Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Turkish Media Attention, May 15-31,
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 15 ANKARA 003055
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: TURKISH MEDIA ATTENTION, May 15-31,
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 in Radikal on Monday, May 16:
BEGIN TEXT: The Third Council of European Leaders'
Summit will draw a roadmap for the development of human
rights and democratic values in the 21st century.
There will be three sessions on: European Union and
European Values; Problems Facing European Societies;
and, European Architecture.
Three agreements on the fight against terrorism, money
laundering and cooperation in preventing human
trafficking will be opened to signature.
The agreement on prevention of human trafficking
foresees establishment of a monitoring group to protect
victims of human trafficking. END TEXT.
3. (U) Published by The Journal of Turkish Weekly on Monday,
TITLE: Another European Summit!
BEGIN TEXT: Normal readers of newspapers in Turkey and
in Turkish have every right to be perplexed about the
names of two organizations, namely the European Council
and the Council of Europe, as both are translated into
Turkish as "Avrupa Konseyi." The first is the highest
organ of the European Union, while the second is the
oldest pan-European organization, set up in 1949. "The
aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater
unity between its members for the purpose of
safeguarding and realizing the ideals and principles
which are their common heritage and facilitating their
economic and social progress," says the body.
In the course of its 56 years of existence, the Council
of Europe has brought together the governments and
parliaments of its member states to cooperate in an
ongoing program of dialogue and cooperation, setting
the norms of the societies of Europe for the betterment
of the lives of individual Europeans. Nearly 200
conventions, covering such areas as human rights,
minorities, local democracy and transfrontier
cooperation, culture, education, sports, media-legal
cooperation, the environment, the protection of flora
and fauna, social affairs and health.
Certainly, the greatest achievements of the Council of
Europe lie in the adoption and continuous improvement
of the European Convention for Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms. The European Court of Human
Rights (ECHR) has been the defender of the human rights
of every European against the abuse of their rights and
dignity by their governments.
The Council of Europe has provided all types of
assistance to the newly independent states after the
breakups of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, including
help in writing their constitutions, supervising their
elections and monitoring their human rights
performances. Today the number of member states of the
Council of Europe has reached 46, including such city-
states as San Marino, Liechtenstein, Andorra and
Monaco. The total population of Council of Europe
member countries is over 800 million.
Since the establishment of the European Economic
Community (EEC), the economic affairs mentioned in the
Statute of the Council of Europe have been assumed by
the EEC. With the start of political cooperation and
transformation of the EEC into the EU in many areas,
the work of the two European institutions began to
overlap. The overlap grew after the adoption of the
Paris Charter in 1990 and the establishment of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE). The functions of the Council of Europe and of
the OSCE have become even more overlapped in such areas
as development democracy and encouraging human rights
in Europe. The political role of the Council of Europe
must now be shared by more than two other European
Since the concept of security in Europe has radically
changed from military security to social and individual
security in Europe, the task of fighting against such
evils as terrorism, the trafficking drugs and human
beings and the migrations of peoples have come to
occupy the agendas of the Council of Europe, the EU,
the OSCE and, under its new doctrine, also that of
NATO. Today the EU has 25 members, which are also
members of the Council of Europe. The EU is much
richer than the Council of Europe. Even moreso with
its Mediterranean Program, the New Neighborhood Policy
and new EU enlargements, which will extend cooperation
to cover most of Europe. OSCE membership also extends
to cover even non-European Central Asian countries.
The EU has issued a human rights charger of its own,
even though it's not as effective as that of the
Council of Europe.
Although it's true that efforts are being made at every
level to secure cooperation and dialogue between
European organizations, it's not possible to prevent
overlap in many sensitive areas. The meeting of heads
of states and governments of the Council of Europe in
Warsaw this Monday and Tuesday for the institution's
third summit must, among other issues, address the
issue of overlapping competencies of these different
Unfortunately, this meeting is taking place under the
shadow of the forthcoming French referendum on the new
EU Constitutional Treaty. Doubts raised in France
about the future structure of the EU may make European
leaders less willing to make radical decisions at the
But the competencies of the three European
Organizations (the Council of Europe, EU and OSCE) must
be clearly delimited. Otherwise, intrusion in the work
of the Council of Europe, mostly by the EU, of which
now 25 and in the future many more countries will be
subjected to the directives of the European Council and
Commission, will eclipse and eventually supersede it.
Whatever the leaders may decide, the most important
role of the Council of Europe is to protect human
rights and basic freedoms, and to support and promote
European norms of democracy. These functions must
remain intact but must also be enhanced. We hope that
Turkey will play an active role at the summit to
enhance this old but still very effective organization.
4. (U) Published by Turks.US (www.turks.us) on Monday, May
TITLE: Turkish PM on xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism
BEGIN TEXT: Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has
indicated today (Monday) that xenophobia, racism, anti-
Semitism, pre-conceived notions against certain
religions and IDs, as well as followers of radical
religious ideas always exist. "These illnesses now
include enmity towards Islam," stressed Erdogan.
