Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Updated Mfa Country Report On Human

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. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public
information campaigns, post provides the following Human
Smuggling Country Report produced by the Turkish MFA's
National Task Force on Human Trafficking. The Report is
available on-line at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2. Updated Turkish MFA Report on Human Smuggling (February

TITLE: Updated Country Report of Turkey on Illegal

BEGIN TEXT: The world-wide increase in illegal
migration has prompted the origin, transit and
destination countries to take counter measures. As a
form of criminal activity, migrant smuggling has long
ceased to be a problem of individual countries. The
experience gained during these years made it clear that
the full understanding of illegal migration process can
only be achieved by examining the complex, multifaceted
and global nature of the illegal migratory flows. Socio-
economic imbalances, political instability and human
rights violations are among the main causes leading
people to search for better living standards.
Therefore, these problems should not be treated as
national issues, neither for receiving nor for sending
countries. Countervailing measures need to be developed
in a cooperative manner. The solution depends in large
measure on finding effective responses and solutions at
international level within a burden sharing approach.

Turkey, at the cross-roads of Asia, Middle East and
Europe, bordering eight countries and lapped by 5,000
miles of coastline, has seriously been confronted with
various forms of this transnational crime which without
doubt, pose a threat to its social order, human and
democratic values.

As a consequence of various developments taking place
at the regional and global level, Turkey, due to its
geographical situation, needed to tend an ever-growing
illegal migratory pressure. As estimated, 500.000
illegal migrants reach the European countries annually.

Each year more than 100.000 illegal migrants bound for
Europe are apprehended in Turkey. As a result of
intensified efforts and initiatives, the trend of
illegal migration via Turkey has shown a decrease and
migration flows have been diverted away to other
international routes in 2002 and 2003. Thus, a concrete
progress against illegal migration and human
trafficking is accomplished.

Furthermore, to this end important reforms have been
carried out within the ongoing judicial and legal
reform process. Legislation has been strengthened and
heavier penalties are prescribed against criminal
networks involved in migrant smuggling and human
trafficking. In accordance with the UN Convention
against Transnational Organized Crime and its
supplementary Protocol against Migrant Smuggling and
Human Trafficking, necessary amendments have been
incorporated to our penal code, defining migrant
smuggling and human trafficking and prescribing 2 to 20
years of imprisonment depending on the aggravating

The Turkish Parliament has ratified the UN Convention
and its two Protocols: one Against Migrant Smuggling
and the other for the Prevention of Trafficking in
persons on 18 March 2003.

Moreover, the Ministry of Health has 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 has become effective on 2 January

To ensure the law enforcement, regular training
activities have been organized for the officers, judges
and prosecutors who are in charge of the fight against
migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings. In
order to raise the public awareness in the fight
against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human
beings, several meetings and seminars have been
organized by Turkish NGOs and the media in 2002-2003.

Preventive measures taken by the Turkish Coast Guard
have seriously hindered the illegal departure of boats
and vessels from Turkish ports to the Aegean and
Mediterranean Seas. The number of boats/vessels
carrying illegal migrants and reaching EU countries was
19 in 2000. This number dropped to 9 in 2001 and to 2
in 2002. In 2003, no boat/vessel of the kind reached
the EU countries.

On the other hand, Turkey committed itself to conclude
readmission agreements with its neighbouring countries
and the countries of origin. To this end, Turkey signed
readmission agreements with Greece, Syria, Kyrgyzstan
and Romania. With Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, Libya and
Ukraine negotiations are underway.

Turkey has proposed readmission agreements to 22
additional countries of origin.

Turkey implements an effective readmission policy
compatible with international laws and practices:
Turkey readmits its own nationals in accordance with
its Constitution and Passport law. In accordance with
Article 23 of the Turkish Constitution, "Turkish
citizens cannot be deported and cannot be denied the
right to enter Turkey". Paragraph 3 of Passport law
NO.5682 stipulates that individuals, who arrive at the
Turkish border claiming Turkish citizenship, shall be
granted entry into Turkey when their identities as
Turkish nationals are determined.

In accordance with ICAO rules, Turkey also readmits
nationals of third countries who have departed from the
Turkish territory by aircraft and returned to Turkey
because of their illegal status with the same or, if
not possible, with the next aircraft. Turkey also
readmits those third country nationals having valid
Turkish residence permits.

The "Law on Work Permits for Foreigners" has been
approved by the Parliament and entered into force on 6
September 2003. The Ministry of Labour and Social
Security is assigned as the central and only authority
to issue work permits for foreigners in Turkey
The amendment to the article 5 of the Citizenship Law
number 403 was approved by the Turkish Parliament on 4
June 2003. With this amendment a probation period of 3
years is required for acquiring Turkish citizenship
through marriage. Accordingly, those who have a job
incompatible with the marriage and do not share the
same house with his/her spouse will not be able to
acquire Turkish citizenship.

Turkey has made considerable progress in the process of
harmonization with the EU visa regime. In 2002, visa
requirements were introduced to 6 Gulf countries. This
is an ongoing process, whereby visa requirements for an
additional 13 countries are introduced. As a result,
Turkey has harmonized its legislation with the EU Visa
Negative List by 75%. Turkey plans to introduce visa
requirements for the remaining countries on the
Negative List by the end of the year 2005.

In accordance with the EU Accession Partnership and
Turkey's EU National Programme, Turkish Authorities
already initiated a process to strengthen the border
controls and develop better institutional and technical
capacity at the borders to prevent illegal migration.

In this respect a working group within the Ministry of
Interior, composed of all relevant government agencies
on the management of external borders according to EU
"acquis" is established. The working group has analyzed
the "acquis", as well as best practices within the EU
and has prepared a Strategy Paper. As a result, "Border
Guard Unit" will be established within the Ministry of

In this regard, several projects are prepared to be co-
funded by Turkey and EU. The most important one of
these projects concerns setting up of 12 reception
centers throughout Turkey, to accommodate the
apprehended illegal migrants until they are back. The
second crucial one covers creation of a fund to return
the illegal migrants who are citizens of non-
neighbouring countries. Third one comprises
installation of infrared systems to 21 Turkish Coast
Guard boats, the fourth one provides for the purchase
of 5 F-406 REIMS type aircraft which can produce
sensitive mapping, search and rescue operations. The
fifth one aims at setting up of physical security
system at Turkey's land borders.

© Scoop Media

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