Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Media Attention, October 1-7, 2004
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 23 ANKARA 005751
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: MEDIA ATTENTION, OCTOBER 1-7, 2004
1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public
information campaigns, post provides as examples the
following TIP press reports. Text of articles originally
published in Turkish is provided through unofficial local
2. (U) Published October 7 by Radio Free Europe:
BEGIN TEXT: Tens of thousands of Moldovan women are
estimated to have fallen victim to human trafficking.
Most victims come from rural areas, where economic
hardships and ignorance turn young girls into easy prey
for traffickers. RFE/RL spoke with nongovernmental
organizations and government officials about measures
in place to help those who have fallen victim to such
trafficking, and to curb future abuses.
Chisinau, 6 October 2004 (RFE/RL) -- "I was sold for
$2,000. That's how much they asked for me. Once they
sold us somewhere, we would not go back. They sold us
Alina, a petite 23-year-old, was born in a village in
central Moldova. She says she wanted to earn money
working as a waitress in Turkey during the summer so
that she could afford to go to school in Chisinau.
Alina -- who asked that her real name not be used --
was lured with promises of a job in a bar in Turkey.
The traffickers took care of her passport and visa --
every document needed. Two days later, she says, she
was in Istanbul.
"When we would not have enough clients, they would beat
us up and lock us up until 9. When I did not want to
work, they kept me locked up for a week and beat me."
But Alina told RFE/RL that she ended up being a
prisoner forced to have sex with tourists in a hotel
"During the day, we were locked on the third floor of a
house with iron bars on the doors and windows. We did
not have a TV or a phone. It was very strict. At night,
they would take us to a hotel, which had guards and a
tall fence around it, so we could not get out. There
were people guarding us around the clock," Alina said.
Twenty-two-year-old Angela is a young woman from a poor
family in northern Moldova. She is tall and very thin
and is always staring at the floor.
Angela says she wanted to visit a cousin in Italy who
she thought could help her get a job there. But in
Chisinau, she contacted the wrong kind of people,
hoping they could help her get to Italy cheaply.
Angela ended up in the United Arab Emirates, via
Odessa. Once there, she says she was beaten by Moldovan
and Ukrainian pimps and forced to work as a prostitute
under the threat of death before being sold to other
"I did not want to go to work as a prostitute. I
started crying and said I wanted to go back home, and I
did not want to work. They told me, "If you don't work,
you'll end up dead and buried in sand in the desert." I
got scared, and I went with them. From 9 a.m. to 3
p.m., we had to work in a disco. All day long, we were
locked up in a house. When we would not have enough
clients, they would beat us up and lock us up until 9.
When I did not want to work, they kept me locked up for
a week and beat me. I got really scared, and I tried to
swallow pills to make them get me out of the house [to
a hospital]. But they simply sold me in another city,"
Alina also says she was beaten. She told RFE/RL how she
was treated by traffickers in Turkey.
"The boss did not beat us himself, but his driver did.
I had a period when I felt very sick. I felt I couldn't
even walk, and I was trying to make him understand
that, "Please, I cannot. Understand me. I cannot work."
But he didn't care, and he hit me. He wouldn't pay
attention and would beat us, [telling us,] "Move, do
the job," and that was it," Alina said.
Ion Vizdoga is a lawyer who heads the Center for the
Prevention of Human Trafficking, a nongovernmental
organization in Moldova. He says traffickers often use
violence to force into prostitution girls who have left
the country legally, through employment agencies.
"Those girls who fall prey [to traffickers] are beaten,
blackmailed.... In case they refuse to obey, they are
also pressured psychologically. Traffickers gather 10
to 15 girls, and one of them is publicly beaten up in
front of the others. There were also cases when girls
were shot or tortured," Vizdoga said.
Both Angela and Alina come from rural Moldova, the
poorest parts of arguably the poorest country in
Europe. The average income in Moldova is estimated to
be under $100. But such trafficking in women also
afflicts other former communist countries, especially
Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria.
There is no firm information about how many Moldovan
women have been trafficked. But Vizdoga says statistics
from the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
show that 70 percent of the 1,300 women repatriated
over the past two years come from rural areas, and that
12 percent are minors.
Most Moldovan women are trafficked to Russia because
they don't need visas to enter the country, but also to
Turkey, the Gulf states and the Balkans.
Victims are usually young girls from poor families who
graduate from middle school without few, if any,
prospects for the future.
But older women can also fall prey to traffickers.
Twenty-nine-year-old Mariana is from a village in
northern Moldova and spent more than four years in
Macedonia after being sold to Serbian traffickers.
She thought she was being led into Italy, but instead,
this is what she says happened.
MARIANA: When we arrived in Macedonia, we were sent to
a policeman's house. The policeman bought girls and
then sold them to nightclubs. We spent one month and a
half at his place. I did not know where I was and asked
him when we were going to Italy. He said, "Italy is
here." Then he sold me to a club.
RFE/RL: Did you know his name?
MARIANA: Agron. He was an [ethnic] Albanian. [It was
in] Tetovo, Gostivar [regions] ...
RFE/RL: Is he still in business?
MARIANA: No, he is in prison now.
Mariana says Agron was regularly importing girls and
selling them to bars. During the day, she says, the
women were locked up and beaten if they refused to work
"The clients were people who came to night clubs, both
locals and foreigners, such as Italians, Germans,
Bulgarians. Clients would not pay us directly, but they
would negotiate with the club owner, who settled the
price -- 50 euros per hour, or 100 euros for a longer
time," Mariana said.
The three women -- Alina, Angela, and Mariana -- were
lucky to escape from their ordeals with the assistance
Alina and Angela have been helped by the Center for the
Prevention of Human Trafficking. Mariana found support
through the International Center for Women's Rights
Protection and Promotion "La Strada."
La Strada has been active in Moldova since 2001, thanks
to financing from the Dutch Foreign Ministry and other
La Strada operates in eight other countries in Central
and Eastern Europe -- Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland, and
Viorelia Rusu, a La Strada activist, says the program
also runs a rehabilitation center, which was opened
with the help of the International Organization for
"After we meet them at the airport, the women and
children are placed in asylums, where they get medical,
legal, and psychological assistance, as well as
assistance in furthering their education and learning a
profession. We also try to get them a secure job. Since
September 2001, La Strada offered repatriation and post-
repatriation assistance to some 200 women, out of whom
15 percent were minors, and also assisted more than 250
family members, such as children, since 25 percent of
human trafficking victims are single mothers," Rusu
The Moldovan authorities have recently taken some long-
overdue steps to monitor migration and trafficking.
Moldova's Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev spoke with
"We took several measures. First of all, we created,
for the first time, a department for migration, which
began to put order into the data we had. Migration in
itself shouldn't be a problem. But [there is a problem]
with illegal migration, with human trafficking, with
other unwanted phenomena, which are causing obvious
complications not only for Moldovan citizens, but also
for other countries. The department for migration has
already been a success," Tarlev said.
The government also established a National Anti-
Trafficking Committee, which includes government
officials and representatives of both NGOs and the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Observers, however, question how effective the new
efforts will be.
As for the three victims -- Alina, Angela, and Mariana
-- they are now trying to put their lives back
together, step by step, although it is a painful
With the help of La Strada and the Center for the
Prevention of Human Trafficking, they are studying so
they can get normal jobs in Moldova.
"I'd like to get my life back here in Moldova. I don't
want to ever have to go away to some foreign country,"
Angela said. END TEXT.
3. (U) Published October 7, 2004 by the Chennai Newindpress:
TITLE: Human trafficking racket busted in city
BEGIN TEXT: CHENNAI: The Bureau of Immigration busted an
international syndicate involved in human trafficking
and arrested its kingpin, Fernando, a Sri Lankan
national, here on Wednesday.
However, his associates in the city are absconding.
Sleuths of the City Central Crime Branch have started a
search for them. Fourteen Sri Lankans, who were staying
in various lodges in the city, hoping to get visas to
fly to Europe, were rounded up and deported to Colombo
by the Immigration officials on Wednesday afternoon.