Erdogan is in Warsaw to attend the Council of Europe
(COE) Heads of State and Government Summit which
started at the historical Royal Castle in the Polish
"The principles on which the COE has been built will be
the ones who will guide us in finding solutions to
global problems. The standards we have come up in the
COE are the ones that can be looked upon as role model
for other regions of the world," told Erdogan.
"We were hoping to enjoy the positive signs of
globalization, just after the end of the Cold War and
until September 11 attacks took place. These incidents
who how deadly international terrorism is," said
According to Erdogan, terrorism today kills innocent
individuals and is taking place everywhere. "Terror
hits without making discrimination among regions,
religions and ethnicity. The fight against terrorism
requires strong international cooperation. Drug and
human trafficking, corruption and environment have
become global problems," commented Erdogan.
Prime Minister Erdogan expressed that, after September
11, certain circles began to define terrorism within
the boundaries of a certain religion and culture. "I
want to emphasize the point that terrorism has no
religion, culture, ethnicity or nationality. There is
no religion on earth that tolerates killing
individuals. September 11 resulted in wrong
evaluations. I am pleased to see that logic has won
the battle against terrorism and further gap between
civilizations avoided," remarked Erdogan.
"The COE brings together all European countries within
the framework of common democratic values and could be
the best platform to do away with pre-conceived notions
and intolerance," noted Erdogan.
Erdogan mentioned that the UN, UNESCO, OIC, OSCE and
the EU must work together to increase dialog between
cultures and religions. "We realize that Turkey, as a
country which spans on two continents (Asia and
Europe), has a special obligation to serve as a bridge
between cultures and religions and enhance dialog,"
Erdogan stated that, in the past two years,
comprehensive reforms have been made in Turkey in the
areas of personal freedoms and transparency. "We are
aware of the fact that there is still a lot that Turkey
must do. Our experiences show that, a country with a
predominantly Muslim population, can reach global
standards of democracy by staying loyal to its
traditions and moral values. The concepts of justice,
equality, accountability, consultations, respect for
individual and moral values are all concepts present in
hundreds of years of Turkish culture," added Erdogan.
Erdogan had a chance to talk to Azeri President Ilham
Aliyev, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Polish
President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Polish Premier Marek
Belka, South Cyprus Greek administration leader Tassos
Papadopoulos, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude
Juncker, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik,
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Michel Barnier,
Bulgarian Prime Minister Georgi Purvanov, COE
Parliamentary Council Chairman Rene Van Der Linden and
COE Secretary Terry Davis.
Turkish sources said that Erdogan did not meet the
Armenian President Robert Kocharian. END TEXT.
5. (U) Reported by the Anadolu Ajansi on Monday, May 16:
BEGIN TEXT: Col Ferhat Konya, DDG for Smuggling at the
Jandarma General Command Operation Department, noted
that about 3 million people around the world became
victims of human trafficking each year. He added, "90
percent of this figure consists of 15-26 year old women
and children who are subject to prostitution."
The "Fight Against Human Trafficking Seminar" organized
by the Jandarma General Command and the IOM Turkey
office, began at the Porto Bello Hotel in Antalya.
In his speech at the seminar, Jandarma Col. Konya said
that human trafficking was spreading around the world
because of reasons such as poverty, desire for a better
life, erosion of social values, political and economic
uncertainties and cheap manpower.
Konya noted that in particular human trafficking for
sexual exploitation was disrupting the life quality of
the victims and that it was a low-risk and high profit
Konya said, "About 3 million people around the world
each year become victims of human trafficking. 90
percent of them are women and children who are made
tools of prostitution. The remaining 10 percent are
consisting of man and children who are forced to work
at factories, land and households, or to beg. They
also include those whose organs are taken after being
deceived. Many women are deceived by offers of a job
or promises of a rich and nice life. Soon after, they
are being used and exploited as if they are an object."
Konya stressed that Turkey put great emphasis on the
fight against human trafficking and that it took
measures within this framework. He added that the
necessary judicial infrastructure was completed and
legal arrangements were adopted.
There will be papers presented at the seminars on
topics such as "Differences Between Human Trafficking
and Immigrant Smuggling," "Reasons Behind Human
Trafficking," "Human Trafficking Process," "Determining
Victims" and "Using Victims as Witnesses."
The seminar will last until May 18. Participants
include IOM Turkey office, the UNHCR Turkey office,
Scotland Yard officials, and representatives from the
MFA, Justice Ministry, TNP, Jandarma General Command
and the IKGV (HRDF). END TEXT.
6. (U) Published by Zaman Online (www.zaman.com) on Monday,
TITLE: Counter Terror, Laundering, and Human
Trafficking Rule 3rd EC Summit
BEGIN TEXT: Three separate agreements prepared
regarding the fight against terror, money laundering,
and human trafficking are seeking the signed approval
of member countries at the summit of the European
It is reported that nearly 20 members of the 46-member
EC have signed the said agreements.
