Viewing cable 04ANKARA5750
Title: TIP IN TURKEY: MEDIA ATTENTION, September 2004

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04ANKARA57502004-10-07 10:02:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ANKARA 005750 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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: MEDIA ATTENTION, September 2004 
 
 
¶1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public 
information campaigns, post provides as examples the 
following TIP press reports.  Text of articles originally 
published in Turkish is provided through unofficial local 
FSN translation. 
 
¶2. (U) Published September 28, 2004 by the Anatolian News 
Agency: 
 
     TITLE: Aksu: International Community Comprehends 
     Importance Of Fight Against Transborder Crimes 
 
     BEGIN TEXT: ISTANBUL - Turkish Interior Minister 
     Abdulkadir Aksu said that international community 
     comprehended the importance of fight against 
     "transborder crimes". 
 
     The conference "International Initiative Against 
     Smuggling of Drugs and Money Laundering," organized by 
     Turkish Police Department and Drug Enforcement Agency 
     (DEA) of the United States, started today at the 
     Istanbul Hilton Hotel. 
 
     Making opening remarks of the conference, minister Aksu 
     said that Turkey hosted a conference on fight against 
     drug smuggling for the second time in the last two 
     months. 
 
     Stating that those who committed crimes beyond borders 
     use high technology, Aksu said that they noticed that 
     crime organizations use more sophisticated methods as 
     technology progress. Aksu stressed that Turkey has been 
     exerting efforts to fight against drug smuggling for 
     years by using the most advanced technology. 
 
     Stating that Turkish government aimed to strengthen 
     infrastructure and institutionalize the fight against 
     crimes, he noted that they expected security forces to 
     be more professional in fight against drug trafficking. 
 
     "Crime is a universal concept. It does not have 
     nationality, religion, race or border. Fight against 
     drug smuggling should also be universal. Success 
     achieved in this area should be perceived as a success 
     of international community. Countries should support 
     each other," he stressed. 
 
     Aksu said that Turkish government supported 
     coordination between Turkish security department and 
     departments of other countries, noting that they 
     expected other countries to assume a similar approach. 
 
     Noting that Turkey's International Academy against 
     Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) was established with 
     the cooperation of the UN, Aksu said that Turkey shared 
     its information and experience in fight against illicit 
     drug trafficking and organized crimes with regional 
     countries through TADOC. 
 
     Aksu said that Turkish police confiscated 5 tons of 
     heroin in 2003 and 6.8 tons of heroin in 2004, noting 
     that the increase in the amount of heroin seized by the 
     police demonstrates efforts deployed by Turkish 
     security forces and high tech techniques used against 
     drug smugglers. 
 
     -CONFERENCE- 
 
     Nearly 100 people from Afghanistan, Armenia, 
     Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, India, 
     Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, 
     Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Britain, the 
     United States and Uzbekistan are attending the 
     conference. (E-ULG) 28.09.2004 END TEXT. 
 
¶3. (U) Published September 26, 2004 by Bloomberg News 
Agency: 
 
     TITLE: Turkey Approves Penal Code in Step Towards EU 
     Talks (Update1) 
 
     BEGIN TEXT: Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey's parliament 
     passed a revamped penal code that widens freedom of 
     speech and stiffens punishment for torture, a step the 
     European Commission said was needed to win membership 
     talks with the European Union. 
 
 
     The code, delayed amid a fight between lawmakers over a 
     proposed ban on adultery, means the commission can 
     recommend on Oct. 6 that talks with Turkey start. The 
     EU will make the final decision at a summit in 
     December. 
 
     ``The penal code is of the greatest importance, because 
     it strengthens the rights of our citizens and the 
     nation's case for becoming a member of the European 
     Union,'' Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told parliament 
     after the law was approved. 
 
     Turkey, whose population of 70 million is almost 100 
     percent Muslim, says the start of membership talks will 
     draw in foreign investment and help it tackle $208 
     billion in debt, equivalent to about 70 percent of its 
     economic output. 
 
     The new code was approved by a show of hands, 
     parliament speaker Bulent Arinc said in televised 
     comments to the 550-seat assembly. Prime Minister Recep 
     Tayyip Erdogan three days ago called on lawmakers to 
     complete the legislation after a meeting in Brussels 
     with EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen. 
 
