Cablegate: Istanbul Anti-Trafficking Effort Update

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. (SBU) SUMMARY: Poloff met January 14 with Human Resource
Development Foundation (HRDF) Executive Director Demet Gural
in Istanbul to get an update on TIP programs and efforts to
put together a shelter for trafficked women. To date, the
GoT has offered no funding for a separate shelter for
trafficked women or for training programs. HRDF does
organize training in conjunction with GoT agencies, though,
and has gotten significant moral support. In the absence of
monetary assistance, however, GoT efforts to combat
trafficking in Istanbul remain incomplete. END SUMMARY.

Training Programs

2. (SBU) Gural reports that HRDF is having success with two
upcoming training programs. One, for prosecutors and judges,
is GoT approved and scheduled for January 26. Funding comes
from the British Council, Chamber of Commerce, and TURSAB.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is
providing an expert to lecture. A second program, aimed at
police officers, has also gotten the go-ahead and is
scheduled for February or March. Chamber of Commerce and
TURSAB will provide support for this program as well.

3. (SBU) HRDF is also working with the Kadikoy Mayor on a
project involving illegal migrants, one component of which
includes sex workers. The program has EU funding. The
Kadikoy Mayor's office is also considering collaboration with
HRDA on a possible shelter project. Kadikoy currently has a
women's shelter (for general purposes, not TIP-specific) with
10-15 beds, according to Gural.

GoT Support and Funding

4. (SBU) According to Gural, GoT support and funding has been
a mixed bag. GoT has not given any material support of any
type, or committed to any future support for programs or
shelters. GoT contacts have told Gural that, due to budget
constraints, funding a shelter is not currently feasible.

5. (SBU) However, working relations have gotten much better,
according to Gural. She says officials with whom she
regularly has contact on migrant and sex worker issues have
become substantially better-informed and more cooperative.
She reports 2 cases of trafficked women that were reported to
HRDA (one in Antalya, one in Kusadasi) since Summer of 2003.
She says all proper procedures were carried out in handling
both cases. In one of the two cases, however, she contacted
the women's shelter in Buyukcekmece (outlying European
Istanbul) to inquire about possible shelter for the woman,
and, when they found out she was a foreigner, they became
unwilling to further assist without a letter from the
Governor's office or a ministry in Ankara requesting
admission of the woman. Fortunately, other shelter options
were found. An attitude of hesitation regarding foreign
women seems to continue, according to Gural.

USG Funding question

6. (SBU) The possibility of funding from USG sources was
previously discussed with TDY Embassy Poloff. Gural inquired
about any progress on USG funding for a shelter or other TIP
programs. Poloff committed to inquiring with the Embassy and
Washington about any possibilities that exist for funding,
but cautioned that any potential sources would certainly not
be found until after the DOS budget is passed. She

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