When contacted, senior Immigration officials here said
it was during a routine monitoring of foreigners"
activities in the city 45 days ago that they got the tip-
off about the racket. Sleuths lay waiting till Wednesday
for the gang to resurface in the city.
Fernando's cover was so cleverly crafted that cops did
not sense anything unusual for nearly six months, during
which he managed to send more than two dozen job-
seekers, all of them Sri Lankans, to Europe.
Instead of tampering with the passports or visas (which
is the practice of other racketeers), he went about
forging supporting documents, like those testifying to
one's prospective employers.
He arranged forged letter-heads and other documents with
the help of M/s Mohan Brothers, a printing firm on
Pantheon Road, and fake rubber stamps of various
European companies with the help of M/s Century Plastic
Art on Mount Road. His company, Sha Travels and Tours,
located in Hill Street, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka did the
spade work for him back home.
Apparently the documents looked genuine, and invariably
applicants got their visas.
Several Sri Lankans approached the Turkish Embassy in
New Delhi with the fake documents supplied by Fernando
and got visas to go to Turkey. He had a pointman in
Delhi to get things done at the embassy. Lankans have to
come to India as Turkey does not have an Embassy in
After obtaining visas, they would return to Colombo via
Chennai. Later, using the Turkish visa, they would fly
to that country via Dubai. All through they would be
accompanied by Fernando's men to avoid their landing in
trouble. Since the passports and visas were original,
there was not much of a scope for the immigration
officials to detect the fraud.
From Turkey, the gateway to Europe, to escape to other
countries in the region, where jobs could be available,
is a relatively easy job, it is pointed out. Fernando
used to collect Rs. four lakh per visa from the
Only much later the Immigration Bureau woke up to what
he was doing, and when Fernando landed in Chennai last
week, the Immigration officials did not commit any
mistake. They waited for their quarry to assemble along
with those whom he was shipping abroad.
A large number of fake documents, seals and printers
were also seized from the syndicate's headquarters in
Barakath Mansion on Lingichetty Street in Mannadi, here.
Bureau of Immigration will now probe the international
ramifications of the racket. END TEXT.
4. (U) Published October 6, 2004 by the Turkish language
BEGIN TEXT: Police captured 193 Pakistanis in a
building in Istanbul's Ayazag district G-31 sokak no 16
in Sisli. Fifty of the illegal immigrants managed to
escape by breaking the window. Some of them said that
they wanted to go to Greece and some to Italy.
Meanwhile, 14 Iranians were captured in Istanbul's
Buyukcekmece district. They were reportedly planning
to go to Greece. They said that they paid 2 thousand
dollars per person. Following interrogation, they were
deported. END TEXT.
5. (U) Published October 6, 2004 by the International Office
BEGIN TEXT: SWITZERLAND - Human Trafficking in the
Balkans: "Increasing But Less Visible:" New Study -
Human trafficking is increasing, but has become less
visible as criminal organizations are changing the way
they operate in the Balkans, according to a major new
Trafficking for the sex industry has moved into private
apartments and growing use is being made of the
internet and telephones, says the study, which was
undertaken earlier this year and looks at developments
in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, the FYR of
Macedonia and Moldova.
Exploitation of victims has become subtler through
small payments to avoid denunciation, and more women
are working as traffickers and pimps, according to the
report, which was funded by the Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
The report was commissioned in response to a marked
decline in the number of victims referred to IOM and
other agencies for protection and help, suggesting that
human trafficking was actually decreasing in the
But new trends noted by the report include increased
trafficking in children for sexual and other forms of
exploitation, greater use of legal travel documents to
circumvent interception, the emergence of organ
harvesting as a new objective for trafficking, and
greater corruption of government and diplomatic
International criminal organizations operating in human
trafficking have modified their strategies and methods
in response to measures taken by governments and
institutions, according to the study, which looks at
developments in assistance and protection of victims,
as well as the activities of law enforcement agencies
and organized crime in the five countries.
Human trafficking, mainly for prostitution, is a long
running area of concern in the Balkans, where IOM has
run counter trafficking programmes since 1999. IOM
programmes primarily focus on direct assistance return
and reintegration programmes for victims that operate
in close collaboration with governments, law
enforcement entities, NGOs and international
The majority of identified international victims
trafficked to and within the Balkan states covered by
the report come from Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and
Bulgaria, with a minority of victims from other
countries in Eastern Europe or from within the Balkan
region. But the report also points to growing numbers
of victims from Turkey, Asia, the Middle East and
Africa trafficked through the Balkans, mainly via
Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina, to different
destinations in Western and Central Europe.
The report can be downloaded from the IOM website at
www.iom.int. For further information, please contact
Theodora Suter at IOM HQ. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel.
00 41 22 717 9407. END TEXT.
6. (U) Published October 5, 2004 by the Anatolian News
TITLE: Turkey Hosted 2,125,083 Foreign Tourists In
BEGIN TEXT: ANKARA - Turkey hosted 2,125,083 foreign
tourists in September 2004, Culture and Tourism
Ministry said on Tuesday.
A statement of the Ministry said that number of
foreigners visiting Turkey increased by 13.38 percent
in September 2004 when compared with the same period of
On the other hand, the Ministry announced that the
number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey increased by
27.25 percent, to reach 13,936,507 between January and
September 2004 when compared with the same period of
the previous year.
Germany, Russia and Britain were the first three
countries sending the highest number of tourists to
Turkey in September of 2004, the Ministry noted, adding
that tourists from the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Iran,
Belgium, France, Greece, Austria, Italy, Sweden,
Israel, Switzerland and Ukraine also visited Turkey in
the same period. (BRC-ULG) 05.10.2004 END TEXT.
7. (U) Published October 3, 2004 by the Observer.
TITLE: Streets of despair PART I
BEGIN TEXT: Majlinda was just 13 when she was snatched
from her Albanian village and sold into the sex
industry. Ed Vulliamy meets some of the thousands of
children trafficked to the West every month
On the day her life changed, when she was 13 years old,
Majlinda was on the way to help her aunt with the
ironing of clothes in preparation for her cousin's
wedding in their village in northern Albania. She was a
little short of reaching the house when three strange
men stopped her. They grabbed her, bundled her into a
car, blindfolded, bound and gagged her; she was then
driven to the southern town of Gjirokastra. Not until
the men and Majlinda had crossed the border with Greece
and reached Corinth was she told: "Now you are going to
"At first I did not know what they were talking about,"
recalls Majlinda, "until they took me to a flat where
there were other women and told me: "You work here
now." When I refused, they said they knew my family,
and if I made trouble they would kill them. I thought
of the possibilities. I was afraid to stay, I was
afraid to leave, so I started to work - they forced me
to, with violence."
Beaten and raped into submission by her traffickers,
Majlinda began work, confined to a flat, from 8pm until
5am, obliged to meet a monetary quota entailing some 20
clients a night. "And even if I made enough money," she
says, "they usually found a reason to beat me when the
clients had finished for the night."
Majlinda is scarred around the eyes and forehead. She
talks at a shelter, back in Albania, to which she has
escaped and at which she is hiding from her
traffickers, trying to recover. Her expression is
subdued, dead-pan. Outside the sun shines, but the room
is leaden with her grief, and her story.
She was in Greece for a year, until "the police started
catching up with them. So we came back to Albania and
took a speedboat to Italy." Majlinda was sold on to
Florence for a price she doesn't know. By now, "there
were two new Albanians in the group running me, also
one remained from Greece." She was forced to work the
streets on the scrappy edges of the city, well hidden
from the beauty of its renaissance centre. After
dealing with her clients, Majlinda handed over the
proceeds, upon which "all three would violate me at the
end of my work. They would get high on drugs -
marijuana and cocaine - and come at me. And every night
they beat me - even if I made the _ 1,000  they
insisted on, they always found an excuse."
Majlinda's captors were part of a syndicate - it was
clear to her that "they exploited many other women as
well as me, and had a number of houses, but would not
let us meet."
There were "good clients and bad clients," she says.