Turkey is not among those countries that signed the
According to information an Anatolia News Agency
correspondent received from diplomatic sources, due to
a delay of an approval expected from the cabinet,
Turkey did not sign the agreements during this summit.
The same diplomatic sources noted that Turkey is
determined to sign these agreements within the shortest
These agreements envisage that member countries will
cooperate more effectively and work together in the
fight against terror, money laundering, and human
Meanwhile, another 21 countries have become parties for
the 14 protocols, which are seeking signatures with a
ceremony organized during the summit, prepared for the
European Court of Human Rights to work more
Turkey has signed this agreement already but has not
yet approved it. END TEXT.
7. (U) Reported by TurkishPress.com (www.turkishpress.com)
on Wednesday, May 18:
TITLE: C.O.E. Condemns Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism
BEGIN TEXT: Warsaw (AA)-Heads of state & government of
member-states to the Council of Europe (COE) condemned
Islamphobia and anti-Semitism, and called on
establishment of a mechanism to promote non-
A final declaration was released on the second day of
COE Third Summit of Heads of State & Government in
Polish capital Warsaw.
In the final declaration, leaders said, "we strongly
condemn all forms of intolerance and discrimination, in
particular those based on sex, race and religion,
including anti-Semitism and Islamphobia. We affirm our
determination to further develop, within the COE, rules
and effective machinery to prevent and eradicate them."
Islamphobia, which has been rising in Europe in the
aftermath of the September 11th events in the United
States, was brought onto agenda of the summit with
initiatives and effective diplomatic efforts of Turkey.
The expression of "combat against Islamphobia" was
included in a formal document of the COE for the first
During his speech yesterday (Monday), Turkish Prime
Minister Erdogan called on the COE to create
influential mechanisms against Islamphobia.
Inter-Cultural & Inter-Religious Dialogue -
Again with the support of Turkey, the COE said in the
final declaration, "we are resolved to ensure that our
diversity becomes a source of mutual enrichment, inter
alia, by fostering political, intercultural and inter-
The COE has decided to appoint a coordinator to this
Meanwhile, the COE expressed its resolution to create a
new framework for enhanced cooperation and interaction
with the European Union in areas of common concern, in
particular human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The COE also decided to secure improved practical
cooperation with the Organization of Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Combat Against Terrorism -
"The COE will continue to play an active role in
combating terrorism, which is a major threat to
democratic societies and is unjustifiable under any
circumstances and in any culture. It will also further
develop its activities in combating corruption,
organized crime, including money laundering and
financial crime, trafficking in human beings and
cybercrime, and the challenges attendant on scientific
and technical progress. We shall promote measures
consistent with our values to counter those threats,"
it said. END TEXT.
8. (U) Published by RTE News (www.rte.ie) on Saturday, May
TITLE: Wexford remembers Kurdish asylum seekers
BEGIN TEXT: A plaque honoring the memory of the eight
Kurdish asylum seekers who were found dead in a
container en route to Ireland was unveiled this
afternoon in Wexford.
The plaque has been erected close to the site at
Wexford Business Park where the bodies were discovered
nearly three and a half years ago.
Unknown to authorities, 13 people crammed into the back
of a container at the Belgium port of Zeebrugee in
December 2001, expecting to arrive in either Britain or
Ireland, where they were going to seek asylum.
Over the course of the 53-hour journey to Waterford and
on to Wexford, eight of them suffocated due to lack of
Six men and two young boys died, while four men and a
A gang involved in human trafficking was subsequently
sentenced in Turkey, some to eight years for
manslaughter and some for two years for conspiracy. END
9. (U) Reported on UTV (www.utvlive.com) on Saturday, May
BEGIN TEXT: A plaque to honour the memory of eight
Kurdish asylum seekers found dead in a container en
route to the Republic, has been unveiled in County
Wexford later today.
The plaque was erected close to the site at Wexford
Business Park, where the bodies were discovered in
Thirteen people, expecting to arrive in either Ireland
or the UK as asylum seekers, were crammed into the back
of a container at Zeebruge in Belgium.
However, over the course of the 53-hour journey, eight
people suffocated in the sealed container due to lack
Two young boys and six men died. Four men and a woman
A number of people involved in human trafficking were
later sentenced in Turkey.
Some of the survivors and relatives of those who died
attended the ceremony. END TEXT.
10. (U) Radikal carried the following report on Monday, May
TITLE: Cooperation against Women (Human) Trafficking
BEGIN TEXT: ISTANBUL - Dr. Hercules Moscoff, Human
Security Advisor to the Greek MFA, noted that
international organizations and the civic society must
cooperate in order to prevent human trafficking.
