Cablegate: Turkish Maritime Security: Visit of Coast

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: Turkish Maritime Security: Visit of Coast
Guard Liaison

Ref: Ankara 5144 and previous

Not for Internet Distribution.

1. In introductory calls on September 16, LCDR Michael
Bee, DHS/Coast Guard's International Port Security
Liaison, described the U.S. International Port Security
Program to Gurcan Balik, of the MFA Maritime Department,
Okay Kilic, Head of the Maritime Security Department of
the Turkish Maritime Administration (MA) and Nihat Asan,
Head of Department for Ports and Coastal Facilities at
the MA. Balik, Kilic and Asan were receptive to the
concept of bilateral cooperation and reciprocal
exchanges, including a possible return visit and port
tour for LCDR Bee later this year.

2. Both MFA and MA told Bee that the GOT is serious
about full compliance with the International Ship and
Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, and thanked the
Coast Guard for recognizing this by excluding Turkey
from its recent Port Security Advisory. Kilic told us
that Turkey is implementing both mandatory (Part A) and
recommended (Part B) ISPS standards, and that all
facilities which do not comply with the requirement to
implement the code have been closed down. He noted that
six port facilities which do not carry on any
international trade are voluntarily complying with the
Code in order to preserve their eligibility for trade in
the future. In Turkey, recognized security
organizations may complete port security assessments,
but only MA may approve port security plans.

3. Kilic stated that the Transport Ministry imposed
ISPS requirements in Turkey through a regulation, but
that the GOT plans to propose legislation modeled in
part on the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act.
Kilic told us that the amendments, to be submitted to
Parliament in 2004 or 2005, will contain stricter ship
and port security requirements than those in the ISPS
Code. The new legislation would also enable the GOT to
require port owners to install vessel tracking systems.

4. Comment: Embassy believes that LCDR Bee's visit laid
the groundwork for mutually-beneficial collaboration on
port security. Post encourages Coast Guard to continue
to coordinate its work and visits with those of DHS'
Customs and Border Protection (proposed Container
Security Initiative) and with DHS' Transportation
Security Administration so that we can maintain
cooperation from the various Turkish agencies working in
this area without unnecessary burden to them or the USG.

© Scoop Media

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