INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Terrorist Finance: Usg Team Visits Turkey

Published: Tue 2 Dec 2003 09:31 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ANKARA 007377
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
DEPARTMENT FOR EB/ESC (GGLASS), S/CT (TNAVRATIL), EUR/SE,
IO/PHO (APEREZ)
NSC FOR GPETERS
TREASURY FOR GENERAL COUNSEL (DAUFHAUSER), OFAC DIRECTOR
(RNEWCOMB), THE TREASURY TASK FORCE ON TERRORIST FINANCING
JUSTICE FOR AFMLS (SHAYDEN)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ETTC PTER TU
SUBJECT: TERRORIST FINANCE: USG TEAM VISITS TURKEY
REF: A. 02 ANKARA 8851
B. ANKARA 126
C. ANKARA 5365
1. (SBU) Summary: On November 17-19, a three-person team
from DOS and DOJ met in Ankara with GOT officials to assess
the status of Turkey,s efforts to combat terrorist
financing, and determine what assistance USG should offer.
GOT officials were generally receptive, and the USG team is
likely to recommend Turkey tighten its legal framework
regarding money laundering and terrorist financing, and to
recommend USG assistance in the judicial/prosecutorial and
regulatory areas. End Summary.
2. (SBU) The USG team included officials from State/INL,
State/S/CT, and DOJ/AFMLS, and met with officials from the
Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance and Foreign Affairs,
the PM,s General Directorate for Charities, the Ankara State
Security Court, the British Embassy, and the European
Commission. The team was conducting further interviews in
Istanbul on November 20 when the latest bombings compelled
suspension of its efforts. Most of the team,s interlocutors
were highly cooperative and very interested.
3. (SBU) By year end, the team intends to produce a report
detailing its findings and recommendations. Though
preliminary, the following findings and recommendations are
likely:
-- The tools currently available under Turkish law for
locating, freezing and confiscating terrorist assets are
cumbersome, limited and not particularly effective (Reftels).
Turkey needs to revise its legislation to explicitly
criminalize the financing of terrorism, strengthen its
anti-money laundering legislation, resolve jurisdictional
disputes between courts, make it easier to seize terrorists'
assets, improve the functioning of MASAK (the financial
intelligence unit), and strengthen the Suspicious Transaction
reporting regime. The GOT is aware of the problems with its
current legal framework, and intends in the near future to
submit to Parliament draft legislation to address some of
the problems. The team is generally satisfied with the
legislation as described to it, but is not convinced that the
draft addresses all the problems. With the notable exception
of MASAK, GOT personnel interviewed expressed interest in USG
assistance in refining the draft legislation. The team is
likely to recommend that the USG provide such assistance.
-- GOT Interagency cooperation is insufficient.
Although Finance Undersecretary Aktan told the team that
proposed changes to the composition and functioning of the
Coordination Board for Combating Financial Crimes will
address this problem, the team is not fully convinced that
the changes go far enough or address the underlying problem
of a cumbersome policy development process.
-- In early 2004, the European Commission will
undertake two projects that are intended to improve the
ability of MASAK and the Turkish National Police to pursue
financial crimes, including terrorist financing. USG efforts
should be coordinated with EC efforts, to avoid duplication
of effort and ensure best utilization of resources.
-- Turkish prosecutors and judges desire and need
substantial training in financial crimes. The team is likely
to recommend that the USG offer such training, probably in
the form of a DOJ Intermittent Legal Advisor.
-- MASAK reportedly will soon take over the CTF/AML
compliance examination function from the Bank Regulatory and
Supervisory Agency. MASAK personnel will need training in
banking operations and examination techniques. The team is
likely to recommend that the USG offer this training through
the federal financial institution regulatory agencies.
4. State/INL and State/S/CT delegation members cleared
this cable.
DEUTSCH
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