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Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Updated Mfa Country Report On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 ANKARA 004147

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD PREF TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: UPDATED MFA COUNTRY REPORT ON
TRAFFICKING IN HUMANS


1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public
information campaigns, post provides the following TIP
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 website:
http://www.mfa.gov.tr/.


2. Turkish MFA Country Report on Human Trafficking (June
2004):

TITLE: Updated Country Report of Turkey on Trafficking
in Human Beings Introduction

BEGIN TEXT: During past decades, organized criminal
groups have increasingly taken advantage of
globalization and technological developments and
expanded their activities worldwide by employing
sophisticated strategies. Accordingly, organized crime,
including human smuggling and trafficking in human
beings, have become more transnational and complex in
nature. Therefore, combating these activities requires
comprehensive strategies dealing with all aspects of
prevention, prosecution and protection, as well as firm
and effective international co-operation and co-
ordination.

Organized crime activities are interrelated. Criminal
networks behind human smuggling and trafficking in
human beings are at the same time involved in one or
more other forms of organized crime such as drug
trafficking, document fraud and money laundering.

Also, once they establish their network and
connections, they easily shift the focus of their
business from one form of crime activity to the other
depending on their calculation of risk and profit at a
given time. In this respect, it is currently recognized
that trafficking in human beings is rivaling drug
trafficking and arms smuggling in higher profitability
for lower risk. There are also evidences demonstrating
the fact that some terrorist organizations resort to
organized crime activities as a source of finance.
This state of affairs calls for an overall fight
against all forms of organized crime activities and
terrorism, not prioritizing one over the other in
international co-operation and co-ordination efforts.

On the other hand, a multi-disciplinary approach is
required particularly in the combat against trafficking
in human beings and human smuggling, including
appropriate social and economic measures which will
address their root causes such as poverty, economic
disparities and unemployment in the countries of origin
and the demand for sexual exploitation and for
inexpensive, socially unprotected and often illegal
labor in the countries of destination. In achieving
this, political will and collective efforts by origin,
transit and destination countries are crucial.

A distinction should however be made between human
smuggling and trafficking in human beings due to their
own specifics. This report deals only with trafficking
in human beings.


The Situation in Turkey

Turkey, at the crossroads 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 transnational organized crime, which
pose a threat to its social order and human and
democratic values.

The situation in Turkey vis a vis human smuggling and
trafficking in human beings is most often confused with
each other. Although Turkey is a transit country for
"migrant smugglers", no particular link has been
discovered as to the existence of organized transit
trafficking activity or trafficking networks operating
on the Turkish territory.

On the other hand, in recent years Turkey has become a
destination country for nationals of transitional
democracies, who are in search of better living
conditions and job opportunities abroad in the face of
conflicts or economic and social hardships prevailing
in their own countries.
Countries surrounding Turkey from the North to the
Northeast are generally accepted as countries of
origin. Nationals of these countries may enter Turkey
by a visa obtained at border gates and may stay in
Turkey for up to one month. Their purpose is twofold.
Mostly, they travel to Turkey for "suitcase trading",
the volume of which has reached considerable amounts
during past years. Secondly, they come to Turkey in
search of job opportunities, which were available for
them only in illegal labor markets until recently.

While their presence in Turkey is generally voluntary,
their illegal work and resident status, nevertheless,
make them vulnerable to exploitation. Some of them
obtain legal residency through arranged marriages. Some
others end up in small workshops, in tourism and
entertainment sector or in private households, working
illegally without any job security, insurance or
administrative and judicial safeguards. According to
statistics, majority of male workers are employed in
the construction sector and females in domestic
services.


International obligations

In addition to many longstanding international
instruments dealing with "white slave trade" and
"trafficking in women and children", Turkey is a party
to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention,
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all
forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and to
take all appropriate national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent inducement or coercion
of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity,
the exploitative use of children in prostitution or
other unlawful sexual practices, the exploitative use
of children in pornographic performances and materials
and the abduction of, sale of or traffic in children
for any purpose or in any form.

On 9 May 2002, the Turkish Grand National Assembly also
adopted the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child
prostitution and child pornography.

