Cablegate: Got Actions Since March to Combat Trafficking In
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 005159
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: GOT ACTIONS SINCE MARCH TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN
REF: SECSTATE 171293
1. Summary: Emboffs met August 12-13 with MFA officials and
contacted the director of the Ankara office of the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) to discuss
actions taken by the GOT to combat trafficking in persons
(TIP) subsequent to March 30, the end of the period covered
in the 2003 TIP Report. The following report is a
compilation of those actions. End Summary.
2. The GOT July 8 sent a diplomatic note to the embassies of
eight countries that constitute the primary source countries
for TIP in Turkey -- Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria,
Romania, Moldova, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. In the
note, the GOT seeks bilateral cooperation on combating TIP
(Note: dipnote faxed to EUR/SE. End Note). As of August 12,
none of the countries had responded.
3. The GOT has developed a new questionnaire for visa
applicants to better screen for potential TIP victims. The
questionnaire is designed to determine whether applicants are
submitting false documents relating to their employment
status in their home country. The GOT will also require that
the MFA of the applicant's country verify the validity of
employment documents. The GOT has coordinated with the IOM
office in Kiev on screening procedures for visa applicants.
Turkish consular officers in Moldova helped break up a
trafficking operation when they notified local authorities of
falsified documents for "dancers."
4. The Interior Ministry has developed a new set of
guidelines for the issuance of work permits to foreigners in
the entertainment sector. Under the guidelines: work
contracts must be prepared in Turkish and Russian (contracts
in Turkish and French will no longer be accepted); contracts
must specify that the employer will pay for the return ticket
of the foreign worker; contracts must meet the minimum wage;
and contracts must specify that the worker has the right to
contact the police or Labor Ministry.
5. GOT officials continue to participate in TIP-related
Stability Pact meetings -- MFA DG for Consular Affairs
Apaydin attended a June 24 Stability Pact meeting in
Bucharest as the GOT national coordinator for TIP. Turkish
judges participated in the Program for the Development of an
Anti-Trafficking Module for Judges and Prosecutors, held
April 10-13 in Sofia and organized by the Stability Pact and
the International Center for Migration Policy Development.
Turkish representatives also participated in the April 30
Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg aimed at preparing a
TIP convention and the May 16 EU Experts Group meeting on TIP
6. According to Greek and Turkish officials, the two
governments have agreed to exchange anti-TIP liaison officers
to coordinate efforts.
7. FM and Deputy PM Gul August 12 issued a press statement on
TIP, which was widely distributed to media outlets (Note:
Text faxed to EUR/SE. End Note). The statement was covered
by the Anatolia News Agency as well as a number of dailies,
including the Turkish Daily News and mass circulation
Hurriyet and Milliyet.
8. Parliament in June approved amendments to the Citizenship
Law establishing a three-year probationary period before
foreigners marrying Turkish citizens can attain citizenship.
The purpose of the amendments is to prevent bogus marriages
that can lead to human trafficking. In an example of such a
case, Russian citizen Elvira Salmanova filed a complaint June
30 accusing her Turkish citizen husband of forcing her into
prostitution. Working with IOM, the GOT returned Salmanova
to Russia at her request and opened a trafficking case
against her husband.
9. The Ministry of Tourism in July distributed nationwide a
guide for use by all elements of the tourism sector. The
guide, based on language developed by the World Tourism
Organization and approved by UNGA, requires countries to
cooperate to prevent all forms of exploitation (Note: Text
faxed to EUR/SE. End Note).
10. Two GOT offices -- the General Directorate on the Status
and Problems of Women, and the Social Services and Child
Protection Unit -- met with IOM officials July 30 to discuss
the establishment of a project that would include: TIP
shelters, a voluntary return program, awareness raising
workshops, referral services, and reintegration assistance.
11. The Ministry of Interior distributed a TIP guide for law
enforcement officials. The guide establishes proper
procedures for investigating TIP as well as identifying and
assisting potential TIP victims (Note: Text faxed to EUR/SE.
12. The GOT has submitted to the Cabinet a decree to provide
free medical care to TIP victims. According to MFA, most
Cabinet members have signed the decree, which could be ready
for the President's signature by the end of August.
13. The GOT plans to dispatch 20 "expert" police units to
cities where TIP is most common. Plans call for a database
linking 80 cities to monitor and combat TIP.
14. The Interior Ministry has included a TIP lesson in the
Police Academy curriculum in the human rights program.
15. Police in Erzurum arrested 11 people July 10 on TIP
charges. Nine of these have been taken to court, three of
whom are police officers. In addition, a related case has
been opened against 13 police officers for alleged
involvement in the crime.
16. A Turkish woman and an Azerbaijani woman filed a
complaint July 27 accusing three Turkish men of forcing them
into prostitution. The accused have been arrested and are
being investigated under the anti-trafficking law.
17. Trabzon police August 10 conducted a sweep of hotels,
cafeterias and tea houses and detained 310 foreign women,
including women from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. Police
also detained 190 men, including hotel and cafeteria
managers. All of the detained women have been screened to
determine whether they are potential TIP victims.
Authorities deported 69 of the women who said they were
voluntarily working as prostitutes. Some of the others
claimed they were trafficked; their cases are under
investigation. Authorities are also investigating 17 alleged
traffickers in the case, including Turkish, Russian, and
Azerbaijani citizens. Eleven of the detained women are ill
and receiving medical treatment. All of the women remaining
in Turkey have been released from detention, but are not yet
free to leave the country.