Good clients? "I mean the ones who just wanted to have
sex; the bad ones were the ones who beat me, or beat me
and stole my money, so I had to work harder to earn it
again." The traffickers, she says, would "compete
against one another with the money they made out of me
and the other women. They would compete for who could
buy the flashiest car, or the best clothes."
After a year in Florence, Majlinda was moved by car to
Amsterdam. In the bustle, she says, "I was surrounded
by people, but completely alone. I could speak to no
one. I lost all hope. I thought there was no way out. I
was afraid that if I talked to anyone, the traffickers
would do something to my family."
Finally, a "good client" from Afghanistan "told me not
to be afraid, and encouraged me to escape with him. I
did, I trusted him, and became pregnant by him." For a
moment it seems that Melinda's story will achieve some
perverse redemption. "But I was wrong," she says, her
hands kneading one another as she speaks. "He wanted me
to work for him instead, and he also beat me all the
time. I gave birth to my child, and when that happened,
"I told my story to a woman who used to come and see my
husband [which is how Majlinda describes the Afghan]
and she in turn told me about some Catholic nuns at
Utrecht who rescued prostitutes. And I went to them.
They helped me register my child and get a ticket back
to Albania." But still Majlinda stares down at the
table, and at her hands, as she speaks.
"I finally contacted my family and asked them to keep
my son, but they didn't even want to see me, they were
ashamed of me. My father said: "So far as we're
concerned, you are dead." Thus rejected, Majlinda and
her baby took refuge at a shelter in Albania's capital,
Tirana, but she was obliged to leave her child at a
place she will not discuss, and move on alone, after
the Afghan came looking for his quarry and his son.
"This place is my last chance," she says of the second
shelter to which she came. "But I am terrified he will
come. And that I will see the Albanian men before my
eyes once more."
Majlinda's enslavement lasted four years. "Men?" she
ponders, "I don't know what to say. All I know now is
that I don't ever want to see another man in my life.
All I want now is to be with my child, and to work.
There were moments," says Majlinda, now 17, "when I
thought I should not be alive, that I should be dead.
But then I thought: why not? You have to be brave to
survive. I have to be strong, otherwise I cannot get
out of this." And with that she smiles - the faint,
hollow smile of the survivor.
Majlinda is but one - bold and fortunate enough to have
escaped - among hundreds of thousands enslaved and
entrapped by a depraved and burgeoning crime, one of
the most lucrative and fastest-growing: trafficking in
young women and children for enforced prostitution.
In terms of the income it nets, trafficking is believed
to lie in third place behind drugs and arms. There is
evidence that criminal syndicates are switching from
drugs to women and girls, finding them easier to
transport than an assignment of cocaine or heroin.
Moreover, a woman can be sold and resold over and over,
while drugs can only be sold once.
The scale of the crime is impossible to quantify. The
US State Department this year said it believed between
600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across
borders each year; profits are estimated to be in the
billions of dollars. And of those hundreds of
thousands, an inestimable but high proportion are,
under international law, children - under 18 years of
age, and therefore entitled to special protection under
the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Documents produced by Unicef and Save the Children have
found up to 80 per cent of those trafficked from some
corners of Albania and Moldova to be children, with
reports showing "a decline in the average age of
children/women being trafficked for prostitution".
Trafficking is, crucially, distinct from people
smuggling or migration, with which it is often,
erroneously - and disastrously - confused by policy
makers. The pitiful business of smuggling occurs when a
syndicate is paid to take a group of people across
borders illegally but willingly, in search of work or
asylum. And although some people may elect to be taken
by their traffickers, a trafficked person does not sign
up for the purposes to which they are put. Trafficking
was defined by a UN convention in 2000 as meaning to
recruit and transport people "by means of threat or use
of force, or other forms of coercion", such as
abduction, fraud or deception, or, indeed, "abuse of
power or of a position of vulnerability".
"We would all like specific numbers," says Steve Ashby,
programme director for Save the Children in Albania.
"But they are simply not available. What we can safely
assume is that the numbers are high enough to warrant
very serious concern. It is impossible to over-stress
the level of oppression and brutality - the vicious
abuse of human rights being inflicted by these
traffickers. And the situation is going to get worse
before it gets better.
"The trafficker," says Ashby, "is invariably ahead of
the authorities. They are always finding alternative
means to carry on. The phenomenon is shifting all the
time. The trafficking problem outstrips all the efforts
being made to control it."
"This has become," says Giovanna Barberis, Unicef's
representative in Moldova - the main source of
trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe - "a
matter for dramatic concern".
So far as Europe is concerned, the countries in which
communism collapsed tend to provide both traffickers
and trafficked. Moldova, Albania, Ukraine and Romania
are the main source countries from which women are
abducted. They are countries where social structures
have imploded, where large sections of the economy are
controlled by criminal syndicates and where communist
regimes have been replaced by corruption as a means of
political power. Trafficking has become integral to the
economies of these countries - it is the source for
fortunes, for cash to buy champagne and luxury cars,
for profits laundered into resorts and hotels.
The misery of women and children like Majlinda is a
foundation stone for many a new concrete tower in
Tirana or Chisinau. "All along the line," says Ashby,
"there is a chain of people involved in this trade, if
you can call it that. The traffickers themselves,
transporters, forgers of documents, safe houses,
speedboats that take them from Albania to Italy - a
great network of commercial interests engaged in the
There are so-called "destination" countries in Eastern
Europe, too, but the vast, hidden and terrifying
"markets" are wider and elsewhere - across Western
Europe and, ever more, into Russia, Turkey, Israel, the
Middle East and the Gulf states. The victims,
invariably, are drafted from the vulnerable and
subjugated quarters of East European society - from
desperately poor villages, from rugged mountains, from
shanty slums. This is the new criminal power play in
the new Europe.
Albania is a land of dire poverty, fierce patriotism,
rugged mountains in the north, olive groves and vines
to the south - for decades cut off from the rest of
Europe and now opened up to a Western dream world with
which it is bombarded on television, to which its youth
aspires. It is a country whence tens of thousands of
girls are trafficked and through which women are
brought from other parts of Eastern Europe to Greece or
Italy, and thence across Europe. The same syndicates
are opening up new channels, after a clampdown on the
Adriatic sea route, through Serbia and the former
Yugoslav countries into the West.
"It is estimated," says a report commissioned by
Unicef, "that over the past 10 years, 100,000 Albanian
women and girls have been trafficked to Western Europe
and other Balkan countries. Albania is also one of the
main transit countries for the trafficking of women and
girls from central and Eastern Europe." In Albania,
fear of abduction by traffickers is so great that the
numbers of teenaged girls attending high school in
rural areas has fallen dramatically. In remote areas,
"as many as 90 per cent of girls no longer receive a
high-school education," says a report by Save the
Children. "Even here in Tirana, they are afraid," warns
Svetlana Roko, who runs a day centre for trafficked
children and children at risk in the capital.
"The Albanian pimp," says the report, "has a reputation
for extreme ruthlessness, and murder is not uncommon."
In one case in which a woman agreed to testify to the
police in Italy, her father returned home to find the
mutilated remains of his other daughter splattered
around the house.
Some women are simply kidnapped, others are lured by
promises of work. "It depends," says Vera Lesko, who
runs a shelter for trafficked women in Vlora, in the
Albanian south. "They could be promised a modeling
career, work in shops, serving in bars and, more
recently, they have been enticed by promises of
academic scholarships. However, when they come to me
they are totally destroyed, physically and
psychologically. What we try to do is give them back
their lives, tell them that their suffering is past,
that they should focus on their own value, on what they
have. We try to re-integrate them, to teach them
vocational skills. We send them to schools in Vlora,
with other women who do not know their background."
But in spite of all this, says Lesko, "The majority are
simply re-trafficked when they return. They have
nothing; they are annihilated. I had a woman who had
been trafficked and re-trafficked for 10 years. She did
not know how to live in a different way. Something
inside her had changed forever."
Traffickers, says Lesko, hang around police stations
waiting to pick up their prey as soon as they are
released. In many cases, there is collusion between
police and traffickers. However - in defence of her
work and in praise of those who come to her - "a not
insignificant number make it. They re-integrate, they
remake themselves, and that is when all this work seems
worthwhile." END TEXT.
