Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Discusses Tip, Other Women's Issues

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 006688

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/SE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM TU
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES TIP, OTHER WOMEN'S ISSUES
WITH MINISTER


1. (SBU) Summary: In an October 22 introductory meeting, the
Ambassador told State Minister Guldal Aksit (responsible for
women's affairs) that Turkey could serve as a model on
women's rights for the Middle East. He urged Turkey to
implement recent initiatives to combat trafficking in persons
(TIP), and to compile and release TIP-related data. Aksit
said the GOT is committed to combating TIP. She said she is
closely involved in discussions on amending elements of the
Penal Code that discriminate against women. Unfortunately,
the GOT office in charge of women's issues is understaffed.
End Summary.
------------------------------
Turkey a Model for Middle East
------------------------------


2. (U) The Ambassador told Aksit Turkey could serve as an
example for the Middle East in the area of women's rights.
The latest Human Development Report on the Arab states cites
the lack of female empowerment as a major factor in the
continued underdevelopment of the region. The economic,
political, artistic, and literary creativity of the Arab
states are being stifled by the exclusion of women, among
other factors. As an example, the report notes that Turkey
alone published more works of creative literature over the
past year than the entire Arab world combined. Aksit agreed
Turkey has made good progress on women's issues. While women
in Turkey continue to be underrepresented in government, they
comprise 25-30 percent of the workforce in areas such as law,
architecture, and medicine. Unlike some European
governments, the GOT does not support the use of quotas to
promote equality. The goal is to provide equal opportunity
for women. Unfortunately, Turkey faces problems,
particularly in the southeast, where a traditional culture
that discriminates against women and the lingering effects of
the PKK conflict have created a situation in which many girls
are poorly educated.


--------------------------------------
Ambassador: Continue Fight Against TIP
--------------------------------------


3. (SBU) The Ambassador noted that the GOT launched a number
of initiatives that elevated Turkey from Tier III to Tier II
in the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP)
report. He said he would like to encourage continued
progress against TIP. Legislation alone is not enough -- the
GOT will have to follow through on implementation in order to
reach its broader goals. Two specific actions could prove
valuable: establishing shelters for trafficking victims, and
conducting an information campaign to inform the public about
TIP-related laws and the rights of TIP victims. In addition,
the GOT could help keep track of its progress by collecting,
and releasing, regular TIP-related data in areas such as
arrests, prosecutions, utilization of services, etc. Aksit
said the GOT is committed to combating trafficking. The
GOT's Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women
has created a new committee on TIP. Civil society in Turkey
is now fully engaged on the issue. Unfortunately, the GOT
has yet to adopt organizing legislation for the Directorate
General, leaving the office understaffed. Once this problem
is resolved, the GOT should be able to make more rapid
progress on TIP and other areas affecting women.


------------------------
Penal Code to be Amended
------------------------


4. (U) The Ambassador said some women's groups argue that
elements of the Turkish Penal Code discriminate against women
(Note: Controversial articles include: rape between spouses
is not a crime; rapists and kidnappers can avoid punishment
if they marry their victims; and punishments for rape are
greater if the victim is married, lesser if the victim is
single, and even lesser if the victim is single and not a
virgin. End Note). Aksit said she met October 21 with
female parliamentarians and members of the parliamentary
Justice Committee to discuss proposed amendments to Penal
Code articles relating to crimes against women. She said she
will follow the amendments closely, and periodically brief
female MPs, to ensure that the law, once amended, no longer
discriminates against women.


EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>