In Palermo, on 13 December 2000, Turkey was among the
initial signatories of the UN Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime and of its two additional
Protocols including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress
and Punish Trafficking, especially women and children.
Turkey ratified both the Convention and its additional
Protocols on 18 March 2003.

By adopting these international instruments Turkey
clearly indicated her political will to combat against
trafficking in human beings in co-operation with the
world community and commits herself to translate the
provisions included therein into its own legislation.


Legal framework

While voluntary individual prostitution is legal in
Turkey, incitement to prostitution and trafficking in
human beings are described as crimes and are punishable
under the Penal Code and the Law on Combating Benefit-
Oriented Criminal Organizations. Additionally, certain
provisions of the Passport Law and the Law on the
Prevention of Money Laundering contain provisions that
apply to trafficking cases. Administrative decrees and
regulations build on the legal basis with a focus on
implementation.
Article 201 of the Penal Code, as amended in August
2002, includes the definition of trafficking in human
beings and prescribes heavy penalties for traffickers,
including 5 to 10 years of heavy imprisonment. The
amended article (Article 201/b) reads as follows:
"Article 201/b - Those who provide, kidnap, take or
transfer from one place to another and house
individuals with the intention of making them work or
serve by force, subject them to slavery or similar
treatment, threaten, pressure, use force or coercion to
persuade them to give up their bodily organs, use undue
influence, secure their consent by deception or by
exploiting the desperation of such individuals shall be
sentenced to five to ten years of heavy imprisonment
and a heavy fine of not less than one billion Turkish
Liras.
If the actions that constitute a crime are attempted
with the intentions described in the first paragraph,
the victim is assumed not to have given his/her
consent.

If children below the age of eighteen are procured,
kidnapped, taken or transferred from one place to
another or housed with the intentions specified in
paragraph one, even when no intermediary actions
relating to the crime are committed, the penalties
foreseen in paragraph one shall still be applied to the
perpetrator.

If the crimes listed in the paragraphs above are
committed as an organization, the penalties foreseen
for the perpetrators shall be doubled."

The Law on Combating Benefit-Oriented Criminal
Organizations, on the other hand, criminalizes
establishing, promoting, leading or participating in
benefit-oriented criminal organizations with a view to
carrying out organized crime activities, which could
include, inter alias, trafficking in human beings. In
order to combat criminal organizations, the law
empowers the investigative authorities with special
procedural techniques such as tapping or intercepting
telecommunications, clandestine surveillance, reviewing
records and data, and employing secret agents. However,
to safeguard respect for human rights, judicial decree
is sought before implementing such measures. Protective
measures are available for witnesses. In trans-boundary
and organized cases of trafficking in human beings,
like in any other organized crime activities,
perpetrators are tried before the State Security
Courts, whereas individual cases of incitement to
prostitution fall under the jurisprudence of the courts
of justice.

According to Article 8 of the Passport Law, foreigners
who are engaged in prostitution, or earn their living
by inciting women into prostitution, and those involved
in trafficking in women are denied entry to Turkey.

The Turkish Parliament has approved the Amendment to
Article 5 of the Citizenship Law 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.
The Law on Residence and Travel of Foreigners in
Turkey, on the other hand, allows entry of the child
under 18 to Turkey only when accompanied by or with the
permission of their parents or legal guardian.


Legislative review

In September 2003, a new Law on Working Permits for
Foreigners entered into force. The law increases legal
employment opportunities for foreigners in Turkey, by
permitting their work under limited, unlimited or
independent work permits. Employment in domestic
services is also made possible. The Ministry of Labour
and Social Security is authorized to issue all forms of
work permits for foreigners to ensure better management
and control over the process. The law aims at providing
legal protection for foreigners against exploitation in
labour markets and extending legal and administrative
safeguards to private services.


National coordination and international cooperation

In Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible
for national coordination of issues related to
trafficking in human beings. The Ministry chairs the
National Task Force on Combating Trafficking in Human
Beings, which is composed of experts from concerned
ministries and NGOs such as the Human Rights Presidency
of the Prime Minister's Office, the Foundation for the
Development of Human Resources (IKGV), the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry
of Justice, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security
and the Directorate General of the Status and Problems
of Woman.

The National Task Force was convened for the first time
in October 2002 and had five more meetings, last being
on 18 February 2004. The National Action Plan, prepared
by the Task Force is already under implementation.