8. (U) Published October 3, 2004 by the Observer.
TITLE: Streets of despair PART II
BEGIN TEXT: Katalina swaddles the baby she says gives
meaning to her life, once shattered. She is staying
with a family - which knows nothing of her past - in a
rain-swept village in the north of Moldova, but will
soon have a place of her own, she hopes.
At the beginning of this year, Katalina - who had grown
up in an orphanage - was abandoned by her boyfriend
after telling him she was pregnant. Soon afterwards,
she was invited by a Russian woman to a birthday party
in a local bar in her village near Moldova's second
city, Balti. There, Katalina was offered a future in
Moscow, with an option to work as a house painter or
line worker at a pasta factory. Katalina opted to give
it a try - why not? There was nothing for her in
Moldova. But events twisted strangely when she and her
Russian minder reached the Ukrainian border.
"A policeman met us and drove us across the frontier,
avoiding the crossings. The Russian paid the policeman
and we went to get false papers made." They then
proceeded by train to Moscow, where Katalina met
another girl from near Balti, who told her what was
expected. "You can't get away from here," said the
girl. "They will break your legs."
So began Katalina's life as an enslaved prostitute,
working a beat beneath a railway bridge, for which her
traffickers paid local police. "I was told never to say
that I was pregnant, else the clients would not want
me, and I would be beaten to pieces," recalls Katalina.
Some clients, she says, "kept me for a number of days,
and invited their friends. One man kept me for three or
four days in a basement and invited 20 men. When I
objected they told me I was a bitch. They had bought me
and could do whatever they liked to me. Another time, I
was on the 11th floor of a building with seven
Moldovans, all of them taking drugs.
After they had had their way, they insisted I smoke
some drugs, too. When I refused, they became violent,
and one of them opened a window and threatened to throw
me out. But there was one man less stoned than the
rest, who said, "You are just a dirty whore," and sent
me from the room."
Time passed in this way, until Katalina's pregnancy
could no longer be hidden. Clients, their sensibilities
offended, would beat and insult her, demanding their
money back. The Russian traffickers beat her, too,
saying they would lock Katalina away until she was due,
"and that they would sell my baby, when it came".
Katalina has an expression full of guile; it comes as
no surprise when she says that she elected to escape.
The flat in which she was kept by day was watched by
police officers on the pimp's behalf, to prevent the
girls from leaving.
But Katalina noted when the police watch went for its
daily lunch break. That was when she, and the other
girl from her area, made a run for it.
Laughter comes hard while talking about these things,
but now the artful Katalina has her company in unlikely
stitches. "We did a funny thing," she says.
"After running away from the flat, we took a trolleybus
to Red Square, thinking this is where the train to
Chisinau would go from. Just imagine, two escaped
Moldovan prostitutes lost in a tourist trap, asking
smart people how to get the train back to their little
village." Having found the station, they were picked up
by the railway police and sent home.
Moldova is Europe's poorest country and, says Unicef's
representative there, Giovanna Barberis, "one of the
main, if not the main source country for the
trafficking of women and children".
This is how a briefing paper drawn up by the Swedish
Foreign Ministry's aid wing Sida - which is active in
counter-trafficking projects in Eastern Europe -
describes the country: "Moldova has probably suffered
the most devastating peacetime decline in economic
performance and living standards of any country in
modern times. From a situation of relative prosperity,
GDP in this country has fallen by more than 70 per cent
within a decade - placing Moldova on a par with the
poorest countries in Asia and Africa. For most
Moldovans, life has become a daily struggle to satisfy
the most basic needs against increasingly uneven odds."
The bus station in Chisinau, Moldova's care-worn
capital, is a monument to the nation's reaction to its
fate - mass emigration. The population is officially
set at 4.5m, after a census in 1989, but, says
Barberis, "the reality is probably nearer 3.5m.
Hundreds of thousands have simply left, to find work,
legally or illegally, in the West." Every week, fleets
of heaving coaches leave this bus station - with its
mosaic showing a happy socialist life in factory and
field - bound for Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
As a result, thousands of children are left abandoned
by their parents, becoming prey to the trafficker's
Under communism, Moldova, with its fertile black soil,
was the orchard of the USSR, and its industry was
locked into the trans-Soviet infrastructure. Now,
Moldovan society has been ravaged by a corrupt neo-
communist political class and an economy beholden to
the profits of crime. The price of agricultural produce
is so low that much of it withers - literally - on the
vine. The average wage is $50 (28) per month. And the
generation now growing up with no memory of communism
or relative prosperity is prey to those engaged in
Moldova's rapidly growing and infamous export - human
"There are about 1m Moldovans living abroad," says
Barberis, "and among that 1m, a great many have left
illegally and are exposed to trafficking. They go in
different ways. The traffickers are getting more and
more sophisticated. There can be direct contact with a
relative, friend, or friend of a friend. There are
advertisements in the newspapers for fake jobs as
waitresses, babysitters or cooks. They are invariably
jobs advertised for women and it becomes an attractive
offer, given the fact that unemployment is extremely
high, given the fact that access to health care and
education is extremely low, given the fact that
domestic violence is deeply rooted."
There is a correlation between the subjugation of women
and children in Moldovan society and their
vulnerability to trafficking, says Daniela Popescu, who
runs the Amicul centre for "at risk" children in
Chisinau. Some 80 per cent of trafficking victims, she
says, have also been victims of domestic violence.
"There are old sayings passed on from grandparents,"
she says: "they say an unbeaten woman is like an untidy
house, or beating his woman is a man's divine right."
Women are held in low esteem, have low self-esteem and
tend to accept things as they are, not to denounce
their men. They are accustomed to hard physical work,
so it is often the best and strongest of them who
decide they can be free from emotional and physical
abuse, and can handle hard work abroad.
"The traffickers are very much aware of these
subjugated conditions," she continues, "and,
ironically, will make promises such as, "You are
working at home and being beaten - why not work away
from the beating, and get good money?""
The village of Biesti, an hour north of the capital, is
typical - the effect is unmistakable and striking. This
is a community where there are no adults; a place where
only children and old people walk the main street and
muddy tracks. The children have for the most part been
abandoned by their parents, and are thus vulnerable to
the traffickers. Angelina, aged 13, just about manages
on what her mother and father send back - she explains
that her parents left for Orvieto in Italy, leaving her
to look after her 10-year-old brother.
But unlike most villages of its kind, there is a quiet
revolution under way in Biesti - proving that where
there is initiative, the traffickers will not have it
all their own way. That with the right resources and
the will to battle the traffickers with knowledge,
there is reason for faint hope in this woebegone
landscape. For here is one of a network of day centres
funded by Unicef, devoted almost entirely to raising
awareness of trafficking and "life skills" in a world
without adults, or where adults do not care. Every
child in Biesti has, as a result, seen a film called
Lilja 4-ever by the director Lukas Moodysson, about a
Russian girl trafficked to Stockholm. "We all cried
when we saw it," says Veronica, aged 16. "We talked
about it, and wondered, what would we do?"
Veronica and her friend Aksenia are prime targets for
any trafficker, but both girls talk with disarming
maturity about the dangers, the film and its message.
"It is not enough just to have the information to be on
the lookout," says Aksenia, "it is a matter of having
the skills to act when and if you find that you are in
trouble." Everyone, however, wants to leave the
village, adds Veronica.
There are 63 "residential schools" for what are called
the "social orphans" of Moldova, where discarded
children learn and live. These are places like that in
which Katalina was raised, and in all, they hold some
13,000 children, any one of whom could be said to be
"at risk" to trafficking. In these places, too, Unicef
is working against the peril that awaits these children
once they try - as they will - to leave. At the
orphanage in Orhei, a group of 14-year-olds has also
seen Lilja 4-ever and rehearse a play they will perform
to the school and around town about social exclusion,
with its obvious message about the return of trafficked
victims. "We are learning that we must have them back,"
says Svetlana, "even if they have HIV and Aids."
