Search

 

Cablegate: Turkey's Tip Shelters Facing Critical Budget

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #2512/01 2840735
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110735Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3976
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 3397

UNCLAS ANKARA 002512

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/SE, G/TIP, USAID RUTH POJMAN, GLEN ROJERS, AND
SARAH BERRY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID AFIN ELAB PHUM SMIG SOCI TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY'S TIP SHELTERS FACING CRITICAL BUDGET
SHORTFALLS

REF: ANKARA 1893

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Budgetary short-falls threaten the
continued operation of Turkey's two dedicated
anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) shelters. While the
Istanbul shelter is at least secure through the end of 2007,
Ankara shelter administrators have told us that they have had
to divert resources to cover salaries in September and have
no money to pay salaries in October. The Ankara shelter
requires emergency support to operate until November when
EU-granted/IOM-administered project funds become available.
The IOM Chief of Mission in Ankara has sent a letter to
Ankara-based ambassadors requesting two months' worth of
assistance for the Ankara shelter, until those project funds
become available. The shelter's estimated operating expenses
are about $16,000 per month. Even a fraction of one month's
expenses would go a long way toward minimizing the disruption
of the shelter's operations. We urge the Department to
consider this request. END SUMMARY.

THE ANKARA TIP SHELTER: CONDITION CRITICAL
-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) We met on September 26 with Gulsen Ulker, President
of the Executive Board of the Foundation for Women's
Solidarity (FWS), which runs the Ankara shelter, and with
Zehra Tosun, the shelter coordinator. Ulker told us that the
FWS requires assistance to get through the next two months,
when they expect IOM/EU project funds to arrive. IOM concurs
with this dire assessment and has sent a letter to the
Embassies of the United States, Sweden, Norway, the
Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom
requesting help to cover the gap period (see paragraph 7).

3. (SBU) FWS opened the Ankara shelter in 2005. It has
signed protocols with the municipality of Ankara and IOM to
provide services to victims of human trafficking, including
shelter, legal counseling, and health and psychological
services. It takes from the Turkish National Police
trafficking victims rescued throughout Turkey. Since its
opening in late 2005, it has assisted 123 victims, primarily
of Moldovan and other former Soviet Union-origin. Like its
Istanbul-based counterpart, which provides the same services,
primarily to victims rescued in the Istanbul region, the FWS
shelter plays a critical role in Turkey's anti-TIP action
plan. FWS also participates in the GOT's TIP taskforce.
However, apart from unbilled hospital care from the Ministry
of Health, neither shelter receives consistent financial
support from the GOT -- only free rent from the municipality.

4. (SBU) According to FWS, operating expenses at the
shelter, excluding rent, are about $16,000 per month. This
includes the salaries of the coordinator, a psychologist, a
part-time medical doctor, one domestic worker, and the
services of four Russian and one Romanian/Moldovan
translator. The funding shortfall forced FWS to divert
resources to cover salaries in September, even with an
emergency allocation of $4,500 from IOM. IOM had already
re-directed $14,500 from a Swedish-supported regional TIP
project to help FWS get through the summer. With the $4,500
already allocated by IOM for October, FWS faces a $26,500
budget gap.

THE ISTANBUL SHELTER: FUTURE HAZY
----------------------------------

5. (SBU) The situation at the Istanbul shelter is only
marginally more stable. We met on September 17 with Turgut
Tokus, Chairman of the Board of the Human Resource
Development, which operates the Istanbul shelter. Since
opening in 2004, this shelter has provided services to 322
trafficking victims. While the Istanbul shelter also
receives free rent from the municipality, shelter
administrators have been informed that, as in Ankara, Prime
Ministry-administered World Bank funds for groups at social
risk will not be available again in 2008. They will press
the government, but right now all is uncertain for 2008
except the rent.

COMMENT: LACK OF CONSISTENT FUNDING FOR THE SHELTERS
UNDERMINES GOT'S ANTI-TIP PERFORMANCE
--------------------------------------------- --------

6. (SBU) The central government's failure to guarantee a
continual source of funding for these two shelters is
damaging to shelter employee morale. It is also a waste of
resources. The shelters perpetually struggle to locate the
necessary funds to allow them to continue to provide an

essential service that is critical to Turkey's anti-TIP
performance. We have repeatedly stressed to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, which heads the interagency TIP taskforce,
that a lack of guaranteed support for the TIP shelters in
Turkey undermines what has been an otherwise commendable
improvement in the GOT's counter-trafficking efforts. A
small U.S. contribution in support of the Ankara shelter at
this critical period in its operation will not/not contribute
to further GOT complacency. Rather, we believe that such a
contribution will shine a light on this perennial shortcoming
in the GOT's action plan and enhance our ability to persuade
the GOT of the need to rectify this situation.

TEXT OF THE LETTER FROM THE IOM CHIEF OF MISSION TO
AMBASSADOR WILSON (AS RECEIVED)
--------------------------------------------- ------

7. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT.

Dear Ambassador Ross Wilson,

I am writing to draw your attention to an urgent concern with
regard to the running costs of the Ankara shelter for
trafficked persons.

A ten-bed shelter opened in Ankara for safe accommodation for
trafficked persons in September 2005 and has been operational
since November 2005. The shelter is operated by the
Foundation for Women's Solidarity FWS an Ankara-based NGO who
has experience running a shelter for victims of domestic
violence. FWS was selected under an open and competitive
tender process. The facility is staffed by a coordinator,
shelter manager, social worker, psychologist, part-time
medical doctor, one domestic worker, and five cultural
mediators. All trafficked persons are provided legal
counseling and assistance free of charge. A doctor visits
the shelter twice a week and the Turkish government provides
free medical care for trafficked persons. The shelter
psychologist provides assistance for each case. Regular
social activities are provided for shelter beneficiaries,
including courses on computers, language, jewelry design,
painting and art.

IOM has been providing technical and financial support to the
Foundation for Women's Solidarity under its
counter-trafficking project since 2005. We will continue
supporting our NGO partner under the up-coming EC funded
counter-trafficking project. We are at the last stage of
finalization of the EC process and aiming to sign the
agreement October or November. Due to process, there is a
gap to cover the Ankara shelter expenses for two months.

We would be grateful if you could look at the possibilities
to cover the gap period through funding from your Embassy.

Sincerely yours,

(Signed)
Maurizio Busatti
Chief of Mission

END TEXT.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>