Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Mfa Reports Interim Progress
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 006687
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G. INL, INL/CTR, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE
DEPARTMENT FOR VALERIE KWOK USAID E&E/ECA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM PGOV SMIG PREF KWMN TU
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: MFA REPORTS INTERIM PROGRESS
(U) In response to our September 16 request for information
about ongoing GOT anti-TIP efforts, the Turkish MFA Consular
Affairs Directorate provided the following diplomatic note
dated November 18, 2004:
BEGIN TEXT OF DIPNOTE:
Reply to the Information Request for
2004 Interim Trafficking in Persons Watch List Report
1. The National Task Force on Combating Trafficking in
Human Beings, established in October 2002, held its 7th
meeting on November 3, 2004, under the chairmanship of
Ambassador Mr. Murat Ersavci, the D.G. of Consular and Social
Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The representatives participating in Task Force meetings may
vary according to the issues discussed. However,
representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of
Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Ministry of
Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture and Tourism,
Ministry of Transport, Human Rights Presidency of the Prime
Minister's Office, Prime Ministry State Planning
Organization, Directorate General of the Status of Women,
Directorate General of Social Services and Protection of
Children, Social Aid and Solidarity Fund of Prime Ministry,
Presidency of Telecommunications Board and Human Resources
Development Foundation attended the last meeting of the Task
The National Action Plan, prepared by the Task Force, set out
specific commitments for competent authorities on the fight
against TIP and assistance to TIP victims.
-- As a result of the consultations between Istanbul
Metropolitan Municipality and the Human Resources Development
Foundation (HRDF) under the guidance of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, a shelter in Istanbul was provided for the
victims of trafficking. A protocol on the establishment of
the shelter was signed between Istanbul Metropolitan
Municipality and HRDF during the NATO Summit, on June 29th,
2004, with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs
and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and United States
Secretary of State Colin Powell.
-- The new Penal Code that was adopted by the Turkish Grand
National Assembly on September 26th, 2004, places a special
emphasis on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. In this
respect, it introduces an important provision (Article 80)
bringing penalties 8 to 12 years imprisonment and fines
corresponding to a maximum period of ten thousand days
imprisonment for human traffickers. The new article 80 which
will become effective April 1st, 2005, also introduces safety
measures for legal entities involved in human trafficking.
-- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Belarus in
July 2004 and became effective as of September 24, 2004.
-- Turkey has initiated the procedure for membership in the
International Organization for Migration (IOM). The
Constitution of the IOM was positively evaluated in the
Commissions of the Parliament and forwarded to the Turkish
Grand National Assembly, which is expected to be ratified in
the last week of November 2004.
-- An agreement has been signed between the Gendarmerie and
HRDF to collaborate in anti-trafficking issues on June 14,
-- With the funding of Catholic Relief Services/Bulgaria,
HRDF conducted a survey in border cities, Haskovo and
Svelingrad to assess the status of trafficked girls and
women. In this connection, a regional meeting was held in
Istanbul on 16-17 September 2004, with the participation of
law enforcement agencies and NGOs from Romania, Moldova,
Bulgaria and Turkey.
-- A regional conference on &Migrants in Transit Countries:
Sharing Responsibility for Management and Protection8 was
organized by Council of Europe, under the chairmanship and
hosting of Turkey, on 30 September)1 October 2004 in
Istanbul. Human trafficking was one of the main issues
discussed in the said conference.
2. In the National Action Plan on Combating
Trafficking in Human Beings, establishment of a hotline for
the victims is mentioned. The Ministry has contacted with
the national Telecom Company and the National
Telecommunication Board, to this end.
On the other hand, establishment of a three-digit toll free
hotline for the victims is a complicated procedure while
servers have to be placed in every city in order to serve
In this regard, it is assessed that a more convenient and a
quick way is to establish a hotline starting with &08008
which will be free of charge for the caller. We are exerting
intensified efforts to establish this hotline and the Human
Resources Development Foundation has applied to the national
Telecom Company in order to get this line for itself. The
switchboard will be located at the said foundation and will
be available for 24 hours.
However, the charges have to be paid by the HRDF. Within
this framework, we are discussing this issue with IOM in
order to cover the expenses of the hotline in accordance with
the pilot project for assisting victims of trafficking in
Moreover, until this hotline is operational, the national
hotline for police (155) has been extended to be available
for the victims of trafficking in human beings. To this end,
Ministry of Interior will train and appoint personnel able to
speak Russian and English.
3. 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.
The statements made in the two panels organized by the
Directorate General of the Status of Woman, in 2002 and 2003,
were published as a book and distributed countrywide. The
book is enclosed herewith for the Embassy's information.
Anti-TIP information is going to be implemented with the
cooperation of IOM. In this regard, IOM has prepared a draft
project, which will be broadcasted in the Turkish National TV
Channel (TRT). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also in
contact with TRT in order to support this initiative.
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
4. The special questionnaires, sent to courts
nationwide, have been processed by General Directorate of
Judicial Records and Statistics in the Ministry of Justice.
The 41,000 forms of data on Article 201/b (human trafficking)
are being processed for 3 months periods. The data process
for July-August-September period hasn't been completed yet.
However, according to Article 201/b (human trafficking) of
the TPC the final processed data regarding the cases that
were transferred to the criminal courts and concluded within
the first half of the year 2004, is as follows: 12 lawsuits
were concluded. In two of these cases 7 accused persons were
confined to imprisonment or fined.
