Cablegate: Interior Ministry U/S On Aviation Security,

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: Interior Ministry U/S on Aviation Security,
Diplomatic Security and the Bedoian Case

Ref: Ankara 1989

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Handle Accordingly.

1. (SBU) In an April 21 meeting with Interior Ministry
Undersecretary Harput, DCM raised the continuing gap in
border controls for international passengers
transferring to domestic flights, police protection for
the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, and the Bedoian
investment case. Mustafa Bal, head of the Turkish
National Police (TNP) Protection Department, Econoff and
RSO FSN Investigator also attended.

2. (SBU) DCM pointed out that, until international
passengers are required to clear customs and border
control at the initial point of entry to Turkey, there
is a risk that terrorists or criminals will enter the
country undetected using commercial airlines. Harput
responded that the GOT had decided to implement control
at the first port of entry (usually Istanbul), but that
physical adjustments were necessary, and that these
might not be completed until August 2004. Note:
Turkish authorities have given various estimates of the
time needed to complete this project, some of which
extend into 2005. End Note. DCM emphasized that this
loophole in border control is of particular concern in
the runup to the June NATO Summit, and urged Harput to
accelerate work to eliminate this risk. Harput
described extensive security plans for the Summit, but
agreed to look into this matter with other members of
the GOT's Summit security coordination committee. The
DCM also noted that lack of a visa requirement for
Iranians also poses some concerns with respect to the
Summit. In a followup conversation with Econoff on May
4, Turgay Sahan, head of the TNP Airport Division, told
us that GOT agencies would meet to discuss this problem
further on May 7. One option under consideration is the
use of color-coded boarding cards to control transit

3. (SBU) The DCM also raised a Mission request to
restore a police follow car for our CG in Istanbul.
Harput responded that the issue would probably be
discussed in the Istanbul Governor's protection
committee that same day. Harput offered to discuss the
matter with the Istanbul Governor, and invited the DCM
to raise the issue again with the Interior Ministry if
our concerns were not resolved.

4. (SBU) DCM also raised the case of Victor and Kristy
Bedoian's investment in a Van hotel, and their
administrative court cases concerning residence and
operating permits for the facility. He noted that the
Bedoians were also engaged in litigation with private
parties over the sale of the property. DCM expressed
the hope that, once the private court case is decided,
the authorities would help promote foreign investment by
ensuring fair treatment for the Bedoians on various
permit issues related to the hotel. Harput agreed on
the importance of eliminating discrimination against
foreigners, and encouraged us to contact him if there
were any further problems in this case.

© Scoop Media

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