Speaking at the Prevention of Human Trafficking
Conference, organized by the Greek Medecins Du Monde
foundation and the International Blue Crescent
Humanitarian Assistance and Development Foundation,
Moscoff noted that regional cooperation was very
important in fighting against this (type of)
contemporary slavery. Moscoff stated that victims of
human trafficking mostly were subject to deportation as
if they were criminals and added, "Decision-makers,
international organizations and NGOs must cooperate in
order to prevent human trafficking. It is very hard to
fight against this crime by oneself."
Attorney Spyros Kloudas, a member of the Athens Bar,
noted that Greece adopted a law two-and-a-half years
ago. He stated that until then they were deporting
victims of human trafficking and thus making the most
important witness to prosecute the criminals disappear.
He said that with the new law they prevented the
deportation of these people and were providing free
Sultan Ozturk, member of the Turkey Human Trafficking
Sub-group at the UNHCR, said that according to the 1951
Convention, refugees were people who had a rightful
fear of oppression for being a member of a different
social group, race, religion and nationality. She
noted that these people leave their countries for this
reason and don't want to return. Ozturk noted that all
refugees have the right to have a safe haven. She said
that international protection means more than just
physical security and that refugees in a host-country
at least should enjoy equal rights and assistance with
the other foreigners that reside legitimately in the
country. END TEXT.
11. (U) Radikal published the following article on Sunday,
TITLE: There are 200 Networks involved in Human
Trafficking in Turkey
BEGIN TEXT: ISTANBUL - Muzaffer Baca, Vice Chairman of
the International Blue Crescent Humanitarian Assistance
and Development Foundation, claimed that women who were
brought to Turkey from abroad as a help for housework,
were used as slaves. Baca said, "There are 200
networks (gangs) in Turkey that are involved in human
The International conference on "Human Trafficking: An
Important Human Rights Violation," organized by the
Greek Medecins du Monde and the International Blue
Crescent Humanitarian Assistance and Development
Foundation and with the financial support of the EU
Commission in Turkey, began in Istanbul yesterday
Mehmet Seyan, Deputy Governor of Istanbul, said that
the conference was important for elevating public
awareness on the human trafficking issue. Seyman
referred to the UN Convention on the Fight Against
Crimes Crossing Borders and said, "Most common type of
human trafficking is sexual exploitation of women.
Unfortunately Turkey has been affected both as a
target, transit and also as a source country for human
trafficking. In Istanbul -- a place where human
trafficking is more widespread -- 39 incidents of human
trafficking occurred and 109 victims were saved, 61 of
the suspects in these incidents were arrested in 2004
Nikatas Kanakis, a member of the executive board of the
Medecins de Monde, said that the human trafficking
issue would become a worse problem in ten years.
Baca, on the other hand, said that according to a
study, there were 200 networks involved in human
trafficking in Turkey. He claimed that women who
wanted to get away from these networks were either
committing suicide or were found dead.
Aysen Onen, Vice President of the International Jurist
Women Federation, said that most of these women were
deceived by being offered a job or getting married and
thus they were made subject to human trafficking.
Muzaffer Baca, Vice Chairman of the International Blue
Crescent Assistance and Development Foundation, pointed
to the networks that were involved in women
trafficking. END TEXT.
12. (U) Published by Aksam on Sunday, May 22:
TITLE: There are 200 Networks involved in Human
BEGIN TEXT: The "Conference on Prevention of Human
Trafficking," organized by the financial contributions
of the EU Commission in Turkey brought into light a
bitter fact: It was determined that there are 200
gangs involved in human trafficking in Turkey.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mehmet
Seyan, Deputy Governor of Istanbul, said that the most
common type of human trafficking was sexual
exploitation of women.
He said that they mostly see women and immigrant
trafficking in Istanbul and that the police department
was conducting works on this issue.
He noted that the TNP was doing its best to protect the
victims of women trafficking and that it made sure that
such foreign women return to their countries safely.
Seyman said that in the last two years they saved 109
victims of women trafficking.
Nikatas Kanakis, a member of the executive board in
Greece of the Medecins de Monde, said that the human
trafficking issue was an important problem for the
region, including Turkey and Greece. END TEXT.
13. (U) Cumhuriyet published the following on Sunday, May
TITLE: The Only Way Out: Death
BEGIN TEXT: Istanbul News Service - The "Conference on
Prevention of Human Trafficking," organized with
financial contributions of the EU Commission in Turkey,
stressed that in particular women trafficking began to
spread after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
wars in the Gulf and the Balkans.
Mehmet Seyan, Deputy Governor of Istanbul, said that
the most common type of human trafficking was the
sexual exploitation of women. He noted that Turkey was
affected from this both as a destination, transit and
The "Conference on Prevention of Human Trafficking,"
organized by the Medecins de Monde and the Blue
Crescent Assistance and Development Foundation, began
at the Point Hotel yesterday.
Seyman pointed at the UN Convention on Organized Crime
Crossing Borders that went into effect in 2003 and that
within this framework it was important to prevent women
and child trafficking. Seyman said that Turkey was
affected both as a destination, transit and source
country and that they mostly see women and immigrant
trafficking in Istanbul. He said that in Istanbul 39
incidents occurred in 2004 and 2005 and those 109
victims were saved and 61 suspects were arrested. He
added that what was done officially was not enough and
that for scoring success, the public must get more
conscious on the human rights issue.