"It is amazing to me," says Barberis, "that this issue
of trafficking is simply not a matter for the
government in this country. Similarly, not only is
there no support for the victims of trafficking when
they return, but there is no effort to re-integrate
them, to rescue them from their non-future."
Viorica, a child of 17 from southern Moldova, cannot
finish her story. She wanted, she says, to go to music
school and improve her singing voice, "to learn to sing
and play". But life had other plans for her. Instead,
she was lured from her village by a distant cousin, to
Turkey, with a promise of work. When she arrived at the
coastal resort of Antalya, she "was told to put on some
clothes and get ready. "It"s time for you to work,"
they said. I asked what work? They said I was going to
a hotel to be with men. When I objected," she
continues, "they said I would have to do this thing if
I ever wanted to see Moldova again.
They threatened me with a gun and made me get into a
car. We got to the hotel. The thing is, I'd never been
with a man before. I was a virgin, and that night, they
made me go with 11 men." At this point, Viorica stops
in the tracks of her tears and her words. It is a
The psychologist treating Viorica, Ana Chirsanov, tells
me that the girl has tried to commit suicide. "Her soul
was destroyed that first night, with those 11 men,"
explains Dr Chirsanov. "She used to resist, spitting
and pulling the clients" hair, but they thought it was
all part of some erotic game. She was crying out, "I
don't want to do this", and they just laughed at her,
amusing themselves. After which she got into thinking
that she was the one who was insane and that this was
what the world is like. That the people doing this to
her were normal and she was insane to be unhappy about
it." Most of the girls, when they return, says Dr
Chirsanov, "speak of their desire to die. We had a case
of one minor who had jumped from a sixth-floor
window... she survived, after six surgical operations."
There is a glaring problem in calling what happened to
Viorica, or any trafficked woman or girl,
"prostitution", since the word can imply a degree of
consent. "Here, there is absolutely no meaningful
consent at all," says Sian Jones, co-ordinator for the
Balkans at Amnesty International. "It is clear that if
you knowingly have sex with a woman who has been
trafficked, that is rape."
"There is no consent in sex with a trafficked woman,"
says Denise Marshall, who runs the Poppy Project in
south London, Britain's only shelter for trafficked
women. "If a trafficked woman is forced to see 30
clients a day, so far as I am concerned, that is 30
rapes a day. The impact on the body and on the psyche
is the same as rape. It is the same level of violence
against that woman."
A website called www.punternet.com offers an insight
into these clients" heads. It invites entries from men
comparing notes on prostitutes. On occasions, there is
every indication that the woman visited is trafficked
and that the client knows this. "Worst shag of my
life," laments one entry, "the girl was a robot - felt
sorry for her - kept thinking why is she doing this? -
she said only a couple of words to me - gave me 10 mins
of hand job while looking the other way and jumping
when I tried to touch her - she lay down trying to
cover her tits - 15 mins with me trying to grab her ...
Why does she do it? I probably can guess."
When politicians turn their attention to trafficking
and prostitution - as the British Home Office is now
doing - little attention is paid to the "demand" side,
to the punters.
The debate is most advanced in Sweden, from where money
has been pumped into counter-trafficking abroad and
legislation enacted at home, in 1999, attempting to
fight trafficking by tackling all use of prostitutes.
"The problem of demand has been engaged here by
criminalising the buying of sexual services," says Nina
Strandberg, East Europe area manager for Sida.
"Basically, that means it is not illegal for a woman to
sell sex, but it is illegal for a man to buy it. It"s
an interesting position, introduced as something we
regard as integral to the battle against trafficking."
According to Stockholm police, the measure has cut by
more than two-thirds the number of prostitutes being
operated in the city, with 754 convictions from 1999
until this summer, and fines imposed.
"The Swedish law is controversial, but until countries
of destination for these women and girls have some kind
of legislation in place, we cannot begin to address the
matter of trafficking," says Steve Ashby. "Prosecution
of traffickers is not enough - another will always take
his place. But if there were tighter laws on demand,
then a lot of the so-called punters would think twice
before they accepted the risk."
"The Swedish measure would make a great difference if
it was more widespread," says Lesko. "It targets the
right people - not the girls who come back damaged, but
the people who damage them."
"This matter of trafficking," says Giovanna Barberis,
"is becoming of dramatic concern. And yet I do not see
governments in Western Europe wanting to address and
find solutions to this issue. In some places, there
does not appear to be any political will at all. There
are many countries in Europe which have not even
thought to undertake a serious assessment or analysis."
The 45 member states of the Council of Europe are
currently drafting a convention on trafficking,
providing an opportunity for binding minimum standards
for the protection of and support for trafficked
people. Most governments - including Britain's - tip-
toe, however, confusing the issue with smuggling and
migration, and are wary of the political liability in
any discourse on arrivals from Eastern Europe. Within
the Home Office, there are conflicting interests,
between immigration services, which put a priority on
removing people without proper documentation, and law
enforcement, which requires willing witnesses and
intelligence to prosecute traffickers.
A triumvirate of organisations - Unicef, Amnesty
International and Anti-Slavery International - campaign
for three basic standards to be met by the European
convention. They are: first, support, shelter and
safety provision for women who emerge as having been
trafficked. Second, a minimum period during which women
can decide whether they want to co-operate with police
investigations. (Protection at the Poppy Project, now
funded by the Home Office, is conditional on agreeing
to help the police. Italy has the most advanced
legislation to date, with a 90-day allowance for
reflection, and now suggests a six-month reflection
period.) Third, resident permits - temporary or
permanent - should be on offer in the country of
destination "whenever there is reasonable likelihood
that a trafficked person will be subject to re-
trafficking or other serious harm". Italy already has
such a system, which has proven effective not only in
terms of protecting victims, but also in prosecuting
Britain's record is different. In autumn 2003, London
and Tirana signed a bilateral agreement on repatriation
to Albania of girls or women found to have been
trafficked. "I cannot respect a policy of
repatriation," says Vera Lesko. "Since that year, I've
had 16 girls sent back from Britain, 14 of whom have
since been re-trafficked back into the system. Is it
really so hard for you to take 16 people?"
Mike Kaye of Anti-Slavery International argues that
"there is no conflict between protection and
prosecution". Quite apart from respect for the human
rights of a person who has had them destroyed, he says,
"Protection of trafficked people three distinct
advantages: it disrupts the trafficking system, because
they do not get re-trafficked; it favours intelligence,
because they are more likely to tell the support agency
how they were trafficked; and in the long or medium
term, it means that the trafficked person is more
likely to co-operate with the police."
"What really irritates me," says Denise Marshallat the
Poppy Project, "is that governments - not just the UK -
put the responsibility on to the country where these
women originate. The fact is this: if British men were
not wanting sex with trafficked women, then trafficked
women would not be here. I had a woman who was raped 88
times - no, not 18, 88 - on Christmas Day 2002. She is
completely annihilated. She is a religious woman who
dares not go to church. She has a child but does not
think she deserves to see that child. The men who did
that to her were British, and I think Britain has a
responsibility to provide her with at least sometime
and proper resources. There are no quick-fix solutions
for a woman like that."
Eva, from southern Albania, fell in love with the man
who took her to Naples, promising a wedding. But on
arrival, her fiance demanded that Eva work for him as a
prostitute. "When I protested, he said he would kill my
family and that his accomplices back home would do the
same thing to my sister." The trafficker worked
alongside a "group of his friends" while Eva and other
girls enslaved into their operation walked the streets
of Naples, taking up to 20 clients a night to meet her
quota, and, if lucky, avoid a beating. Most nights,
however, would end with her being violated and beaten
by her trafficker and his accomplices.
"I could see people living their normal lives," she
says, her eyes staring into mid-distance - "shopping,
going about their business. They had their families and
children with them, they had their lives, they had all
the things I wanted but could never have. It made my
heart cry to see them. Instead, I became accustomed to
being a slave, crying all the time, but always afraid
to leave him, because he knew my family, he knew my
sister. I was alone, I had no one."
