Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Sheltered Victim Leads Police To
UNCLAS ANKARA 006692
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 TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: SHELTERED VICTIM LEADS POLICE TO
REF: 04 ANK 6309
1. (U) SUMMARY: Characterizing the events that led to the
arrest of at least one human trafficking network member in
Corum, Turkey as a "real success story for the shelter,"
Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF) Executive
Director Demet Gural told Emboff that an Azeri victim
resident at the Istanbul shelter led police to her
traffickers. The victim did so despite her initial fears
that she may be subjected to similar traumas at the hands of
police or returned to the traffickers from whom she had
escaped. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) "When she came to our shelter she was so frightened"
that she refused to provide any details about her traffickers
or the network of forced prostitution into which she was
sold, Gural said. In three weeks at the shelter, however, the
woman reportedly developed "a sense of security and
confidence in HRDF staff and police investigators",
ultimately volunteering to return to Corum and lead
investigators to her traffickers. According to IOM Ankara's
Countertrafficking Program Coordinator Meltem Ersoy, the
victim identified at least one of the traffickers and
provided written testimony to her police escorts. Police
arrested the trafficker and recovered the victim's passport.
IOM repatriated the victim on November 30.
3. (U) The case demonstrated a so-far effective system of
cooperation between law enforcement officials and victims'
assistance NGOs. Gural commented, "All through this process,
the police cooperation was excellent. Police in both Ankara
and Istanbul did whatever we asked them to do, including
safely escorting the victim for her last visit to Corum."
4. (U) Both Ersoy and Gural were quick to caution, however,
that luck, and not the still-evolving system for managing
victims (reftel), played a pivotal role in the success of the
operation. "It's not normal, but the woman was cooperative.
We were lucky again because the victim shared a common
language. We still need training for our shelter staff, we
still need funding to pay their salaries, we still need money
to run the hotline, we still need security for facilities,
and we still need to find a permanent location."