Nikatas Kanakis, a member of the executive board in
Greece of the Medecins de Monde, said that the human
trafficking issue was an important problem for the
region, including Turkey and Greece and predicted that
the impact of the problem would increase in a decade.
Muzaffer Baca, Vice Chairman of the International Blue
Crescent Assistance and Development Foundation, noted
that for many years each woman coming to Turkey was
regarded as a "Natasha," and that these women were
(actually) brought by a network. Baca said that women
were brought from these countries as household help and
were forced to serve as a slave. He noted that
according to a study, there were 200 gangs involved in
human trafficking in Turkey. He added that women, who
want to get rid of these networks, were either
committing suicide or were found dead. END TEXT.
14. (U) Published by Cumhuriyet on Monday, May 23:
TITLE: They Fall in Love with Those Who Sell Them
BEGIN TEXT: Istanbul News Service - On the last day of
the "Conference on Prevention of Human Trafficking,"
participants discussed support provided to the victims
of human trafficking and the importance of cooperation
among institutions on this issue.
The "Conference on Prevention of Human Trafficking"
that began at the Point Hotel the other day, ended
At the first panel discussion headed by attorney Aysen
Onen, Galma Jahic, an academician from the Istanbul
Bilgi University Faculty of Law, stressed the
importance of cooperation between the NGOs and the
state in preventing human trafficking. She gave
examples from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Jahic noted that
there were three NGOs in Bosnia working on this issue
and said, "cooperation was established over time
between these institutions and the police. Now when a
victim of human trafficking is captured, a
representative of the NGO, too, is present during their
Jahic stressed that women victims actually agree to be
sex slaves a result of the sort of treatment that they
were subject to and that the same thing might happen in
Turkey, so it should be recognized and resolved.
Alina Budeci, the Moldova representative of La Strada
Foundation said that they set up a toll-free hotline
that was open to international calls as well. She
noted that they have been serving 24 hours and seven
days a week through this line to the victims.
Budeci noted that there were some loopholes and listed
them as: "During the process to determine the identity
of the victim, the NGO rep and the police must work
together. The rehabilitation and identity
determination process for the victims must be at the
same time. One should adopt a method suitable to each
victim since each may have a peculiar situation."
Prof. Bonnie Miller, a psychotherapist and a social
worker, underlined that victims of human trafficking
were under severe trauma and depression. She said,
"Most of these women do not define themselves as
victims but as a person who made a mistake. They feel
attached to their traffickers and sometimes they even
fall in love with them. These women when captured in a
country should be given at least two or three days of
rest before they testify to the police. Their security
must be provided and they must be explained their
rights. They must be helped to get rid of the hatred
they feel toward their bodies." END TEXT.
15. (U) Published by Haaretz (www.haarez.com) on Thursday,
TITLE: Exploitation or deportation, that is the
question for Turkish workers
BEGIN TEXT: By Ruth Sinai. Six months ago, two human
rights organizations asked the High Court of Justice to
allow 800 Turkish workers employed here by a Turkish
company, Yilmazlar, to switch employers, alleging that
the firm had mistreated them. The workers petitioned
the court because the state had refused permission for
them to switch employers. But at the request of
Yilmazlar and the state, the hearing has been postponed
repeatedly, most recently to July 5. Meanwhile, the
workers must choose between staying at Yilmazlar and
being exploited, or quitting and risking deportation.
Yilmazlar's presence in Israel stems from Israel
Military Industries' contract to upgrade tanks for the
Turkish army. In exchange for this contract, Israel
promised Turkey a certain amount of business. Pursuant
to this promise, Yilmazlar is renting out Turkish
laborers to Israeli contractors here.
In their petition, the Hotline for Migrant Workers and
Kav La'Oved charged that Yilmazlar had failed to pay
its workers, and forced them to sign promissory notes
allowing the company to seize their assets in Turkey
should they quit. Therefore, they argued that the
Turks should be able to quit Yilmazlar, just as other
foreign workers are allowed to leave their employers.
But the state argued in response that the deal with
Yilmazlar is a unique contract stemming from the IMI
deal, one with implications for Israel's foreign
relations. Therefore, the workers should not be
allowed to switch employers.
The petition, which accused the state of abetting human
trafficking due to its stance, was filed on November
29, and the court scheduled a hearing on January 25.
But Yilmazlar's local attorney, Tal Benenson, requested
a postponement, saying he had been called up for
reserve duty. His service was later canceled, but the
hearing was postponed until February 16.
The hearing actually took place four days later, but it
proved a mere formality: The court decided that IMI
should be added to the petition as a respondent, and to
give it time to prepare its response, scheduled a new
hearing on April 5.
