Cablegate: Meeting of the Counterterrorism Action Group 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 03 ANKARA 000792
DEPARTMENT FOR S/CT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PREL PTER TU
SUBJECT: MEETING OF THE COUNTERTERRORISM ACTION GROUP IN
REF: SECSTATE 14279
1. (SBU) In response to reftel, on Jan. 29 DCM convened a
meeting of the Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) to
discuss anti-terrorism programs in Turkey. Reps from all G-8
countries and from Australia, Spain and Switzerland attended.
A representative from the EU Commission could not attend but
informed poloff a rep will participate in future CTAG
meetings in Turkey. The following is a country-by-country
breakdown of assistance programs, assessments of Turkey's
counterterrorism capabilities, and analysis of areas for
2. (SBU) Japan concentrates most of its anti-terrorism
assistance programs in Asia but has provided training to
Turkish law enforcement officials. In 2003, two Turkish
police officers attended a seminar on International Terrorism
Investigation. Currently, there are no plans for Turkish
participation in 2004.
3. (SBU) The French representative noted that until very
recently, anti-terrorism cooperation with Turkey was
extremely limited, possibly due to an Armenian genocide
resolution passed in France. In 2004, however, two members
of the Turkish police will travel to France for a week-long
training course on international terrorism. France also
cooperates with Turkish law enforcement to combat illegal
migration and drug trafficking. France has permanent links
with Turkish National Police (TNP) units involved with
counter terrorism and internal intelligence.
4. (SBU) Italy is leading a program that is funded by the
European Commission to strengthen MASAK, Turkey's financial
crimes investigations organization. The 2-million Euro
"twinning" program will begin in March and has a 24-month
implementation period. An Italian expert is expected to
arrive in Turkey soon to assist MASAK officials but the
arrival is pending the completion of an MOU with the GOT.
The goals of the program are: 1) to improve the legal basis
for combating terrorist finance; 2) to provide specialized
training to Turkish officials; 3) to provide a way for
Turkish officials to have direct contact with European Union
counterparts; and 4) to evaluate the role of and to
strengthen MASAK. The overall goal of the program is to
bring Turkey into compliance with the EU's Acquis.
5. (SBU) Russian anti-terrorism cooperation with Turkey
centers around several agreements signed at various levels of
the Turkish and Russian governments since 1992. Russia and
Turkey also cooperate within the context of the Black Sea
Economic Cooperation organization in the fields of border
security and maritime issues. Beyond these broad agreements
at the government-to-government level, there is little to no
cooperation at the working level. The Russian representative
asserted that the most important area for improvement in
Turkish anti-terrorism activities is terrorist finance.
6. (SBU) Canada has been working for several years with the
TNP in training Turkish police instructors in forensics,
document examination, cyber crime, and major case management.
Canada has also sponsored exchange-of-visitor programs in
the law enforcement area.
7. (SBU) Following the Nov. 2003 bombings in Istanbul, the
U.K. has been trying to improve information sharing among
Turkish security organizations and the U.K., an area the U.K.
rep noted that needs substantial improvement. U.K. is
currently trying to arrange a multi-agency visit of Turkish
counterterrorism experts to the U.K. to meet their
counterparts as well as agree on an MOU on future
counterterrorism cooperation. The U.K. has a full-time
officer assigned to assist the Turkish government on money
laundering issues, but U.K. assistance has primarily taken
the form of English-language training for Turkish police
officers through the British Council in Ankara. The head of
the TNP intelligence department has been to the U.K. to
discuss technical capabilities against terrorists.
8. (SBU) Overall, German programs support TNP efforts against
organized crime and money laundering. German cooperation
with Turkish intelligence began in 2000. Cooperation with
Turkish law enforcement against terrorism improved after
September 11 and again following bombings in Istanbul.
Currently, Germany has four EU-tied "twinning" project
proposals related to counterterrorism assistance. The
projects will total around 10 million Euros and probably will
not begin until summer 2004. The proposed initiatives are in
the following fields: 1) forensic science (crime scene and
crime labs) with TNP; 2) money laundering; 3) organized
crime; and 4) human smuggling. There is also a proposal for
some 20-30 Turkish intelligence officers to work in
counterterrorism offices in Germany for several months.
Germany also currently provides language training to
9. (SBU) Echoing his British counterpart, the German rep
averred that a major problem in Turkey is the lack of
effective coordination among Turkish security organizations.
The mandate to fight terrorism, in particular, is split among
too many government entities, the rep noted. Cooperation
among the various organizations needs to be better.
Spain, Australia, Switzerland
10. (SBU) Spain has no bilateral assistance anti-terrorism
assistance programs in Turkey but, like Italy and Germany, is
pursuing a broad project within the context of the EU's
"twinning" program to re-organize TNP to make the police more
efficient, effective and in line with the EU Acquis.
Australia and Switzerland do not have assistance programs in
11. (SBU) Participants unanimously agreed that future CTAG
meetings should include representatives from the GOT,
particularly from TNP and MFA.