Viewing cable 03ANKARA1704
Title: DART: CURRENT PICTURE IN TURKEY FOR INTERNATIONAL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ANKARA17042003-03-18 15:05:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 001704 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB 
NSC FOR DWORKEN, MANN, KHALILZAD, QUANRUD AND BRYZA 
DEPT PASS USAID FOR NATSIOS; DCHA/OFDA FOR GARVELINK, 
MCCONNELL, MARX, AND FARNSWORTH; ANE/AA FOR CHAMBERLAIN; 
USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/OFDA, DCHA/FFP, DCHA/OTI, 
DCHA/DG, ANE/AA 
AND USAID/AA 
ROME FOR FODOG; GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH 
EUCOM FOR J3, J5, SOJ7 AND POLAD 
CENTCOM FOR J3, J5 AND POLAD 
PACOM FOR POLAD 
GENEVA FOR RMA 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/2013 
TAGS: AA EAID EFIN IZ MOPS PHUM PREF PREL TU WFP
SUBJECT: DART: CURRENT PICTURE IN TURKEY FOR INTERNATIONAL 
HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS TRANSITING SUPPLIES TO NORTHERN 
IRAQ 
 
REF: ANKARA 1380 
 
 
Classified by DART Information Officer Jeff Ladenson for 
Reasons 1.5(B) and (D). 
 
 
This cable was draft by Disaster Assistance Response Team 
(DART) Field Office/North and cleared by Embassy Ankara. 
 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) The current picture in Turkey for International 
Organizations, the United Nations, and international NGOs for 
cross-border humanitarian operations is still unclear.  To 
date, no international organization has received an official 
permit to transit humanitarian supplies through Turkey to 
northern Iraq.  The World Food Program (WFP), under the U.N. 
Development Program,s (UNDP) umbrella, does support school 
feeding programs in northern Iraq through Turkey.  However, 
from February 27 through March 7, 41 World Food Program (WFP) 
trucks traveling to Kurdish-controlled areas, carrying high 
protein biscuits, vegetable oil, and chickpeas, were unable 
to cross the Turkish-Iraqi border. 
 
 
¶2. (SBU) Movement by international NGOs to apply for transit 
permits, as well as registration status, with the Government 
of Turkey,s (GOT) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has been 
slow.  On March 10, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) 
submitted a transit and registration application to the MFA. 
Three other international NGOs (International Medical Corps, 
and Northwest Medical Team, and Save the Children/USA) are in 
Ankara preparing to submit applications to the MFA so that 
they can move personnel and supplies through Turkey to 
northern Iraq. End Summary 
 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
Current Picture in Turkey for Cross-Border International 
Humanitarian Operations 
-------------------------------------------- 
¶3. (SBU) The current picture in Turkey for cross-border 
international humanitarian organizations is as follows: 
A)    International NGOs have generally not been allowed 
access to northern Iraq from Turkey since 1996. 
B)    Only two international NGOs have current registration 
status with the GOT to operate in Turkey, Amnesty 
International and the International Catholic Migration 
Commission (ICMC).  Programs being implemented by these 
organizations are likely not in a position to support 
emergency humanitarian response contingency planning in 
northern Iraq. 
C)    The International Rescue Committee (IRC) submitted a 
transit and registration application to the MFA on March 10, 
¶2003.  The process is expected to take two to three weeks for 
a transit permit. 
D) Three NGOs (International Medical Corps (IMC), and 
Northwest Medical Team, and Save the Children/USA) are in 
Ankara to submit applications for  transit registration, so 
that they can move personnel and supplies through Turkey to 
northern Iraq.  Indications are that all four organizations 
will submit their applications to the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs (MFA) the week of March 10-15.  "Reftel A" 
D)    WFP is the only UN Agency considering cross-border 
operations.  WFP,s contingency plan calls for more than 
100,000 metric tons (MT) of emergency food assistance to 
arrive in Iraq via Turkey per month; however, WFP currently 
does not have registration status with the GOT and is working 
under UNDP,s umbrella at present.  WFP submitted their 
transit application on February 28 and is hoping to have an 
official transit license in the next two weeks. 
E)    IFRC will not participate in cross-border operations, 
but will assist Kizilay in humanitarian response in Turkey. 
F)    ICRC will have a liaison office in Ankara, but are not 
planning cross-border operations due to difficulties in 
acquiring permission from the GOT. 
 
 
¶4. (C) Kizilay and GOT are setting up a coordination office 
in Diyarbakir and an operation office in Silopi.  Kizilay and 
GOT representation in Diyarbakir will provide overall 
coordination and report back to Ankara.  The Silopi operation 
office will coordinate locally at the camp level and oversee 
the distribution of supplies and personnel as needed. 
Currently, there are no NGOs involved in either the operation 
center in Silopi or coordination office in Diyarbakir.  U.N. 
agencies based in Ankara are considering sending liaison 
officers to the coordination office in Diyarbakir, but will 
concentrate on needs in Turkey. 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
Constraints on Delivering Humanitarian Assistance Through 
Turkey 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
¶5. (C) Beginning February 27, the Silopi border crossing 
(Habur Gate) was closed to all trucks going to 
Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq, while trucks going to Mosul 
or further south were allowed to continue crossing the 
border.  Forty-one World Food Program (WFP) trucks traveling 
to Kurdish-controlled (KDP and PUK) areas in northern Iraq, 
carrying high protein biscuits, vegetable oil, and chickpeas, 
were unable to cross the Turkish-Iraqi border since February 
¶27.  The WFP food is for its program in Iraq, which supports 
school feeding and nutritional programs. 
 
 
¶6. (C) Subsequent information provided by WFP indicated that 
10 commercial trucks, including four WFP contracted vehicles, 
were able to cross the border on March 7.  However, at this 
time, all vehicles with papers indicating that they are 
transporting supplies to Kurdish-controlled areas of northern 
Iraq are being offloaded and searched before gaining entry 
through the Habur Gate.  Speculation in Silopi on March 4 was 
that the border was closed because Turkish Customs officials 
found a commercial truck, not associated with WFP, trying to 
bring weapons across the border. Note: The border closing 
coincided with the Turkish military taking up positions near 
the border crossing. EndNote Prior to February 27, more than 
100 trucks crossed the border at Habur Gate daily bound for 
Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq. 
 
 
------------------------------------ 
Role for the DART Field Office/North 
------------------------------------ 
¶7. (SBU)Key International Organizations and UN agencies, such 
as ICRC, UN OCHA, WFP, UN JLC, UNHCR, and UNICEF, as well as 
several international NGOs, are in country and provide 
valuable information on humanitarian contingency plans. 
Discussing and identifying humanitarian contingency options 
with these organizations remains important. 
¶8. (SBU) Indications from the MFA on the NGO transit and 
registration issue are encouraging.  Positive indications 
from the MFA in the near future regarding the submission of 
 transit applications,, such as IRC,s submission on March 
10, are critical to supporting international humanitarian 
operations in northern Iraq. 
PEARSON