Eva's trafficker was brother to one of Albania's
biggest dealers in drugs and women, who was killed in a
car crash. Eva duly managed to escape when her
trafficker returned to Tirana for the funeral,
successfully seeking out one of her brothers, living in
Eva, who wears a cross around her neck, has two
distinct and different faces: the one she wears when
telling her story hitherto - bounden, staring blankly -
and another, which comes suddenly alive, effervescent,
when she gets to this point in her narrative. In
Savona, she met her sister-in-law, an evangelical
Christian, who took Eva to church and to see a film
about Mary Magdalene, the reformed prostitute. "She
saved my life," says Eva, "a certain peace came into
me. I began to think differently and became a believer.
My fear left me. I realised that people judge you, but
God can forgive everything."
Now living in hiding from reprisal, as does her sister,
Eva is clearly the life force of the shelter in which
she lives. "For the moment, I have what I want. I have
my sister with me, I tidy up, I plant flowers, I sew."
But Eva also urges her fellow victims and those still
captive, out there in the hell of enslavement, whence
she returned: "I tell them, do not be afraid to do what
is right. Go to the police. Testify against those who
exploit you, for they deserve to be punished."
All names of trafficked women and children in this
article have been changed for their own safety. END
9. (U) Published October 3, 2004 by Radio Free Europe and
TITLE: TURKEY: EU REPORTS PAVE WAY FOR QUALIFIED
APPROVAL OF ENTRY TALKS; Ahto Lobjakas
BEGIN TEXT: Some form of go-ahead in the coming days by
the European Commission for Turkish entry talks now
appears a foregone conclusion.
However, two draft progress reports prepared by the
European Commission suggest that uncertainties abound,
and that any decision is likely to come with extensive
conditions and qualifications attached to allow more
skeptical member states to support it.
The European Commission's annual progress report on
Turkey praises democratic reforms undertaken since 1999
and accelerated in the past two years. However, it does
not clearly say Turkey now meets the so-called
Copenhagen entry criteria dealing with democracy, the
rule of law, and human rights. Instead, a number of
areas are identified where Turkey is clearly at odds
with what are described as "modern" European standards.
Thus, the recognition that constitutional reforms have
shifted the balance of civil-military relations toward
civilians comes with the caveat that conflicting legal
provisions allow the military to continue to enjoy a
degree of autonomy.
Turkey's new Penal Code, adopted a few days ago,
receives wide praise for abolishing the death penalty
and enshrining women's rights.
The Penal Code also outlaws torture. The report notes
there was a marked decline in reported instances of
torture in 2004 as compared with 2003. However, an
increase in claims of torture was recorded outside of
formal detention centers.
An EU fact-finding mission returned from Turkey in
September and concluded that Ankara is seriously
pursuing its policy of zero tolerance on torture. Again,
however, the mission reported that "numerous cases" of
torture and ill treatment of detainees still occur.
Similar conclusions are evident in other key judgments.
Reforms are praised, but continued contrary practices
Thus, the report says there have been a significant
number of cases where nonviolent expression of opinion
is still prosecuted and punished. Books were still being
banned and writers put on trial in 2003.
In the field of human rights and the protection of
minorities, the report recognizes the introduction of
two constitutional reforms and eight legislative-reform
packages since 1999. Turkey has adopted a number of
human rights treaties since 1999. It executes some
judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, but --
again -- not others.
Human-rights-monitoring bodies have been set up, as have
specialist training programs at the Interior and Justice
ministries, as well as police. However, implementation
of human rights reforms is said not to be uniform across
Turkey is criticized for not having signed the Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It
receives praise for having allowed TV and radio
broadcasts in minority languages, such as Kurdish,
Arabic, Bosnian, and Circassian. However, it is noted
that harsh restrictions exist limiting their length.
The report notes that Turkey constitutionally guarantees
the freedom of religion, but adds that non-Muslim
communities continue to encounter difficulties. Thus,
Christians are said to occasionally still be subject to
The second report analyzes the potential impact of
Turkish membership on the EU. It proceeds from the
assumption that Turkey would not join before 2014. That
date marks the start of the new EU multiannual budget
The assessment appears to be that most of the Emus
current policies -- above all, farm support and regional
aid -- will need to be radically rethought so that they
do not prove ruinously costly.
The study says a Turkish accession would be different
from all previous enlargements because of the country's
population, size, and geographical location.
The annual cost of farm support to Turkey is estimated
to top 11 billion euros ($13.6 billion) - or more than
10 percent of the Emus current budget.
Long transitional periods are predicted for the free
movement of workers, and a potentially permanent
"safeguard" measure may become necessary to allow other
EU member states to lock out Turkish labor if their
markets suffer ill effects.
Another major challenge is said to be the future
management of the bloc's external borders, as well as
dealing with migration and asylum issues once Turkey
joins. Fighting organized crime, terrorism, and the
trafficking of human beings, drugs, and arms will also
present significant new challenges for the EU.
Turkey's membership in the visa-free Schengen area is
said not to be a "short-term" prospect after accession.
This means that border controls would remain in place.
Opportunities for the EU could arise in the form of
heightened security for the bloc's energy supplies.
Turkey would provide direct links to the Caspian
countries, as well as the Persian Gulf.
The clearest positive potential for the EU emerges in
the field of foreign policy. As a country with a Muslim
majority and a strategic position, Turkey could valuably
enhance the Emus role in the wider Middle East. It could
also serve as an important model for reform.
However, the report says that, in practical terms,
Turkish and EU policies are still often at variance
regarding Iraq, the Caucasus, and relations with the
Turkey could also become a channel for stabilizing EU
influence in the South Caucasus. Much is said to depend
on Turkey's willingness, though. In particular relations
with Armenia will need to improve. The study says
reconciliation must be achieved over the mass killings
of Armenians in 1915 and 1916, which are widely called
genocide. Turkey must also contribute to the easing of
tensions in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan
The study says Turkey could also help the EU to
stabilize Central Asia. END TEXT.
10. (U) Published October 2, 2004 by the New York Times:
TITLE: European Public Uneasy Over Turkey's Bid to Join
Union; By ELAINE SCIOLINO
BEGIN TEXT: AMSTERDAM, Oct. 1 - There are no minarets
at the Ayasofya Mosque in Amsterdam, no marble atrium,
no crystal-chandeliered prayer room. The biggest
Turkish mosque here operates out of a dark, rusting
hulk of a warehouse that was once a car repair and
It is a place more for meeting than for prayer. It
sells subsidized groceries and meals, advertises jobs
for pizza makers and factory cleaners, and offers its
floors as temporary sleeping space for new migrants. It
is, in other words, just the sort of place that makes
many Europeans view Turks as truly foreign.
On Wednesday, the 25-member European Union is poised to
take a small but important step toward deciding whether
Turkey will be the first Muslim country to join its
ranks. The organization's executive committee will
vote on a report stating that Turkey has reformed
itself enough to merit entry talks.
If the committee's recommendation is accepted
unanimously by the member nations in December, there
will begin a negotiating process that could drag on for
a decade or more. Even then, it might not gain Turkey
full membership in the union, the world's largest
But just the prospect of admitting a Muslim country of
71 million people - far larger than most members and
with a per capita income much lower than any member -
has set off a fierce, even ugly, debate over the nature
of European identity.
Polls throughout Europe suggest that many share the
fear first expressed by former President Valerie
Giscard d'Estaing of France that Turkey is not a
European country and that Turkish membership would mean
"the end of Europe."
A French opinion poll released Tuesday indicated that
56 percent of the French oppose Turkey's membership.
President Jacques Chirac said Friday that he would
require a national referendum on any future expansion.
While Chancellor Gerhard Schroder of Germany has
reacted favorably, a poll released Friday showed 57
percent of his country's population opposed. A poll
issued earlier this week stated that 62 percent of
Germans wanted the matter to be decided in a
"There is a deep anti-Turkish feeling in the debate
over the E.U.," said Haci Karacaer, the director of
Ayasofya. "They say that Turkey is too big, too
Islamic, too poor, too undemocratic, too Asian to join
His words echoed those of Frits Bolkestein, a Dutch
member of the European Union's executive committee. Mr.