5. 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.
Fethiye Criminal Court issued verdicts (according to article
021/b of the TPC) for three defendants on May 12, 2004.
According to the verdict, three defendants have been confined
to imprisonment of 4 years, 10 months and 10 days and a fine
of 972,221,000 TL.
6. There are no government officials involved in
trafficking during the first half of the year 2004.
PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
7. The Government of 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 Trafficking8 which is implemented by IOM, in
cooperation with the European Commission (EC), European
Parliament (EP), selected EU member states, as well as
candidate countries and third countries bordering the
enlarged European Union under the European Commission
Directorate General Justice and Home Affairs, AGIS Program.
Turkey has made a contribution of 10,000 USD to this project.
Turkey has also contributed (5,000 Euro) in the budget of the
Budapest Process, aimed at preventing irregular migration and
trafficking in human beings with the participation of more
than 40 Governments.
8. The Turkish missions abroad are being informed on
the developments regarding TIP issue regularly. Moreover,
they are urged to cooperate with especially IOM and other
predominant international organizations in this matter.
Furthermore, representatives in the missions participate in
various seminars and meetings, which are organized by NGOs
and international organizations. For instance, Ambassador of
Turkey in Moldova has delivered a speech at the first round
of meetings titled &Trafficking As It Is8 organized by the
IOM office in Moldova, on October 26th, 2004.
On the other hand, Turkish Permanent Delegation to the UN
Office in Geneva has close contacts with the IOM Headquarters.
9. Since June 2004, 7 victims of trafficking (3
Ukrainian nationals have stayed on 1-3 November and
voluntarily returned to their countries of origin. As of
today, 2 Moldovan, 1 Iranian and 1 Azeri women are staying at
the shelter) have been hosted in the shelter designated for
the victims of trafficking. Human Resources Development
Foundation (HRDF) psychotherapist has been seeing the victims
since June 2004 to assess their situation and also support
those who need psychological assistance. The reports of the
psychotherapist are shared with IOM.
On the other hand, as of April 2004, HRDF took part in the
assistance of 25 victims of trafficking (9 Moldovan, 6
Romanian, 3 Azeri, 3 Ukrainian, 2 Russian, 1 Armenian and 1
Furthermore, assisted voluntary returns of 51 victims of
trafficking in human beings have been successfully conducted
in cooperation with IOM and Human Resources Development
Foundation (HRDF) up to November 2004. Among them there
were, 29 Moldovan, 10 Ukrainian, 2 from Azerbaijan, 1 from
Belarus, 6 Romanian, 1 Russian, 1 Uzbek and 1 from Kazakhstan.
10. Up to November 2004, 51 victims have been assisted
for voluntary return and 7 of the victims have been hosted in
the shelter. In total, 58 victims have been assisted.
Twenty-six humanitarian visas have been issued for the
victims in 2003-2004, 3 of which have been issued as of June
-- In 2004, 407 police officers in total, took in-service
training courses and attended seminars on professional
approach to the trafficked persons and combating human
trafficking. Eighty-three gendarmerie personnel participated
in the seminars which were organized together with IOM and
HRDF. Further 40 personnel will attend another seminar on
combating human trafficking in Adana on 23-26 November 2004.
One hundred thirty-nine judges and prosecutors participated
in training programs on TIP and further 25 judges and
prosecutors will attend another seminar on 2-5 December 2004,
organized in cooperation with HRDF.
-- The new Turkish Penal Code comprises further provisions on
protecting child rights as well as trafficking in human
beings. An important point in that regard is that the new
Code (Article 226) considers child pornography as a separate
offense and foresees specific penalties. The new Code also
foresees that persons who use children in manufacturing
products that include obscene visual, written or oral
elements shall be subjected to imprisonment of 5 to 10 years
and a fine.
-- A National Action Plan on the use of the Internet is also
formulated with the participation of all relevant public
institutions, along with the NGOs, to cover the years
2005-2015. The coordinator for the implementation of the
Action Plan was assigned to be the Directorate General of
Social Services and Child Protection Institute. The main
targets of the Plan were set as follows:
- To prepare necessary legislation for crimes committed
through Internet in order to protect children from all kinds
of sexual abuse, including pedophilia and child trade,
- To harmonize national legislation with the related
- To put review the existing legislation and when necessary
to draft new laws,
- To put into practice the provisions of Optional Protocol on
the sale of children, child prostitution and child
To attain these goals, tasks were assigned; institutions to
be cooperated with were ascertained.
-- In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed
between Turkish and Belarus Interior Ministers and became
effective as of September 2004, officials from the Belarus
Ministry of Interior made an official visit to Turkey on
25-31 October 2004. Information in TIP cases concerning two
countries has been exchanged and investigations have been
conducted in cooperation between competent authorities.
-- Within the initiative of a regional Anti-Trafficking
Project, the representatives of &People's Harmonious
Development Society8, an NGO which operates in Georgia and
an official from Georgian Ministry of Interior paid a study
visit to Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon and Rize on July 2004.
-- Moldovan authorities also paid a visit on 8-10 November
2004 to Ankara and Istanbul in order to enhance and discuss
the areas of cooperation between Turkey and Moldova in the
fight against trafficking in human beings.
END TEXT OF DIPNOTE.