     Verheugen declared there were ``no more obstacles'' to 
     Turkey starting membership talks after Erdogan promised 
     to press ahead with the penal code and drop plans to 
     outlaw extramarital affairs, a measure the EU said 
     didn't meet its standards for human rights and 
     individual freedoms. 
 
     President Ahmet Necdet Sezer must approve the 
     legislation before it becomes law. 
 
     Heavier Sentences 
 
     The penal code introduces heavier sentences for torture 
     and life imprisonment for ``honor killings,'' a feudal 
     system of punishment for women considered to have 
     blackened the name of their families through unvirtuous 
     acts. It also reduces restrictions on freedom of 
     speech, including the criticism of state institutions. 
 
     The law will bring longer jail terms for drug smuggling 
     and human trafficking. It also strengthens equality of 
     the sexes, increases jail terms for child molesting and 
     will make polluting the environment a crime punishable 
     by imprisonment. 
 
     Politicians including British Prime Minister Tony Blair 
     say the EU mustn't turn its back on a nation that's 
     both Muslim and democratic. Germany's main opposition 
     Christian Democrats oppose Turkey's membership, saying 
     the nation isn't sufficiently European in terms of 
     culture, history and geography. 
 
     Turkey, which borders Iraq, Iran and Syria, became a 
     candidate for membership of the EU in 1999. EU leaders 
     including French President Jacques Chirac say it may be 
     15 years before Turkey joins the 25-nation bloc. 
 
     Law Critics 
 
     The European Union has asked Turkey to reform its 
     judicial system, which it says is under-funded and 
     often based on outdated legislation. The original penal 
     code was copied from Benito Mussolini's Italy in 1926. 
 
     Critics of the new penal code say it doesn't do enough 
     to strengthen women's rights and leaves some curbs on 
     freedom of expression, including measures restricting 
     press freedom. It also punishes sex between minors with 
     jail sentences and doesn't mention homosexuality at 
     all, critics say. 
 
     The penal code will enter force on April 1, barring a 
     few articles on illegal housing and the environment, 
     which will become law either earlier or later than 
     April. 
 
     The EU and the U.S. praised Turkey after it scaled back 
     the army's role in political life, expanded cultural 
     rights for its 12 million Kurds and backed an abortive 
     United Nations plan to reunite Cyprus. 
     Opposition Within EU 
 
     Turkey faces pockets of opposition to its membership in 
     the EU, which is struggling with the costs of admitting 
     10 countries including seven ex-Soviet satellites this 
     year. Once the talks are over, any one country could 
     still vote to keep Turkey out. 
 
     Due to Turkey's higher birthrate, Turkey would end up 
     with 20 percent of the votes on EU laws by 2025, ahead 
     of Germany's 14 percent and France's 12 percent, 
     Jacques Toubon, a leader of the conservative group in 
     the European Parliament, said this week. 
 
     About 71 percent of Turks support EU membership, a 
     higher proportion of the population than in candidates 
     Bulgaria and Romania, the Eurobarometer survey, a 
     regular poll of public opinion published by the 
     European Commission, said in May. 
 
     To contact the reporters on this story: 
     Mark Bentley in Ankara at mbentley3@bloomberg.net. 
 
     To contact the editor responsible for this story: 
     Catherine Hickley at chickley@bloomberg.net. END TEXT. 
 
¶4. (U) Published September 24, 2004 by the Anatolian News 
Agency: 
 
     TITLE: Trafficking, Calls On Nations To Do More 
 
     BEGIN TEXT: HELSINKI, Sept 24 (AFP) - An OSCE-sponsored 
     conference on improving human rights protection for 
     trafficking victims concluded here Friday by calling on 
     governments around the world to do more to stop the 
     smuggling and exploitation of people. 
 
     "All countries can do more. It's different from country 
     to country. Every country has its own specific 
     situation, but there is not one country that could not 
     do more," said Christian Strohal, director of the 
     Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe 
     (OSCE)'s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human 
     Rights. 
 