Bolkestein warned in a speech last month that Europe
risked becoming "Islamized" if Turkey joined. If that
should happen, he added, the battle of Vienna in 1683
when Austrian, German and Polish troops pushed back the
Ottoman Turks, would
"have been in vain."
Europe, he concluded, "would implode." The fear
coincides with a rise in anti-Muslim feeling throughout
the continent, fueled in part by the train station
bombings in Madrid in March, which Spanish
investigators say were carried out by Islamic radicals
with ties to Al Qaeda; ongoing arrests of Muslims on
terrorist charges across Europe; and recent kidnappings
of European civilians by radical Muslim groups in Iraq.
"Even on the soccer field they yell at you and call you
"Turk" or "dirty foreigner," " said Yucel Gundogdu, a
Dutch-born employment counselor who plays midfield on
FC Turkiyemspor, once an all-Turkish amateur soccer
team and now the reigning amateur champion in the
For him the European Union's decision is a kind of
litmus test for Europe. "If the E.U. refuses Turkey for
cultural or religious reasons, then it's racist," he
The draft of a 54-page confidential report, which has
been leaking out to the European press and is to be
voted on by the European Union next week, largely
ignores the potential problems posed by Turkey's
cultural and religious heritage.
On the contrary, the report states, "Turkey would be an
important model of a country with a majority Muslim
population adhering to such fundamental principles as
liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms and the rule of law."
If Turkey joins, the new border of the union will
extend to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Georgia. That would pose a "policy challenge and
require significant investment" to manage migration and
asylum, and fight organized crime, terrorism and
trafficking of human beings, drugs and illicit weapons,
the report warns.
It also acknowledges the high cost of farm aid to
Turkey if it joins, as well as charges that human
rights abuses and the influence of Turkey's military
are still a problem. But the report also concludes that
a long transition period could mitigate the impact of a
huge wave of migration, that Turkey's young population
could provide an important new labor source and that
the negotiating process itself would spur Turkey to
even more democratic reform.
Many opponents of Turkish membership point out that
about 90 percent of the country is geographically in
Asia, not Europe, and assert that the European Union as
an institution should not be sacrificed to solve the
geopolitical problems of the world.
Even the Vatican has entered the debate, although it is
split on the question. "Turkey has always represented
another continent in the course of history, in
permanent contrast to Europe," the Catholic Church's
top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said in an
interview with Le Figaro Magazine in August, in
opposing Turkey's membership.
But on Thursday, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's
secretary of state, told reporters in Rome that the
Vatican "must remain neutral" on the matter.
The position of France has been particularly clever -
France knows well that no issue is more important for
Turkey than getting into the European Union. After
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan swept into office
nearly two years ago, he listed membership in the union
as his government's highest priority, even before
improving Turkey's economy.
During a visit to Paris in July, Mr. Erdogan brought a
generous package of economic incentives, including the
purchase of 36 Airbus planes worth more than $1.5
billion. President Jacques Chirac responded with an
announcement that Turkey's candidacy was compatible
with "France's national interests." Now he has joined
three of his ministers, including Prime Minister Jean-
Pierre Raffarin, in calling for a referendum on the
The opposition has frustrated many of the three million
Turks and Europeans of Turkish descent already living
in Europe beyond Turkey's borders.
"The European Union is playing with Turkey," said
Levent Karaus, 22, a Dutch-born airport worker, as he
played backgammon at a Turkish teahouse in western
Amsterdam. "They say, "Come, come, come," and when
Turkey gets halfway across the bridge they say, "Stop."
At a nearby table, a group of young men of Turkish
descent playing cards said in chorus that Turkey should
not be allowed to join.
"They will flood into Europe," said Akag Acikgoz, 21, a
Dutch-born bouncer at a nightclub. "I don't want the
Turks to join, even if they are my people."
Firat Hokmanoglu, 18, a Dutch-born student, agreed,
saying: "Turkey is too poor to be in. Its getting in
doesn't really matter to me. I'm already here."
Helene Fouquet contributed reporting for this article.
11. (U) Published October 1, 2004 by EUROFunding.com:
TITLE: European Commission simplifies funding of
BEGIN TEXT: The European Commission has decided today
to replace the existing range of financial instruments
for the delivery of external assistance with a simpler,
more efficient framework.
Instead of the current wide range of geographical and
thematic instruments that has grown up in an ad-hoc
manner over time, the new framework will comprise six
instruments only, four of them new. The four new
instruments are: an instrument for Pre-Accession
Assistance, a European Neighbourhood and Partnership
instrument, a Development Cooperation and Economic
Cooperation instrument, and an instrument for
stability. Two existing instruments, for Humanitarian
Aid, and for Macro Financial Assistance are not in need
of modification, and will be maintained.
MEDA, and a substantial number of thematic instruments,
for example the European Initiative for Democracy and
Human Rights. In the Mediterranean and Middle East
alone, co operation and assistance are managed through
no less than 13 regulations. All these Regulations have
significant differences in their programming and
implementation procedures. Managing the Community's
programmes on the basis of such a mixed and complex set
of instruments, in an efficient and coordinated way,
has become an increasingly difficult task. The
framework set out in this Communication radically
reduces these differences.
The Pre Accession Instrument will cover the candidate
countries (Turkey and Croatia) and the potential
candidate countries (the Western Balkans). It replaces
existing instruments PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD, CARDS as well
as a number of other regulations.
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
will cover third countries participating in the
European Neighbourhood Policy i.e. the countries of the
south and eastern Mediterranean, Ukraine, Moldova and
Belarus, and the countries of the southern Caucasus,
thus replacing MEDA and part of TACIS. This instrument
will also support the Emus strategic partnership with
Russia. A specific and innovative feature of the
instrument is its cross-border co-operation component,
that brings together regions of Member States with
neighbouring countries sharing a common border.
The Development Cooperation and Economic Cooperation
Instrument will cover all countries territories and
regions that are not eligible for assistance under
either the Pre-Accession instrument or the European
Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument (replacing
ALA, EDF, etc.).
The Instrument for Stability is a new instrument to
tackle crises and instability in third countries and
address trans-border challenges including nuclear
safety and non-proliferation, the fight against
trafficking, organised crime and terrorism.
The Humanitarian Aid instrument and Macro Financial
Assistance will remain unchanged except that all Food
Aid of a humanitarian nature will be included under
Humanitarian Aid instead of being dealt with under a
Further information can be found in the "Communication
from the Commission to the Council and European
Parliament on the Instruments for External Assistance
under the Future Financial Perspective 2007-2013". END
12. (U) Published October 1, 2004 by LE MONDE:
TITLE: France: Le Monde Examines Illegal Immigration
BEGIN TEXT: France's major center-left daily Le Monde
recently has focused on trends in illegal immigration
to the European Union. The paper's online edition has
provided web-based Flash graphics detailing routes
taken by "clandestine" immigrants, their methods of
travel, and the adoption of recent legislative measures
throughout Europe to deal with the flow of illegal
German Intelligence services estimate that at least
500,000 illegal immigrants arrive each year in Europe
and receive about 5 billion euros in annual social
welfare benefits, a sum that ranks just behind drug
trafficking and arms smuggling receipts.
As of August 2004, there have been 9904 illegal
immigrants turned back at Europe's borders.
In the above diagram, yellow arrows represent routes
taken by illegal immigrants via sea, blue represents
land routes, and red represents air routes.
Immigration Routes from the Middle East The first
destination for illegal immigrants from Iran, Iraq,
Turkey, or Kurdistan is Istanbul, Turkey. From there,
they depart for either Brindisi or Bari, Italy or
Frankfurt, Germany, and then on to France, Spain, or
the United Kingdom.
Sea Routes From Istanbul, the route is by "zodiac"
boats with the immigrants leaving from the coasts of
the Aegean Sea. The cost of passage averages 1500
Air Routes Forged passports and tourist visas can be
bought in a travel agency for approximately 4,000 US
dollars with about eight days wait time. Air travel is
usually from Istanbul to Frankfurt, where an immigrant
seeks political asylum.
