Cablegate: 1/6/04 Tip Report

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. (U) The following are recent developments related to
trafficking in persons (TIP) in Turkey:

IOM Pilot Program

2. (U) The Ankara office of the International Organization
for Migration (IOM) has drafted a proposal for a USD 1.2
million pilot project on TIP that includes training,
shelters, and voluntary repatriation (text faxed to EUR/SE
Yountchi). The goal of the one-year project is to raise
awareness of TIP among law enforcement officials and provide
assistance to 300 TIP victims. In addition, it is expected
that during the course of the program the GOT will establish
a mechanism for referring TIP victims to service providers
and create a voluntary return program in line with practices
in EU countries. The Human Resources Development Foundation
(HRDF), an Istanbul-based NGO, would serve as IOM's partner
in the project (HRDF and the GOT signed a protocol on TIP in
September; IOM recommended HRDF for the agreement.) IOM
Ankara delivered the proposal to the GOT January 6 and IOM
headquarters in Geneva will approach potential donor nations.

Training for Jandarma, Judiciary

3. (U) According to Regina Boucault, IOM Ankara chief of
mission, IOM has been providing a TIP component to
UNHCR-sponsored Jandarma training. During the September,
October, and December UNHCR training programs, IOM taught an
introductory TIP law enforcement course. Boucault told us
Col. Cengiz Yildirim, head of the Jandarma Smuggling and
Organized Crimes Department, was impressed by the TIP course
and asked IOM to prepare a more in-depth TIP program for the
Jandarma. IOM in November submitted to Yildirim an outline
for a proposed three-day TIP program (text faxed to EUR/SE
Yountchi). Once the program is finalized, IOM will seek
funding. Boucault said the Turkish National Police have also
contacted HRDF about new TIP training programs.

4. (U) HRDF has organized four two-day TIP workshops for
judges and prosecutors. The workshops, to be held in January
and February, are funded by the British Council. IOM will
participate in the programs.

TIP Study

5. (U) IOM in November released a study entitled, "Irregular
Migration and Trafficking in Women: The Case of Turkey." The
report, available on the internet at, does not
provide an estimate of the size and scope of TIP in Turkey.
It does, however, provide general information about the
problem in Turkey and the GOT's efforts to combat it.
Conclusions from the study include:

-- The GOT has taken "remarkable steps" to combat TIP over
the past two years, but lacks a consistent, comprehensive
approach. It is important for the GOT to implement recent
TIP-related legal reforms.

-- Various sources indicate that Turkey is one of the major
destination countries for women trafficked from Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Nearly 90
percent of the citizens of these countries who are deported
from Turkey are deported for reasons related to the illegal
sex business or sexually transmitted diseases.

-- Only 13 percent of foreigners with residence permits in
Turkey hold work permits. This situation helps enable
traffickers to exploit foreign women who want to work but
cannot do so legally. In February 2003, the Turkish
Parliament passed a law making it easier for foreigners to
obtain work permits. Under one article of the law,
foreigners may be employed as domestic servants.

-- Until recently, Turkey had long been a country of
emigration, with liberal border control policies geared
toward attracting tourists and enhancing foreign currency
reserves. The collapse of the Soviet Union, among other
factors, suddenly turned Turkey into a magnet for irregular
migrants. This change caught the GOT unprepared and
overwhelmed. Turkey's liberal border policies led to a mass
influx of irregular migrants from ex-socialist states. GOT
officials are now in the process of adjusting Turkey's
policies to fit this new reality. While doing so, they have
focused primarily on the need to control illegal borders
crossings, treating TIP as a secondary concern.

Moldovan Case

6. (U) IOM and HRDF recently worked on a case that
illustrates some of the difficulties in combating TIP in
Turkey. According to police and IOM reports, a 28-year-old
Moldovan woman who overstayed her tourist visa in Turkey
called her mother in Moldova from Antalya, on Turkey's
Mediterranean coast, on November 30. She informed her mother
that she had been detained on an immigration violation. She
said she had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution.
Her mother called the Moldova branch of the NGO Save the
Children seeking help. Save the Children contacted HRDF,
thanks to a regional network of NGOs established by HRDF in
accordance with a TIP protocol signed by the GOT and HRDF in
September. HRDF then alerted Antalya police that the woman
was a potential trafficking victim. However, the woman, who
was released from detention, told police only that she had
been living voluntarily with a Turkish man who took her to
Antalya and abandoned her. IOM later sent police a
questionnaire for the woman to fill out in an effort to
clarify her status. In the meantime, her mother sent her
money and she returned to Moldova. The woman never filled
out the questionnaire and it is not clear whether she was a
TIP victim.


7. (U) To date, there have been a total of 11 cases opened
against alleged traffickers under the anti-TIP legislation
adopted in August 2002. The cases involve a total of 41
alleged traffickers and 27 alleged victims. Courts have
ruled for acquittal in three cases; the remainder are ongoing.


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