Viewing cable 05ANKARA4621
Title: TURKEY'S 157 TIP HELPLINE: IT SAVES LIVES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05ANKARA46212005-08-08 10:52:00 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 02 ANKARA 004621 
 
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: TURKEY'S 157 TIP HELPLINE:  IT SAVES LIVES 
 
REF: A. ANKARA 4276 
 
     ¶B. ANKARA 4316 
 
¶1.  Summary:  The USG's financing of a trafficking prevention 
campaign, put into effect by the International Office for 
Migration (IOM) working closely with the GOT, has 
demonstrated outstanding results from reclaimed lives to 
governmental cooperation.  Twenty-four victims of trafficking 
have been rescued as a direct result of the 157 Helpline. 
With stories now surfacing of the torture and rape of foreign 
and (now) Turkish women forced into prostitution, continuing 
the helpline is crucial.  End Summary. 
 
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MONEY WELL SPENT 
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¶2.  Allan Freedman, Strategic Consultant for IOM Ankara, 
reported that the Turkish counter-trafficking campaign 
launched in May 2005 is an enormous success, and, in fact, is 
the most successful campaign IOM has managed in the world. 
The campaign is funded by a $600,000 grant from the USG to 
IOM and the campaign has validated that the basic strategic 
framework and implementation of the 157 Helpline does work 
and that a multi-national, multi-media campaign can be 
successful with a coordinated effort. 
 
¶3.  Since May 23 the helpline has received 236 
trafficking-related calls.  One hundred and thirty of those 
calls were rescue requests (from victims themselves as well 
as from clients, friends or concerned citizens).  Twenty-four 
women have been rescued from modern slavery:  11 Ukrainians, 
ten Moldovans, two Turks and one Romanian.  Six women have 
been rescued in Antalya, five in Mersin, five in Istanbul, 
three in Ankara, two each in Kusadasi and Elazig and one in 
Sanliurfa.  Twelve suspected victims of trafficking have 
refused assistance and today the status of four is being 
determined.  The figures steadily rise. 
 
¶4.  In addition to saving lives, the trafficking prevention 
campaign has instilled goodwill in many GOT bureaus, says 
Marielle Sander-Lindstrom, IOM's Chief of Mission.  Now not 
only does the Foreigner's Department of the National Police 
deal with the issue, but the Public Order and Organized Crime 
Departments have joined in the fight by providing training to 
police emergency operators on how to recognize human 
trafficking victims.  The Ankara Bar Association has also 
trained 157 Operators on the rights of foreign women married 
to Turks. 
 
¶5.  When PolOff asked Anastacia, one of the 157 operators, 
how she handles the disturbing stories recounted to her day 
after day, she replied that one life saved is well worth 
everything she endures. 
 
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OUT OF THE HORROR 
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¶6.  Sander-Lindstrom related the unsettling story of a 
32-year-old Moldovan mother of three who came to Istanbul on 
the promise of a job in the tourism sector, sadly a very 
typical scenario.  The Moldovan found herself locked in a 
basement for six years forced to work as a sex slave serving 
dark-skinned men who spoke Turkish with heavy foreign 
accents.  (Note:  Sander-Lindstrom strongly feels that the 
men were of Arabic origin and not Kurdish.)  The Moldovan was 
given hormonal injections (what she called "serum") making 
her gain 20 kilos, which, she said, "made her more appealing 
to the men." 
 
¶7.  Five Ukrainians in Antalya were trapped in an underground 
hell hole, the entrance camouflaged with stones.  The women 
were tortured into prostitution by beatings and one woman had 
hot oil poured on her legs and genitals.  One of the victims 
called the helpline after she saw the number advertised on 
television.  Newspapers reported that the women were kept in 
an underground four square metered shelter with no bathing 
facilities and no circulation other than one fan.  The 
victims had been in the subterraneous torture chamber for ten 
months, having arrived in Antalya with (once again) the 
promise of employment.  Two of the Ukrainians are mother and 
daughter, both raped and tortured by their captors. 
 
¶8.  One of the other five Ukrainian victims was forced to 
marry her trafficker to allow her also-trafficked sister to 
return to the Ukraine.  What she did not know was that the 
trafficker, now her husband, had blackmailed her sister into 
recruiting girls for him in the Ukraine, threatening to hurt 
the married sister if she did not comply.  The traffickers 
were arrested and the woman and her fellow victims rescued 
after the gendarmerie set up an undercover sting operation at 
a restaurant where they randevued with clients. 
 
¶9.  Two Ukrainians and three Moldovans were rescued in Mersin 
the previous week.  Luckily one of the victims had seen a 
poster advertising the 157 Helpline in Trabzon (her point of 
entry) and convinced a client to help her call for help. 
(Note:  PolOffs had taken the posters to Trabzon (see 
reftels) and asked law enforcement and the public prosecutor 
to tack up the posters at all points of entry and other 
appropriate venues.)  The women were rescued by Turkish 
gendarmerie and are currently sheltered in Istanbul awaiting 
repatriation. 
 
¶10.  The myth that trafficking of women in Turkey only 
involves foreign women was debunked with the rescue of two 
Turks in Elazig.  Unfortunately, both refused to press 
charges against their traffickers or be interviewed by IOM. 
They have since disappeared. 
 
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THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG 
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¶11.  Summary:  Both Freedman and Sander-Lindstrom caution 
that the number of victims is bound to skyrocket as more 
victims are made aware of the 157 Helpline.  As each tragedy 
and atrocity is uncovered by the 157 Helpline, the absolute 
necessity to maintain its funding and support grows ever more 
clear.  End Summary. 
MCELDOWNEY