This time, the state requested a postponement, saying
its attorneys were overburdened by the flood of
petitions against the disengagement. The court agreed,
but requested that the delay be brief. However,
Benenson then said he was going abroad for a month, so
the hearing was pushed off until May 15.
That hearing was later postponed until July 15, and the
state already has already requested that it be
postponed again, on the grounds that attorney Orit
Koren will be in classes that day.
In her response to the postponement request, Hotline
attorney Naomi Levenkron argued that Yilmazlar recently
has moved to seize assets of workers who have quit, and
attached a copy of one of the promissory notes the
workers had signed. But Yilmazlar, whose name appears
nowhere on the note, insisted it has never asked
workers to sign such documents, and argued that the
note must be a private contract signed by the worker.
The Hotline added that some workers who quit have
already been deported, since upon resigning, they lost
their legal status here. Others have filed suit
Benenson rejected the organizations' accusations
against Yilmazlar, calling them "tendentious and
false." A good example, he said, is the promissory
note allowing the worker's assets to be seized, "which
has no connection whatsoever to Yilmazlar. The company
is under close supervision by seven agencies, including
the Turkish and Israeli Labor Ministries, and they
inspect it every day." END TEXT.
16. (U) Published by Milliyet on Friday, May 27:
TITLE: Hello, Help (Line) for Russian Women
BEGIN TEXT: Utku Cakirozer, Ankara. Small cards will
be given to women traveling to Turkey from the former
Soviet Union in order to avoid human trafficking. The
card gives information on a hotline for such women to
call in case of emergency.
The IOM and the GOT entered a joint project to prevent
women and children from the Ukraine, Moldova, Russia,
Romania, Georgia and Belarus to be forced into labor,
including prostitution. A "Hotline 157" was introduced
within this framework and it became operational last
week. The hotline can be called free of charge from
regular and cell phones and callers will be responded
in Turkish, Romanian, Russian and English.
A 4-page mini promotional card on the hotline will be
inserted into the passports of tourist women at the
Turkish border gates.
The card has a young woman figure and a blue bead on
it. END TEXT.
17. (U) Reported by adnkronosinternational (www.adnki.com)
on Friday, May 27:
TITLE: Italy: Police Break Up Chinese Migrant Ring
BEGIN TEXT: Rome, 27 May (AKI) - Italian police have
broken up an international Chinese crime ring involved in
people smuggling and kidnappings and have carried out
dozens of arrests in Italy and other areas of Europe.
The arrests were ordered by magistrates in the central
Italian city of Ancona and are targeting a mafia-style
organization. A general of the carabiniere's special
squad (ROS) said at least seventy people had been
arrested so far, and some of these had been picked up in
Greece, Turkey, France and Germany.
The members of the organization-mainly Chinese-are
accused of trafficking in human beings, kidnapping for
ransom and abetting illegal immigration.
"This complicated and Chinese-dominated structure took
hundreds of illegal Chinese immigrants to Italy and
Europe from their countries of origin through a series of
stops, particularly in Greece and Turkey" the ROS'
General Giampaolo Ganzer told Italian state radio.
The transfer of the Chinese migrants from their home
country to Italy or other European destinations sometimes
took as long as a year and inquiries have revealed that
during this time they were detained and intimidated with
psychological and physical violence.
"Dozens of victims were released and the heads of sweat-
shops arrested," Ganzer added.
There is a strong density of Chinese migrants in Tuscany
and also in the area around Naples - many of them are
involved in the garment industry.
The ROS operation was made easier by the recent
introduction of a European-wide arrest warrant. END
18. (U) Published by Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News in
English (www.agi.it) on Friday, May 27:
TITLE: Illegal Immigration: 70 Arrests in France,
Greece, Italy, Turk
BEGIN TEXT: (AGI) - Ancona, Italy, May 27 - Around
seventy people, the majority of whom Chinese, were
arrested by the Greek and Turkish police, in
collaboration with Italian Carabinieri. In Italy, in
different regions, in France and Greece the Carabinieri
are issuing arrest warrants against a Chinese mafia
organization involved in human trafficking, kidnappings
for extortion and illegal immigration from China. As
shown in the investigations, the duration of the
transfer of immigrants to their destination exceeded in
some cases a year, in which the immigrants were
segregated and intimidated with physical and
psychological violence. The special investigations
unit of the Carabinieri concluded the operation thanks
to European collaboration in the sector, helped by the
recent norm on the European arrest warrant. END TEXT.
19. (U) Published by the International Herald Tribune
Europe (www.iht.com) on Saturday, May 28
TITLE: Turkish lawmakers push to revise criminal code.
BEGIN TEXT: The Associated Press, Reuters, Saturday
May 28, 2005. Ankara. Opposition members of the
Turkish Parliament have condemned an amendment - one
among a set of changes to the country's new penal code
- that softens penalties for teaching unauthorized
courses on the Koran.
Turkey was rushing to complete the new code, already
delayed, by next Wednesday in line with a pledge to the
European Union, which it wants to join.
