's anti-trafficking "157" hotline.
The campaign is the first of a two-tiered public awareness
strategy being implemented by the Ministry of Interior (MOI)
in partnership with IOM as part of the ongoing two-year,
three million euro, EU-funded anti-trafficking program
(reftel). Next year the campaign will be expanded to target
media markets in key source countries throughout the Black
Sea region, raising awareness of the hotline and the GOT's
commitment to assisting victims. (The hotline can already be
reached internationally by dialing (90)(312)157-1122.)

3. (U) A leading Istanbul advertising agency produced the
posters and television and radio advertisements (CD-R copy
sent by pouch to G/TIP). MFA Trafficking and Migration
Section Head Nilufer Kaygisiz told us September 23 that she
was proud of the cooperation demonstrated by GOT taskforce
members, including IOM, who worked together to develop the
campaign's themes. The ads use strong language and the TV
spots employ stark visual imagery to underscore the human
dimension of trafficking, urging Turks not to remain
indifferent to human trafficking and to call the "157"
hotline (the international number is also shown on the
poster) if they suspect human trafficking. In the TV and
radio spots, the narrator, in Turkish, states:

-- Each year, approximately 800 thousand men, women and
children are made victims of trafficking worldwide.
-- A great majority of these people are forced into
prostitution.
-- Some are forced into labor.
-- These people are being deceived and their desperation
exploited.
-- Every passing day, men, women and children are becoming
TIP victims.
-- They cannot get their voices heard; they want to be saved.
-- By calling the "157" hotline, you can save a life.
-- Turkey is determined in the fight against human
trafficking.

4. (U) According to Kaygisiz and IOM Trafficking Assistant
Meltem Ersoy, the GOT easily obtained Radio and Television
High Commission (RTUK) approval of the commercials, and the
ads are appearing regularly on major Turkish TV and cable
channels, free of charge. However, Kaygisiz told us that MFA
wishes to persuade the networks to air the spots more often,
and will discuss this issue during the next scheduled
interagency TIP taskforce meeting, October 10.

5. (U) The GOT is undertaking a number of additional measures
to further raise TIP awareness in Turkey. Kaygisiz told us
that representatives of the Turkish Doctors Association
(TTB), Turkish Travel Agents Union (TURSAB), and the Ministry
of Tourism will participate in the upcoming meeting of the
interagency taskforce. TTB represents doctors in private
practice who, said Kaygisiz, need to be informed, as public
hospitals have been, that trafficking victims are guaranteed
free medical treatment in Turkey by decree. The Ministry of
Health will coordinate this outreach effort with TTB.

ANKARA 00001709 002 OF 003


Likewise, the GOT believes the hotel and tourism industry can
play a critical front-line role in identifying and reporting
possible trafficking acts. Further raising public awareness,
the GOT will soon release the print version of its 2007
"Report on Combating Human Trafficking in Turkey." (The
report, like last year's, will be in Turkish and English; an
electronic version of the data in Turkish is included on the
CD-R pouched to G/TIP.) Upon public release, the link to the
report will be updated on the MFA, MOI and Ministry of
Justice (MOJ) homepages.

GOT CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN ANTI-TIP CAPACITY
---------------------------------------------
6. (U) The GOT is undertaking a number of additional
anti-trafficking activities as part of the EU-funded program.
Kaygisiz and Ersoy said they expect that Middle East
Technical University senior researchers will submit in the
next couple of weeks a draft comprehensive report on demand
for TIP in Turkey. The GOT-commissioned report is expected
to shed light on sources of demand for trafficked victims,
including those trafficked domestically, which some experts
believe may be overlooked as a result of the GOT's
bureaucratic focus on combating international trafficking for
sexual exploitation. (MFA chairs the interagency taskforce.)
The same researcher team will then begin work on a second
report, that will set out recommendations for strengthening
the GOT TIP taskforce.