Land Routes Illegal immigrants traveling from Istanbul
to Germany -- usually by truck -- normally pass through
Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. The Bulgarian border is
considered to be the most permeable.
Immigration Routes from East Africa Illegal immigrants
from East Africa travel via Istanbul, or Brindisi. Such
immigrants usually come from Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia,
Egypt, Somalia, Kenya, or Niger.
Via Italy Libya has become a major hub for illegal
African immigrants whose destinations are EU countries,
especially Italy, as Tripoli no longer requires a
transit visa for travelers from the "brother countries"
of continental Africa.
Via Turkey Departing from Sudan, frequently in cargo
ship containers originating in Eastern Europe, illegal
immigrants arrive in Turkey; they proceed on their way
to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, then via land route
through Moldavia, and on to Galati in southeast
Immigration Routes from West Africa the typical route
for illegal immigrants is via Algeria, with Tamanrasset
as the first point of entry. Immigrants then travel
through Algeria by car or truck and cross the Moroccan
border at either Oujda or Nador. The goal is to reach
the enclave of Melilla, also known as "little Spain" or
Ceuta, on the Moroccan coast. Immigrants taking this
route are from Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroun, Togo,
Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia.
The passage north to Gibraltar is usually made at night
in overcrowded boats called "pateras." Passage is
organized by traffickers who charge 600 to 2,000 euros
per person. Once in Spain, immigrants can travel to
other destinations within the EU.
Immigration Routes from Asia Illegal immigrants from
Asia, traveling by air or by land, come primarily from
China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri
Lanka. Immigrants from Russia and the Federated
Republic of Chechnya travel primarily by land routes.
Air Routes Some Chinese immigrants fly directly to
Paris, using false Japanese or South Korean passports
that cost approximately 15,000 euros.
Land Routes Illegal immigrants from China cross the
Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic by truck,
proceeding on foot across the Czech-German border into
Germany. Chinese immigrant networks are using Belgrade
as a hub.
From East to West Europe Illegal immigrants taking the
East-West route come mainly from Russia, Ukraine,
Moldavia, Belarus, Georgia, and the Caucasus.
Land Route Traveling by truck, car, and by foot,
illegal immigrants travel through Slovenia seeking to
reach Italy as their port of entry to the European
Union. Leaving from Chisinau, Moldova, they travel to
Italy by train, car, or by foot at night, crossing the
Romanian and Albanian borders.
Sea Route Illegal immigrants from Albania who arrive on
the Italian coast sail in small, flat, light-weight
boats called "scafi" that can travel below radar. Most
often, they arrive either in Lecce, in southern Italy,
in San Foca, a resort opposite the Albanian coast, or
in Bari, Brindisi, or Otranto.
European Legislation Countering Illegal Immigration
Current legislation being studied by the European
Commission includes the negotiation of a common asylum
rights policy; harmonization of penalties for those who
aid in human trafficking, those who aid or organize
coordinated transits through the EU, and penalizing
employers who overlook irregularities on work visas.
Sri Lanka, Macao, and Hong Kong have already signed
cooperation accords with the EU to combat illegal
immigration. The EU is negotiating with an additional
six countries -- Morocco, Ukraine, Russia, China,
Pakistan, and Algeria -- to sign agreements on
The European Commission is also discussing the
implementation of a Europe wide database of all
temporary visas issued for the countries of the
Schengen zone and the creation of a European agency to
The G5 Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK meet
annually to discuss the undertaking of immigration
projects and legislation by the group such as:
-- Establishing a list of countries from which
immigrants to Europe are ineligible to claim asylum
-- Intensifying international cooperation to discover
and dismantle illegal immigrant and human trafficking
-- Requiring airlines to provide passenger data before
UK Legislation In the United Kingdom, an illegal
immigrant can stay for an unlimited period while being
processed for political asylum. During this time, the
asylum seeker is provided with publicly-funded legal
services and housing.
Recent legislation includes a November 2002 law
providing for the reinforcement of border inspections
with France and Belgium, fines and penalties for
transportation companies caught carrying illegal
immigrants, wittingly or not, and the creation of
reception centers for asylum seekers.
-- The law also provides for the naturalization of some
50,000 immigrants who requested political asylum three
years or more prior to November 2002. The law also
enacted stricter penalties for asylum seekers who have
lost or misplaced their paperwork and made visas
obligatory for nationals of the 18 countries with the
highest number of immigrants to the UK.
According to the Home Office, the majority of asylum
seekers and illegal immigrants come from Somalia,
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Zimbabwe followed by China,
Iran, and Pakistan. It reported 61,050 requests for
asylum from undocumented and illegal immigrants in
2003. While this is the highest number within the EU,
it is 43 percent less than the previous year, when the
new asylum law was enacted.
German Legislation At this time, an illegal immigrant
can remain in Germany for only 18 months while
processing for political asylum.
A law adopted on 9 July 2004 restricted even legal
immigration to Germany -- requiring an immigrant's
dossier to be re-examined after three years, providing
for the automatic expulsion of immigrants sentenced to
prison, the construction of deportation centers, and
the automatic expulsion of any immigrant deemed a
threat to national security.
According to the Interior Ministry, the majority of
illegal immigrants come from Turkey, Serbia and
Montenegro, Iraq, the Russian Federation and China. The
ministry reported that 50,600 immigrants in Germany
requested asylum in 2003.
Italian Legislation Italy allows an illegal immigrant
to remain in the country for only two months while
processing asylum documentation.
The "Bossi-Fini" law of 2002 required the
intensification of border patrols, digital
fingerprinting of all illegal immigrants, and immediate
expulsion of, or one year imprisonment for repeat
offenders. Although Italian employers classified
634,728 immigrants as documented workers in 2003,
residence permits will no longer be given to immigrants
not possessing valid work contracts.
Italy is currently negotiating an immigration treaty
with the Balkan countries (including Albania) and
Libya, under which Italy will have a fixed quota system
for immigrants. The countries, with which Italy is
negotiating, are being asked to institute mechanisms to
reintegrate returning illegal immigrants.
Italy saw a 40 percent decrease in reported cases of
illegal immigration in 2003 compared to the year prior
(14,331 vice 23,719).
According to the Interior Ministry, the majority of
illegal immigrants to Italy come from Sri Lanka, Iraq,
the former Yugoslavia, and Turkey. The Ministry
reported that 7,280 immigrants requested asylum in
Spanish Legislation Spain allows 40 days for an illegal
immigrant to begin processing the documentation needed
to remain in country. However, the law of 29 October
2003 provided a statute of limitations on clandestine
immigration. The law provides local and federal police
the power, for up to 10 years, to bring charges against
a person who has entered the country illegally and
continues to reside within the country, even though he
or she may be a citizen at the time of prosecution.
Procedures are being negotiated to make it more
difficult for family members to rejoin each other once
asylum status has been granted to one member. There
will be severe penalties for immigrants caught trying
to enter the country illegally and for businesses that
knowingly employ illegal immigrants. In addition,
transportation companies, such as airlines, buses, and
trains, will be required to supply information on
passengers who do not use their return trip ticket on a
round trip purchase.
The Spanish and Moroccan police reportedly will
increase cooperative efforts to patrol the Straits of
Gibraltar and implement the Integrated Border Patrol
System (SIVE), a string of radar stations capable of
picking up the movement of small marine craft.
The Spanish Ministry of the Interior stated that of the
more than 70,000 immigrants deported in 2003, 16,000
entered Spain via clandestine coastal landings. In
2002, there were 6,179 requests for political asylum in
Spain from immigrants coming primarily from Morocco,
Algeria, Nigeria, Cuba, and Colombia.
Austrian Legislation Considered to be one of the most
extreme in the EU, a law adopted on 23 October 2003,
which allows only two months to begin processing for
residency status, does not permit demands for asylum to
be made at Austria's borders and bars additional
evidence to the court of appeal once the appellate
court has rendered its decision. An immigrant can also
be deported during the appellate process for any
The Austrian Ministry of the Interior reported 32,400
demands for asylum in 2003, with the majority of the
requestors originating from Russia, Turkey, India,
Serbia and Montenegro, and Afghanistan. END TEXT.