Cablegate: Turks View Tier Iii Tip Rating As Unfair,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: GOT officials said they are "disappointed" by
Turkey's Tier III ranking in the 2003 TIP Report. They
claimed the report ignores TIP-related reforms adopted by the
GOT over the past year, and argued that the ranking was not
based on fair, objective analysis. The press focused on the
"threat" of TIP-related sanctions and defined the report as a
new point of US-Turkish tension. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- --
MFA: Report Unfair, USG "Biased" Against Turkey
--------------------------------------------- --

2. Fatma Firat Topcuoglu, DDG of the MFA Consular Affairs
Department, told Poloff June 11 the GOT is "extremely
disappointed" with the Tier III rating. Topcuoglu argued
that the decision was clearly "not made on its merits." The
GOT, she said, had made all the most difficult, substantive
changes needed to combat TIP, including: 1) adopting an
anti-TIP law with strong penalties for violators, and opening
cases against alleged traffickers; 2) signing and ratifying
all international anti-TIP protocols; 3) amending the law on
foreigners to create a centralized system of work permits;
and 4) adopting a National Action Plan on TIP. Topcuoglu
said the GOT's efforts were not given fair consideration in
the report. She said the GOT researched all the countries in
Tiers I and II, and none has done as much as Turkey to fight
trafficking. Topcuoglu said there have been only a few cases
opened against alleged traffickers because TIP is not a
large-scale problem in Turkey. She concluded that the USG is
biased against Turkey. The MFA June 12 issued a brief
statement claiming that Turkey has made "radical changes" to
its laws relating to anti-trafficking, which had not been
given due consideration. The statement said the GOT is
"disappointed and saddened" by the report.

--------------------------------------------- --
Interior Minister: Report Not Based On Evidence
--------------------------------------------- --

3. At a public ceremony June 12, Interior Minister Aksu said
human smuggling had become a serious problem across the
region, and that the GOT had passed a number of "exemplary"
laws and regulations in recent years to combat it. He said
he "regrets" that the USG, in its TIP report, accuses Turkey
of ignoring the problem, and claimed the TIP report was not
based on "objective evidence."

--------------------------------------------- --
Press Focuses on Sanctions "Threat," "Tensions"
--------------------------------------------- --

4. All major dailies carried stories June 13 on the TIP
report. Many of the articles noted the importance of IMF
loans for Turkey and characterized the possibility of a
cut-off of IMF loans and other TIP-related sanctions as a new
"threat" against Turkey. Several papers, including the
social democrat/intellectual Cumhuriyet and the populist
Aksam, described the TIP report as a new "point of tension"
in the US-Turkey relationship.

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