Cablegate: Mfa Makes Case for Anti-Tip Efforts

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) In separate April 5 discussions with Turkish MP
Egemen Bagis and MFA Director General of Consular Affairs
Murat Ersavci, the Ambassador raised concerns about the
GOT's silence on specific anti-trafficking efforts. The
Ambassador engaged Bagis and Ersavci on repeated requests
for information on 1) efforts to establish a shelter for
victims of trafficking; 2) efforts to coordinate law
enforcement and prevention measures with TIP source
countries; 3) adoption of standards for humane, thorough
screening of victims; and 4) a comprehensive, anti-
trafficking public relations campaign. Both Bagis and
Ersavci asserted the GOT was "galvanized" against TIP, and
would work to provide Post with details of the GOT's anti-
TIP efforts.

2. (SBU) Ambassador Murat Ersavci, Turkish MFA Director
General of Consular Affairs responded with the following
Aide-Memoire. Begin text:

The Government of Turkey attaches great importance to
the fight against trafficking in human beings.

The statement made by Mr. John Miller, Senior advisor
to Secretary of State Colin Powell on human trafficking
and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat
Trafficking in Persons at the US Department of State,
that "Turkey is one of the countries which really
stepped up in the fight against trafficking in human
beings", at the online active forum of the White House
on March 22, 2004, was appreciated.

Turkey has accomplished concrete progress in combating
trafficking in human beings since it was moved from
Tier 3 to Tier 2, on September 2003. By adopting and
implementing international instruments, Turkey clearly
indicated her political will and determination to
combat against trafficking in human beings in co-
operation with the world community and translated the
provisions included therein into its own legislation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs chairs the National TIP
Task Force, which is composed of experts from relevant
ministries and non-governmental organizations. The
main strategy and policy on the fight against human
trafficking has been formed within this Task force.

Further co-operation possibilities are considered
particularly with the International Organization of
Migration (10M) on a project basis in areas of
awareness raising, training of law-enforcement bodies,
national referral mechanisms, victim protection,
vo1untary return and reintegration assistance.
Moreover, Ministry of Interior signed a protocol on 4
September 2003 with the Foundation for the Development
of Human Resources (IKGV), a well-established NGO that
actively involves in projects aimed at improving social
and health conditions and assists to victims of
trafficking in human beings.

The Turkish Government, despite its limited resources,
provides, if necessary, accommodation and emergency
services including psychiatric services, out of
national budget and funds. To this end, the Ministry of
Health made the necessary arrangements in order to
provide medical treatment free of charge to victims of
trafficking in human beings. A decree to this effect
became effective in January 2004.

Victims of trafficking are provided with safe, secure
and free accommodation in various facilities, including
shelters for battered women, student dormitories,
hotels and government guesthouses. However, it is
estimated that as a result of the consultations between
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and IKGV under the
guidance of MFA it would be possible to provide a
shelter for the victims of trafficking within the
following months.

On January 2, 3004, the Ministry of Interior
established a specialized unit dealing with trafficking
cases, ensuring better dialog and co-ordination between
the police and other relevant authorities dealing with
human trafficking. Moreover, a Twinning Project on
"Strengthening Institutions in the Fight against
Trafficking in Human Beings" has been developed under
the European Union 2003 Pre-accession Financial
Assistance Programme.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security prepared a
sample contract in Turkish and in the language of the
applicant for working permit. The sample contract
includes clauses on the working conditions, such as the
minimum wage. The emergency number: of the police and
the IKGV are also included in the contract.

Turkey is already cooperating with other countries
against the inhuman and criminal practice of
trafficking, as well as with the US Government. Turkey
has proposed bilateral co-operation and a draft
protocol on cooperation in combating trafficking in
human beings to the main countries of origin, whose
nationals target Turkey in search of better standards
of living and some of them become vulnerable to
exploitation. So far, positive responses from Belarus
and Ukraine have been received. In source countries,
Turkish missions have expanded their activities in
order to cooperate within the framework of the said

As a result of an operation organized by the
Directorate of Security of Erzurum, 11 persons have
been arrested and 9 of them have been sent to Court, 3
of whom were police officers. An investigation was
launched about those 3 police officers. After their
trial, 2 police officers were sentenced to 6 months of
imprisonment and heavy fines. They are also expelled
from the force. One police officer has been acquitted.
Moreover, Yalova Criminal Court issued a verdict
(according to Article 201/b of the TPC) for five
defendants on February 11, 2004, four of whom have been
confined to imprisonment of 4 years and 2 months and a
fine of 1.325.000.000. - TL. The accused persons are
prohibited from employment in public services for 3

It is a fact that since the last evaluation there has
been considerable progress. Turkey will continue to
fight against this scourge. Therefore, the Government
of Turkey would be most appreciative of the valuable
support and firm standing of US Government is provided
against any pressure groups, which would like to see
Turkey placed in Tier 3, thereby defining the
Government of Turkey once again as "not in full
compliance with minimum standards for the elimination
of trafficking and not making significant efforts".
End Text.


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