Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Media Attention, December 1-14, 2004

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries, national and
international media sources published the following news
articles about TIP in Turkey. Text of articles originally
published in Turkish is provided through unofficial local
FSN translation.

2. (U) Published December 12, 2004 by the Telegraph,
Calcutta, India:

TITLE: Tight watch on human export

BEGIN TEXT: Chandigarh, Dec. 12: In the 1970s, Punjab
exported wheat. In the eighties, it was terror. The
nineties saw the emergence of foot-tapping Punjabi pop
music that caught the ears of the world. Now it is the
turn of human trafficking.

In an incident that has surfaced recently, Amrik Singh,
a resident of Nandalo village in Hoshiarpur, was found
dead in a container in which he was being transported
from Syria to Turkey. Amrik had booked his ticket to a
better future through an agent by paying Rs 4 lakh. The
agent's name is being kept secret for investigation

Amrik's father, Darshan Singh, who is the sarpanch of
Nandalo, said his son had left for Jordan on August 17.
"We received regular phone calls from him till August
20. On October 18, we were informed by his friend that
Amrik was dead. I am told that Amrik died because of
unbearable heat and suffocation," he said.

According to Darshan, Amrik was shoved into a container
with 23 Pakistanis and 10 Indians.

Police sources said Amrik's group travelled from Jordan
to Iraq on foot. From Iraq, they were taken to Syria
and then put in a container marked for Turkey.

They had nothing to eat.

Taking a serious view of dubious travel agents
continuing to fleece youths by promising them jobs
abroad through wrong means and by forging documents,
the Union home ministry has now directed the Punjab
government and the Chandigarh administration to keep a
strict watch on 14 agents operating in the region.

The agents, some of whom are women, belong to
Chandigarh, Khanna, Hoshiarpur, Sangrur and Nawanshahr.

"The abduction of Sukhdev, Antaryami and Tilak Raj has
finally forced the government to act. All three were
sent abroad by dubious travel agents. While new agents
and sub-agents are sprouting every day, the fact that
the Centre has realised the gravity of the problem by
identifying at least some of them signifies that the
problem of human trafficking has to be dealt with
sternly," a senior officer said.

Enquiries revealed that apart from the abductions in
Iraq, the death of two truck drivers also played a
major role in identifying agents who are believed to be
operating in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and
Himachal Pradesh.

Another revelation which has alarmed the Centre
concerns a case in which at least 106 people were sent
abroad on forged papers by travel agents in alleged
connivance with the city's protector of immigrants. The
CBI has thrice raided the office of the protector of
immigrants in the recent past. Police sources said six
travel agents and two employees of the office have been
booked. END TEXT.

3. (U) Published December 11, 2004 by Greek International
English-language Kathermini:

Three drown, one missing off Samos

BEGIN TEXT: Samos coast guards yesterday recovered the
bodies of three Afghan illegal immigrants who drowned
off the island after their boat sank before dawn.
Another 13 migrants believed to have been on the same
wooden boat that had set sail from Turkey were
detained. Among them is a Turk thought to be the
group's smuggler. One more migrant was yesterday still
missing. The coast guard was alerted to the sinking by
two passengers who swam to shore. END TEXT.

4. (U) Published December 7, 2004 by Reuters News:

TITLE: PAKISTAN: Civil Society Role Central to combat
human trafficking

BEGIN TEXT: LAHORE, 6 December (IRIN) - Given the lack
of economic and human resources in Pakistan, civil
society should shoulder the responsibility of reducing
human trafficking by developing skills and employment
opportunities in general, and for victims in
particular, anti-trafficking activists say.

"Combating human trafficking in Pakistan should be
located within the larger context of underlying social
and economic problems and lower status of women," Abid
Gulzar, acting national executive secretary of the Rome-
based international charity, Caritas Pakistan, told
IRIN in the eastern city of Lahore, capital of Punjab

Some 310 cases have been registered under the anti-
trafficking law in Lahore alone since it was
promulgated in 2002, according to the Lahore chapter of
country's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

"At present, traffickers are employing all three routes
of land, air and sea," Tehseen Anwar Ali, deputy
director at FIA Lahore, told the delegates at a seminar
arranged by the International Organization for
Migration (IOM).

The IOM is holding a series of seminars across the
country under its ongoing project, entitled:
"Development of a Conceptual Framework and Strategies
to Combat Trafficking" to help develop a national
strategy to combat human trafficking.

The two-year programme, comprising stakeholders from
the governmental, intergovernmental and nongovernmental
sectors, is funded by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA).

Ali noted that the trafficking in persons was being
carried out in collaboration with some corrupt
officials, primarily through airports and on the
southern coastline between Karachi and Gwadar.

Anti-trafficking activists stressed the need to address
the root causes of trafficking through larger anti-
poverty and anti-corruption frameworks, both at the
national and global level.

Direct support should be given to children at risk and
their families through income generating activities,
Gulzar maintained. Educational and vocational training
opportunities for victims - especially girls who are
often discriminated against in society due to their
inferior status - should be prioritised as well, she

"We need to run a massive awareness raising campaign at
all levels - from the village community to the shop
floor, involving both electronic and print media -
aimed at preventing people falling into the hands of
traffickers," Gulzar said.

The country's migration and anti-trafficking
authorities also stressed the need to enhance regional
cooperation with India, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and
Bangladesh on trafficking issues.

"Steps should be taken for elimination of trafficking
through better migration management in the region and
the protection of migrant rights as mentioned in the
'Bangkok declaration of 1999'," Rashid Ahmed Mughal,
director at Bureau of Emigration and Overseas
Employment, said. Bangkok Declaration on Irregular
Migration adopted in 1999 gives particular attention to
regional cooperation on irregular/undocumented
Meanwhile, anti-trafficking activists urge law
enforcement agencies, legislators, litigators,
religious leaders and educators to take active part in
curbing tragic enslavement of millions of innocent
people, particularly women and children. END TEXT.

5. (U) Published December 6 by Russian news service

TITLE: ANKARA. (Interfax) - Russia and Turkey have
promised to boost joint efforts aimed at countering

BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED TEXT: "The parties confirm their
readiness to jointly combat terrorism, the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal migration,
trafficking in humans and organized crime in compliance
with existing bilateral and multilateral international
treaties and agreements," reads a joint declaration
signed by the Russian and Turkish presidents on Monday.

"[Russia and Turkey] condemn terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations and underscore the need to expand
joint measures to combat it," the document reads. END

[Description of Source: Moscow Interfax -- non-
government information agency known for its aggressive
reporting, extensive economic coverage, and good
coverage of Russia's regions]

© Scoop Media

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