On Friday, 346 deputies in the 550-member chamber
approved the revamped code and only three voted against
The first major overhaul of the 79-year-old legislation
improves the rights of women and children and brings
higher human rights standards; it recognizes rape in
marriage and sexual harassment as crimes; and it
includes tougher measures against rape, pedophilia,
human trafficking and torture.
Ankara must have its revised penal code in force before
entry talks with the EU can start on Oct. 3.
The amendment in question will reduce the jail penalty
for offering courses in the Koran without official
permission to between three and 12 months, from three
to six years.
Turkey's secularists, who often accuse the governing
Justice and Development Party of trying to undermine
the country's strict separation of politics and
religion, fear the amendment will seriously weaken the
state's ability to monitor and control radical Islamist
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who leads the party,
shrugged off their complaints on Friday as being over-
The Justice and Development Party, which has its roots
in political Islam, inserted the last-minute amendment
into Turkey's new penal code late Thursday, setting off
a walkout by secularist opposition deputies.
"The real person responsible for this amendment is the
prime minister himself," Ali Topuz, a senior deputy in
the main opposition Republican People's Party, told
reporters in Parliament late Thursday.
Erdogan criticized the secularist establishment, saying
it should respect the wishes of Turkish society. The
prime minister is under pressure from his conservative
power base to ease curbs on religious symbols and
freedoms. END TEXT.
20. (U) Published by Tirana Shekulli on Sunday, May 29
TITLE: Albanian Police Break Up Migrant Trafficking
BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED TEXT: The Albanian police have
destroyed a trafficking network involving Kurds. The
network started in Istanbul, passed through Tirana,
Kosovo and Slovenia, with EU countries as the final
destination. The police operation followed a month of
tracking by the prosecution authorities, who in
cooperation with their colleagues from Turkey managed
to arrest the suspected organizers of this trafficking
network. Officials from the Serious Crimes Prosecution
[PKR] office arrested five individuals: two Turks, two
Albanians, and a Macedonian. The arrests of the five,
who are suspected of being involved in this network of
clandestine trafficking, followed the arrest of a group
of six Kurds by the police at the Rinas [Tirana]
airport. They intended to enter Albania, where they
were to be taken over by the arrested and stay in
temporary quarters while waiting to travel to Kosovo
and then to Slovenia.
After the arrest of the five persons charged with
clandestine trafficking, Dashnor Kaja, deputy director
general of the state police, explained the details of
the operation at a press conference. According to him,
it has been learned that the final destination of the
persons were EU countries, such as Italy, Germany, and
France. After the arrest of the suspects as organizers
of Kurds trafficking via the Istanbul route, yesterday
the police carried out several checks of apartments
where illegal immigrants are believed to have stayed.
According to police sources, they also suspect that
other persons might be involved in this trafficking
route of illegal immigrants, but as of late yesterday,
the number of arrested remained at five. Ali Ademi, a
Macedonian citizen of Albanian nationality; Jasin Ozel
(Yasin Ozel), and Ajhan Dogan (Ayhan Dogan), both of
Turkish citizenship and nationality; and Hysni Mali and
Tafil Selfo from Albania are charged with cooperating
with each other in carrying out the trafficking of
Kurds from Turkey to the West. During the operation of
two nights before, the police seized a car, a Mercedes
owned by Hysni Mali, with license plates TR 3548 J,
which is believed to have served for transporting
How Trafficking Was Discovered
At Friday noon, six persons of Turkish citizenship and
Kurdish nationality arrived at "Mother Teresa" airport
in Rinas. Knowing that Turkish and Albanian citizens
do not need visas, they Kurds had only invitations from
their friends in Albania. Of course, the invitations,
according to police sources, are suspected of being
forged. After they passed the Rinas border control and
customs without any problems, they headed to the
capital in a Mercedes with plates TR 4815 J, also owned
by Hysni Mali. They were dropped off near the center
of the capital, at "Zogu I Pare" boulevard. Tafil
Selfo picked them up at that point in order to take
them to his house, where the Kurds would be sheltered
until their departure for Kosovo. Just as the
clandestine [Kurds] thought they had succeeded and were
about to rest, agents from the Tirana police arrived at
Selfo's house. The uninvited guests arrested the owner
of the house, while they took the Kurds to the premises
of the Tirana police. There they were interrogated
individually by the officers of the Anti-trafficking
Section of the capital police. According to the
sources, the clandestine Kurds claimed that the persons
they had contacted were precisely the two Turks, Ozel
and Dogan, and the Albanian from Macedonia, Ali Ademi.
After taking them to the Tirana police station, the
anti-trafficking agents also carried out checks in
other apartments that they were suspicious about.
