Cablegate: Update On Civair Safety Security; Civair

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
SUBJECT: Update on Civair Safety Security; Civair
Officials to Visit Washington

Ref: Ankara 1700

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Handle Accordingly.

1. (U) This is an action cable. Please see para 7.

2. (SBU) Summary: Acting DCM pressed the Acting
Transport Ministry Undersecretary for GOT action on air
safety and security deficiencies in an April 1 meeting.
The Undersecretary told us that the GOT was working on
remedies for these problems, but concrete results may be
months away. He also informed us that a GOT delegation
plans to visit Washington April 20 to discuss a possible
acquisition of baggage screening equipment with the
Transportation Security Administration. End Summary.

3. (U) On April 1, Acting DCM, Econoff and Economic
Specialist called on Acting Transport Ministry
Undersecretary Mehmet Kutlu to press for GOT action on
air safety and security deficiencies. Kutlu, who was
accompanied by Director General of Civil Aviation Topa
Toker, and Mustafa Karabay of the DGCA Security
Division, informed us that a GOT delegation planned to
visit Washington April 20 on a possible acquisition of
baggage screening equipment.

4. (SBU) A/DCM raised a draft law to improve DGCA air
safety oversight capacity as well as the GOT's plans to
remedy border/customs control deficiencies at Turkish
airports (reftel). Kutlu told us that the air safety
amendments had been cleared by GOT ministries and the
bill is now at the Prime Ministry. He added that the
GOT would send a copy of the bill to ICAO for review and
comment. The bill will not be submitted to Parliament
until separate draft legislation on public
administration reform is passed.

5. (SBU) GOT officials reaffirmed plans to require
international passengers to clear customs and border
control at the initial point of entry to Turkey, but
renovations to enable passengers to claim and recheck
their luggage at the international terminal at Istanbul
Ataturk Airport must be completed first. This might not
occur before the end of 2004, though authorities are
trying to accelerate the process. Toker noted that, in
the interim, other measures, such as checking boarding
passes and taking headcounts after passengers deplane
are meant to ensure that no one is allowed to avoid
immigration checks. A/DCM thanked Toker and his
colleagues for their work on this issue, but urged them
to close this loophole in entry procedures as quickly as

6. (U) Kutlu and Toker told us they planned to travel to
Washington for meetings on April 20 to consult with the
U.S. Transportation Security Administration on a
possible purchase of explosive detection equipment. The
delegation, which will include officials from the state
airport authority (Turkish acronym DHMI), would be
interested in meeting with counterparts at the FAA and
the Federal Air Marshall Service on air safety and air
marshal issues as well. The delegation will consist of:

-- Mehmet KUTLU, Undersecretary of Ministry of
-- Topa Bilgetin TOKER, Director General of Turkish
Civil Aviation Authority
-- Mahmut TEKIN, Director General of DHMI (Turkish Civil
Airport Authority)
-- Ahmet ERGIN, Electronic Department Manager of DHMI
-- Turgay SAHAN. Chair of EADUK (Comittee for Training
Research and Inspection of Turkish Civil Aviation)
-- Oguz URKER, Electronic Department Deputy Manager of
-- Hakan Fehmi GORK, Mechanical Engineer from DHMY

Recommendation/Action Request

7. (SBU) Embassy continues to be concerned about the gap
in Turkey's border control system and urges Washington
agencies to raise this issue in writing (reftel) as well
as during Transport/DGCA/DHMI's visit to Washington. In
addition, we see this visit as an excellent opportunity
--raise concerns about air safety in relation to the FAA
IASA program;
--respond to the GOT's request for information on our
air marshal program;
--and promote U.S. exports.

We strongly recommend that TSA, FAA, FAMS and perhaps
Commerce or EB officials meet with Kutlu and Toker later
this month.

© Scoop Media

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