7. (U) TIP training took place in Turkey throughout the
summer. Thirty law enforcement officers and forty judges and
prosecutors participated in "train the trainers" courses.
The training focused not only on counter-trafficking skills,
such as victim identification and interviewing skills, but
also on training skills; the training will start to be
"cascaded" to hundreds of officers in the respective agencies
beginning after the Ramadan holidays (September 29-October
3). Ersoy expects the training to reach at least 300 judges
and prosecutors and 280 "first contact" law enforcement
officers. She noted that former Scotland Yard officer and
renowned TIP expert Paul Holmes participated in one such
training session earlier in the summer. Kaygisiz pointed out
that counter-trafficking training has expanded greatly beyond
the TNP Foreigners Department to include other departments in
the TNP Security Directorate, namely Law and Order. Turkish
law enforcement, she said, is increasingly well trained to
identify and assist victims of domestic trafficking.

8. (U) An MOJ delegation traveled to Belgium July 7-10 and
Italy July 14-18 to compare best practices on TIP. Ersoy
contended that MOJ officials are eager to learn European best
practices, but that those visiting Belgium and Italy came
away from the visits feeling that Turkey's legislative
framework for prosecuting TIP was, in fact, more advanced
than what they saw in Europe. The delegation was reportedly
more impressed by the NGO and international law enforcement
cooperation they witnessed in Belgium and Italy.

STILL AWAITING LONG-TERM
SOLUTION ON SHELTERS
------------------------
9. (SBU) Turkey's anti-TIP shelters are funded presently by
the EU through the two-year counter-trafficking program.
According to Ersoy, Chairman Kemal Gur is pushing the
taskforce hard to identify a guaranteed and sustainable
source of funding for the shelters. Nine months' funding is
presently guaranteed for the Ankara-based shelter and twelve
months for the Istanbul-based shelter. Kaygisiz assured us
the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is prepared to provide
short-term, bridge financing to ensure no disruption in
shelter service, if necessary. However, a sustainable,
long-term solution has yet to be reached. MFA will urge the
creation of a taskforce sub-group of concerned agencies to
work out the problem, probably led by TNP, which most
directly engages with the shelters. Kaygisiz believes that
creating such a sub-group would underscore the urgency
attached to reaching a solution on this issue. She recalled
that when statistical collection was proving impossibly
disorganized, a sub-group was created under the MOJ
Statistics Department, and GOT statistical reporting on TIP
improved quickly.

10. (SBU) TNP has already indicated its intent to take over
from IOM operation of the "157" hotline. TNP is in the
process of identifying and training multi-lingual staff to
administer the hotline; MOF has approved nine positions.

ANKARA 00001709 003 OF 003


Both IOM and MFA noted to us a sense of caution: TNP, when
it takes over, should continue to operate the hotline as
effectively as IOM has. Ersoy said TNP should take over
IOM's "whole capacity" for administering the hotline.
Kaygisiz did not rule out the possibility that IOM would, in
the end, continue to operate the hotline, with direct GOT
funding.

11. (SBU) Key to building sustainable anti-trafficking
capacity in Turkey is passage of the revised National Action
Plan (NAP). The NAP has already been approved by the Council
of Ministers, but is, to the taskforce's frustration, still
awaiting the Interior Minister's signature (presumably at a
ceremony) before it can be sent to the PM for formal
adoption. Recognizing that terrorist attacks and domestic
political turmoil have consumed the Interior Minister's
attention in recent months, Kaygisiz said she is confident
this will happen soon.

TURKEY SUPPORTS COUNCIL OF EUROPE
TIP CONVENTION; WEIGHING SIGNATURE
----------------------------------
12. (SBU) Kaygisiz told us Turkey is considering carefully
whether to sign at this time the Council of Europe Convention
on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings. The taskforce
will discuss the convention at its next meeting and may task
MOJ to develop a recommendation. Turkey, she said, supports
the thrust of the convention, participated in the working
groups leading to its formation, and would like to remain
engaged in the convention's further development. Before the
GOT signs, however, it wants to ensure Turkey will be ready
to develop the necessary implementing legislation to ratify
the convention. Most European countries, in particular the
source countries in Turkey's region, have signed the
convention and even ratified it, without, Kaygisiz suggested,
the necessary legislation to implement the convention fully,
perhaps out of support for the convention's compensation and
legal redress guarantees. She noted some potential Turkish
concern with the provision criminalizing the use of services
from a victim. The GOT, she said, has no objections to the
provision in principle, but noted that, in Turkey, a
significant percentage of calls to the "157" hotline come
from clients, and said Turkey should be careful not to deter
calls to the hotline that could rescue victims.

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

WILSON

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