Four thousand euros was the cost for a Kurd to make his
European dream come true. This was what these
individuals from Turkey, or those of Kurdish
nationality, had to pay to travel from Istanbul to the
developed EU countries, passing through the Albanian
capital as the first obstacle. In this no-that-little
payment, the Albanian collaborators of the
aforementioned network had also their share, each being
paid for the work he carried out. The accommodators in
Kosovo and Slovenia, or the Turkish citizens who were
in charge of "recruiting" people who wanted to migrate
to the West also profited. Having in mind that Turkey
and Albania have no obstacles given their mutual visa
regime, as well as Kosovo, the Turks came quite easily
from their country to Albania. In this way, the
suspected members of this network had planned
everything in detail, not leaving much room for
thought. The accommodations, the shuttles from the
airport in Tirana and from Tirana to the Morina border
crossing, were guaranteed by their "friends" in Albania
and Kosovo. "We came to visit Albania," the Kurds were
said to have replied when they were caught by the
police at Selfo's apartment on "Bardhok Biba" street in
This version did not go well for the clandestine Kurds,
since the interrogation and re-interrogation of them
discovered that this was a well-organized trafficking
operation planned in some detail. Twenty thousand leks
per person was what "cab driver" Hysni Mali was paid to
transport the Kurds from Rinas to their place of
shelter. His knowledge of Turkish, according to the
Tirana police sources, facilitated communication with
the Kurds. Mali attempted to defend himself before the
investigators from the Anti-trafficking Section. He
has had previous detentions as a suspect involved in
trafficking of humans. Meanwhile, their transport from
Tirana to Pristina was to be carried out by various
buses of the Tirana-Pristina line; these buses leave
almost every hour of the day from Tirana toward Kosovo.
After arriving in Pristina and their stay there,
depending on the conditions, the clandestines were to
go to Slovenia via the land border of Kosovo, Serbia,
Bosnia, and finally arrive in Slovenia, where their
deployment to their final destinations was to be
carried out. From Kosovo to Slovenia, according to the
police sources, the clandestine immigrants would travel
by vehicle in exchange for various payments.
The accommodation for each person cost the trafficking
network from 1,000-5,000 new leks. In the house
adapted to a hotel on "Bardhok Biba" street, the
immigrants were to stay from two to four days. This
depended on the number of persons intending to go to
Kosovo. "I simply looked for people to lodge from the
street," said Tafil Selfo, arrested by the police and a
suspected member of the aforementioned group of
clandestine trafficking. The landlord had managed to
put four-five beds in a big room in attempting to
maximize his profit. It was where the Kurds stayed, in
order to later take off for the West. END FBIS
21. (U) Published by Chisinau Basapress on Thursday, May
TITLE: Suspected Turkish Human Trafficker Detained in
BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED TEXT: Chisinau, 26 May: The
Moldovan police have arrested a Turkish national on
charges of trafficking young Moldovan women to Turkey
and Cyprus, the press secretary at the Chisinau police
commissariat, Alla Meleca, told the Basapress news
According to her, Murat Saglam, 29, was detained at the
Chisinau airport while seeing one of the trafficking
A criminal probe has found out that since the beginning
of this year Murat Saglam has sold six Moldovan females
aged 19-26. In addition, he helped another nine girls
to obtain documents to travel to Turkey and Cyprus.
The Turkish national recruited his victims in Chisinau
bars. He promised to help them find jobs as waitresses
or dancers in Turkey and Cyprus.
Saglam made deals with potential purchasers through
Internet, receiving between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars for
each sexual slave.
If found guilty, Murat Saglam faces from 10 to 20 years
Since the beginning of 2005, the police have uncovered
102 cases of human trafficking. END FBIS TRANSLATED
22. (U) Broadcast on Rome RAI Radio Uno Network on Friday,
BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED TEXT: Rome Radio Uno Network in
Italian at 0600 GMT on 27 May reports Italy's military
police carabinieri are carrying out dozens of arrests
in several Italian regions, Greece and Turkey.
The arrests-ordered by a judge in the central Italian
city of Ancona-are targeting a suspected Chinese-
dominated "mafia-like organization" dedicated to
smuggling human beings, and kidnappings.
So far, 70 have been arrested, according to a
"In total, 70 people have been arrested. This morning
a series of actions promoted by Italy are under way,
while dozens of people have already been arrested in
Greece and Turkey," Gen. Giampaolo Ganzer, from the
carabinieri's Special Operations Department told
Italian Rai radio:
"This complicated and Chinese-dominated multi-ethnic
structure took hundreds of Chinese illegal immigrants
to Italy and Europe from the country of origin via a
series of junctures, particularly in Greece and
Turkey," he added.
Gen. Ganzer also said that many illegal immigrants were
reduced into slavery in Chinese illegal workshops in
"Some people are accused of protracted kidnappings,
aiding and abetting illegal immigration and, basically,
slavery, because many of the victims which did not
manage to pay completely the ransom imposed by the
organization were then locked up in illegal workshops
which we have discovered in Italy, particularly in
Prato and Florence."
"Dozens of victims were freed and the heads of the
workshops arrested." END FBIS TRANSLATED TEXT.