The Directorate General of the Status and Problems of
Woman, on the other hand, provides co-operation and co-
ordination with the non-governmental organizations. In
accordance with the National Action Plan, the non-
governmental organizations active in the field of
protection of foreign victims of human trafficking, are
encouraged and supported with the best means possible.


Turkey supports all international efforts aimed at
combating trafficking in human beings and actively
participates in activities of the OSCE, the Council of
Europe, NATO and the Stability Pact Task Force on
Trafficking in Human Beings. IOM, ICMPD, SECI and
EUROPOL are other main co-operation partners of Turkey
in this area.

In this framework, Turkey participated to the seminar
organized by the European Council in co-operation with
the "Gender Development Association", a Georgian NGO,
on 6-7 November 2002 in Tbilisi on fight against
trafficking in South Caucuses. Ukraine, Georgia,
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Italy and IOM Georgia also
attended the seminar.

Turkey also participated in the regional Validation
Seminar that has been organized on 15-16 November 2002
in Bucharest regarding the project on publication of
the Regional Anti-Trafficking Law Enforcement Manual.
Turkish judges have participated in the programme for
the "Development of an Anti-Trafficking Module for
Judges and Prosecutors" organized by the Stability Pact
and the ICMPD on 10-13 April 2003 in Sofia and the
follow-up seminar of the same program on 17-19 November
2003 in Sofia.

Turkish experts also participated in the Experts Group
meeting organized on 16 May 2003 by the European Union
in Brussels.

Turkish experts are participating to the ongoing
meetings of the ad-hoc committee (CAHTEH), which is
entrusted to prepare a Convention Against Trafficking
in Human Beings.

Further co-operation possibilities are considered
particularly with the IOM on a project basis in areas
of awareness raising, national referral mechanisms,
victim protection, and voluntary return and
reintegration assistance.

In this framework, Turkey is not only participating but
also co-funding the project on "Establishment of the
Network of and Joint Training for Operational Law
Enforcement Officers, NGOs and International
Organizations in Fighting Human Trafficking into the EU
Member States from EU Accession Countries and Countries
Bordering the EU after Enlargement" which is
implemented by IOM, in cooperation with the European
Commission (EC), European Parliament (EP), selected EU
Member States, as well as the Candidate Countries and
Third Countries bordering the enlarged European Union
under the European Commission Directorate General
Justice and Home Affairs' AGIS Programme 2003.

Designated focal point for general international
contacts in counter-trafficking efforts is the Director
General of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. The Ministry of Interior, on the other hand,
has appointed national contact points to cooperate with
the Stability Pact Task Force in areas of awareness
raising, exchange of expert information, law
enforcement and victim protection. Contact point from
the Ministry of Justice has assumed co-ordination on
legal reform.

Turkey is offering bilateral co-operation initiatives
to the main countries of origin, whose nationals target
Turkey in search of better standards of living and
become vulnerable to exploitation of organized
trafficking networks. Bilateral agreements between
Turkey and countries like Azerbaijan and Ukraine on
combating organized crime also provide legal framework
for co-operation in the fight against trafficking.
Turkey renewed her wish to cooperate on this issue by
sending a Note Verbal addressed to the Embassies of
source countries in Ankara. In this regard, a draft
protocol on cooperation in combating trafficking in
human beings is proposed to these source countries on
November 20, 2003. So far, the positive responses of
Belarus and Ukraine have been received.

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 overall objective
of the project is to meet the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking in human beings and
strengthen the institutions dealing with trafficking.
The planned duration of the project is 18 months. The
proposal of the Federal Republic of Germany has been
accepted, within this proposal the short-term expertise
of the Austrian team will also be provided.

On the other hand, visa application measures are set in
order to prevent fake certificates of good services
issued by some companies in the countries of origin to
be used in the entertainment sector, such as in casinos
or hotels. In this respect, a questionnaire is prepared
to obtain detailed information on the identity of visa
applicants. Visa applicants are requested to fill in
and sign in this questionnaire. The aim of the
questionnaire is to determine whether or not the
certificates of good services are authentic. The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the States concerned has
to certify the authenticity of these documents before
Turkish authorities accept the said documents.