     According to OSCE estimates, hundreds of thousands of 
     people, most of them women and girls, are trafficked in 
     Europe every year in what is a billion-euro (dollar) 
     illegal industry. 
 
     "It is important that we realize that the reality of 
     trafficking changes constantly and that we react to 
     it," said Madeleine Rees, Head of the UN High 
     Commissioner for Human Rights' office in Bosnia 
     Herzegovina. 
 
     The two-day meeting, which was hosted by the Finnish 
     government, concluded on Friday with a list of 
     recommendations to OSCE member countries. 
 
     The 55 states should respect their obligations to 
     protect the human rights of trafficking victims and 
     should broaden the cooperation between authorities, 
     organizations and civil society to better assist them, 
     the organization said. 
 
     "We need the necessary legislation, we need the 
     necessary capacity, and law enforcement agencies have 
     to realize that they are dealing with a victim and not 
     a criminal," Strohal told AFP in an interview. 
 
     During the meeting, representatives of governments and 
     international organizations highlighted the need to 
     better identify trafficking victims and to offer those 
     victims more protection and easier social integration. 
     In addition, gender equality and the fight against 
     prejudice needed to be strengthened around the world, 
     they said. 
 
     In short, countries need to create a social safety net 
     for the victims, as well as witness protection programs 
     for victims who choose to testify against the 
     traffickers, Strohal said. 
     "What we have learned here is that there is no 
     contradiction between law enforcement and protecting 
     the human rights of victims of trafficking. On the 
     contrary, they strengthen each other," said Johanna 
     Suurpaeae, director of human rights affairs at the 
     Finnish foreign ministry. 
 
     Only through protecting the victims is it possible to 
     produce witnesses willing to testify against the 
     traffickers, Baerbel Uhl, an OSCE expert on the issue, 
     said. 
 
     The conference, which gathered 150 international 
     experts and national representatives, was part of an 
     ongoing OSCE campaign to strengthen the protection of 
     trafficking victims. END TEXT. 
¶5. (U) Published September 24, 2004 by the Associated Press: 
 
     TITLE: Western Balkan countries strengthen 
     institutional cooperation in fighting organized crime 
 
     BEGIN TEXT: TIRANA, Albania - Western Balkan countries 
     agreed Friday to step up and institutionalize their 
     cooperation in the fight against organized crime and 
     corruption. 
 
     A resolution adopted at the one-day meeting also 
     attended by Western delegates committed the seven 
     participating Balkan governments "to facilitate 
     operational cooperation and data coordination" and to 
     promote effective cooperation between police, customs, 
     judges and prosecutors in the countries concerned. 
 
     Albania's Justice Minister Fatmir Xhafaj, the 
     conference host, said there was broad agreement that 
     "organized crime has a transnational character" and the 
     fight against it calls for bilateral and multilateral 
     cooperation. 
 
     Justice ministers and other officials from Albania, 
     Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, 
     Bulgaria and Romania were joined by senior officials 
     from Italy, Greece, Austria, Turkey and delegates from 
     the United Nations mission in Kosovo, the Council of 
     Europe and the European Union. 
 
     Participants agreed to reinforce cooperation and 
     develop strategies to better combat organized crime and 
     corruption, including adoption of laws on the 
     extradition of suspects and confiscation of their 
     property, improvement of prison conditions and 
     cooperation with EU bodies, the resolution said. 
 
     The resolution did not specify how exactly the regional 
     system of crime prevention would work or give a 
     timetable for it to be institutionalized. 
 
     Lutz Salzmann, head of the Delegation of the European 
     Commission in Tirana, said the conference was another 
     step in the Balkans nations' fight against organized 
     crime and corruption _ "two persistent phenomena that 
     so much hamper not just their process of integration 
     into the EU, but their overall social and economic 
     development and their own citizens' well-being." 
 
     Speaking of a new regional partnership to fight 
     organized crime and corruption, he said the western 
     Balkan countries showed "their political commitment to 
     eradicate these extremely harmful phenomena from their 
     societies and economies." 
 
     The Balkans have seen a rise in organized crime, 
     including human, weapons and drug trafficking, 
     resulting from recent wars, porous borders and a lack 
     of law and order during the post-communist period. END 
     TEXT. 
 
EDELMAN