Current activities and needs for improvement

- Prosecution of Traffickers

In Turkey prostitution is legal and is considered as a
personal matter of the individual. It is, however,
prohibited for foreigners.

Although incitement to prostitution and trafficking in
human beings are crimes that require heavy penalties
under Turkish Penal Code, since the victims tend to
hide or deny their cases due to traditional and ethical
reasons or security concerns, identification and/or
prosecution of those responsible for these crimes is
difficult. Without victim's assistance and testimony,
legal action against criminals becomes impossible.

In the meantime, police has initiated action against 40
enterprises in the entertainment sector upon suspected
human trafficking activities. Investigations are
underway.


-Victim Protection

As a major step, the Ministry of Interior signed a
protocol on 4 September 2003 with the Foundation for
the Development of Human Resources (IKGV), a well-
established non-governmental organization that actively
involves in projects aimed at improving social and
health conditions and assists to victims of trafficking
in human beings. The protocol includes provisions on
the establishment of shelters and a center to provide
victims with psychological and medical counseling, the
establishment of a regional network involving NGOs also
from the countries of origin and on awareness raising
activities. According to the protocol, the security
units will inform the IKGV when they identify a victim
of trafficking. Representatives of the IKGV will
communicate with the victim and provide the victim with
medical and legal assistance.

The Turkish Government, with its limited resources,
provides, if necessary, accommodation and emergency
services including psychiatric services, out of
national budget and funds. 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 2004.
The Ministry of Interior is developing an improved
screening method in order to identify victims of
trafficking and to address their specific needs. A
questionnaire with the cooperation of the MFA and the
IKGV has been prepared to this effect. At the National
Task Force meeting members were asked to elaborate
additional criteria to be included in the
questionnaire.

Moreover, victims who would like to return to their
country are not subjected to pay a fine due to their
illegal overstay.

Women who are not identified as victims of trafficking
in human beings go through a process that includes a
thorough compulsory medical check at hospitals.
Multiple tests are conducted to confirm the diagnosis
in cases of infection. Tests are completed within one
day. In curable cases like syphilis, treatment is also
concluded. Final test results should be available
before repatriation.

The National Task Force is working on a special
arrangement to allow allocation of funds from the
Social Aid and Solidarity Fund of the Prime Ministry,
which is designed to provide aid to Turkish citizens in
need of help and, if necessary, to those who entered to
Turkey. When finalized, foundations established by the
Fund in 931 towns will be able to assist victims of
trafficking under this arrangement.
To address the specific needs of the children, a new
Department for Children Affairs has been established
within the Ministry of Interior. Accordingly Children
Protection Units have been designated in 81 cities.


- Repatriation

Certain difficulties are experienced in the safe return
of victims to their countries of origin. It takes
between 10 days to 2 months to obtain necessary travel
documents. Difficulties are also encountered in
covering travel expenses due to lack of special funds.

The Ministry of Interior authorized governorates to
issue the victims of trafficking with a humanitarian
visa and temporary residence permit where necessary in
order to allow them to stay in Turkey for
rehabilitation and treatment. So far, 22 victims were
issued with such permits.

The Ministry of Interior has authorized governorates on
April 9, 2004, to extend the duration of temporary
residence permits up to 6 months for the victims of
trafficking. In case of necessity, this duration can
also be prolonged.

- Researches and Statistics

A special questionnaire was prepared and sent over to
10.000 courts nationwide. Another questionnaire to
collect detailed data on sentenced criminals and on
trafficking victims has also been sent out.
According to Article 201/b (human trafficking) of the
TPC the final processed data regarding the cases that
were transferred to the criminal courts in 2003, is as
follows:

27 lawsuits have been initiated, 13 of which has
been concluded and 14 of which have been transferred
to the 2004. The number of accused persons within
the 13 concluded lawsuits is 31 and the total number
of the plaintiffs is 48.


- Awareness Raising/Media Coverage

Turkish media is sensitive to criminal and humanitarian
aspects of trafficking in human beings. Trafficking
cases and international developments are reported
widely in the media.

Awareness raising activities are focused on official
targets such as law enforcement authorities. In
addition to training programs, various events were
organized to raise awareness and interest on the issue.


In this respect, the Enlarged Council of the
International Women Lawyers Federation, which was held
in Turkey on 1 September 2001, had trafficking in human
beings as the special topic on its agenda. The
President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Ahmet Necdet
Sezer and the Minister of Justice opened the meeting.
150 women lawyers attended the meeting and a final
declaration was adopted.

The Directorate General of the Status and Problems of
Woman organized two panels on 19 December 2002 and 18
December 2003. Chiefs of Security of several cities,
several NGOs and local press representatives
participated in the said panels. During the panels, a
consensus on establishing cooperation to combat human
trafficking between NGO's representatives and
Governorates has been reached. Similar panels are
planned to be organized in other provinces. Moreover,
a meeting with the representatives of media has been
organized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform
the public through the media on the fight against
trafficking in human beings.

The Human Rights Presidency of the Prime Minister's
Office organized ten seminars for representatives of
the media in May 2003. Seven other seminars for state
officials are planned within the framework of a project
financed by the Council of Europe. Awareness raising
programs are also planned for members of city and town
councils.

Within the framework of the World Tourism and Ethical
Act, the Ministry of Tourism in July 2002 has prepared
a guide for the use of all the actors of the tourism
sector. The Guide has been compiled by the members of
144 countries of the World Tourism Organization and has
been accepted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations during the 13th Meeting of the UN General
Assembly by the majority. It includes regulations to be
implemented by all the parties concerned in the tourism
sector.

According to the paragraph 3 of the Article 2 of the
said guide, countries shall in cooperation with other
countries, take the necessary measures in order to
prevent all kind of exploitation and especially the
exploitation of children. These measures shall not be
taken only by the country which is receiving tourists,
but also by the country of origin of the person who
committed the said offense during his visit."


- Training

Anti-trafficking training is an integral part of the
general professional training in the Turkish
International Academy against Drugs and Organized
Crimes. During the 4-week basic training program a full
day is allocated to special training on trafficking
issues. Participants include police officers as well as
other national and regional law enforcement officials.

Trafficking in human beings has also been included in
the curricula of the Police Academy for final year
students starting from this academic year. Around one
thousand students will benefit from this lesson.
Additionally, the Turkish Gendarmerie has included as
from October 2003 the subject of trafficking in human
beings in its education curriculum.

Finally, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of
Justice are organizing special seminars/training
programs to address different aspects of trafficking.
Turkish experts take part also in comprehensive
training programs organized by the Stability Pact Task
Force, ICMPD and IOM.


Recent Developments

As a result of the consultations between Istanbul
Metropolitan Municipality and Human Resources
Development Foundation (IKGV) under the guidance of
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a shelter in Istanbul is
provided for the victims of trafficking. A protocol on
the establishment of the shelter will be signed between
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and IKGV during the
NATO Summit with the participation of Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gl
and United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.

As a result of the 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 them were police officers. An investigation has been
launched about those 3 police officers. After their
trial, 2 police officers are sentenced to 6 months of
imprisonment and to heavy fine. They are also expelled
from their profession. One police officer has
acquitted. This event shows once again the importance
that Turkey attaches to combating trafficking in
human beings.

Yalova Criminal Court issued 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 years.
On January 2004, with the cooperation of the Ministry
of Justice, the IKGV and the British Council, a seminar
for judges on trafficking in human beings was organized
in Istanbul. The particularity of the seminar was that
40 attorney generals have attended this training.

The Ministry of Interior, ensuring better dialog and co-
ordination between the police and the other relevant
authorities dealing with human trafficking, has
established a specialized unit dealing with trafficking
cases on January 2004.

On 19 July 2003 a new Road Transportation Law entered
into force. The Road Transportation Regulation has been
drafted and will soon be effective. The transportation
permit will be cancelled for 3 years if the person is
sentenced according to certain crimes and trafficking
in human beings and smuggling of migrants.

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. Furthermore the emergency number of the
police is mentioned in the contract specimen. The
coordinates of the IKGV will also be included.

Although the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering
does not contain provisions that apply to trafficking
in human beings, a draft Law on Money Laundering of the
Financial Crimes has been prepared by the Financial
Crime Investigation Board and submitted to the Prime
Ministry. In the draft law, the financial benefit
obtained from trafficking in human beings is defined as
a financial crime. The money laundering of this benefit
is also prescribed as a crime. END TEXT.
DEUTSCH

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