INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Turkey Country Clearance Granted for Cg Mckay +3

Published: Tue 29 Aug 2006 12:36 PM
VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHAK #4986/01 2411236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291236Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8259
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COGARD TRACEN YORKTOWN VA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 1168
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RULSJGI/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/39ABG CP INCIRLIK AB TU PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COGARD MIO EUROPE ROTTERDAM NL PRIORITY
UNCLAS ANKARA 004986
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC: JFEENEY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC KCRM PARM SNAR TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR CG MCKAY +3
(SEP 17-23 2006)
REF: COGARD TRACEN YORKTOWN 241137Z AUG 06
1. Embassy Ankara grants country clearance to Coast Guard
Officials Raymond McKay, Irvin Jones, Noel Bolleurs and
Daniel Vazquez who will travel to Izmir to conduct an
EXBS-sponsored Port Security/Port Vulnerability workshop from
September 17 to 23, 2006.
2. Control Officer is Kevin Lyon who can be contacted via the
IVG 295-2525 or Commercial (90)(312)455-5555 ext.2525 or
through Embassy switchboard ext 0.
3. Lodging arrangements have been made and will be provided
via separate correspondence.
4. Visas: All Americans entering Turkey must have a valid
visa. Travelers without a visa can obtain a visa (valid for
one entry for three months at ports of entry upon payment of
a USD 20 fee payable in cash). There is no fee for official
travel if the visa is obtained outside of Turkey.
5. Health Safety: Information on vaccinations and other
health precautions can be obtained from the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention. The hotline for
international travelers (tel: 1- 877-394-8747), fax:
1-800-cdc-fax(1-800-232-3299), or via their internet site at:
HTTP://WWW.CSC.GO.
6. Security Assessment: In light of ongoing military
operations in Iraq and continued operations in support of the
war on terrorism there remains the potential for both
transnational terrorist groups with anti-Western sympathies,
to include Kongra Gel (formerly PKK), Revolutionary People's
Liberation/Front (DHKP/C), Marxist-Leninist Communist Party
(MLKP) Turkish Communist Party/Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML),
Turkish Workers and Peasants Revolutionary Army (TIKKO) and
Islamic Greater Eastern Raiders/Front (IBDA/C) continue to
operate in Turkey. Attacks over the last few years,
attributed to these groups, have occurred in the Aegean and
Mediterranean coastal resort areas, as well as in Istanbul.
Most of the attacks, generally small-scale bombings, have
occurred in neighborhoods of Istanbul not generally
frequented by official Americans or tourists. Also in 2005
and 2006 public buses have been set on fire, with the most
recent incident resulting in three deaths. Thus far, these
attacks on buses also have taken place in areas of Istanbul
distant from official American or tourist destinations. A
Kurdish group, ostensibly aligned with the PKK terrorists,
claimed responsibility for many of the incidents noted above,
and in April 2006 this group issued a statement renewing a
threat to target Turkey's tourism industry.
Violent demonstrations have occurred throughout Turkey, the
most recent in Istanbul and in several cities in Southeastern
Turkey. Just as with members of Mission Turkey, USG visitors
are required to obtain RSO Ankara and DCM approval for travel
to the Southeast. Al-Qa'ida threats to target U.S. facilities
in Turkey have been public knowledge for some time. On
November 15, 2003 two synagogues in Istanbul were the targets
of suicide truck bombs.
On November 20, 2003 the British Consulate General and the
London based HSBC Bank in Istanbul were struck by powerful
explosions, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. Through
prosecutions of those responsible are still ongoing,
indications are that the indigenous radical Islamic terrorist
group responsible was supported by the Al-Qa'ida network.
The August 2005 discovery in Antalya of a potential plot
against maritime interests and subsequent arrest of a Syrian
Al-Qa'ida facilitator and planner further attest to the
ongoing transnational threat. The incidence of crime, both
violent and the more traditional tourists crimes (pick
pocketing, purse-snatching, etc.), is relatively low
throughout Turkey. However, over the last year, there has
been a marked increase in the number of crimes reported to
Consulate General Istanbul. Much of the crime is centered in
the areas frequented by tourists, Consulate employees and
official visitors. Visitors should be particularly attentive
for pick pockets in and around the Sultanahmet, Taksim
Square, and Istiklal Caddesi areas of Istanbul. Often pick
pocketing is preceded by some sort of diversion, such as an
argument or fight, or children asking to assist tourists, for
example with their bags. If you encounter such activity,
secure your wallet or purse and quickly leave the area.
Another scam that is becoming more prevalent is that of a
stranger approaching a visitor and striking up a conversation
which is continued inside a restaurant or club, where one is
either drugged and robbed or presented with an enormous bill
and intimidated into paying it. The security office
encourages visitors to report any security incidents,
including surveillance, to the RSO immediately.
Useful security information about Turkey is available on the
following web-sites:
--Embassy Ankara: HTTP://WWW.USEMB-ANKARA.ORG.TR (Click on
Security Matters)
--Consulate General Istanbul: HTTP://WWW.USCONSULATE-
ISTANBUL.ORG.TR
7. For further information regarding travel in Turkey,
consult the Consular information sheet. The Consular
information sheet and public announcements are available on
the internet at: HTTP://TRAVEL.STATE.GOV
Other information is available on the following websites:
--The State Department Consular Affairs (CA) website:
HTTP://WWW.TRAVEL.STATE.GOV/TURKEY.HTML
--Turkish Daily News (English Language Turkish newspaper):
HTTP://WWW.TURKISHDAILYNEWS.COM
--Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: HTTP://WWW.MFA.GOV.TR
--The Republic of Turkey Home Page:
HTTP://WWW.TURKEY/INDEX.HTML
--Weather for Turkey:
HTTP://WWW.WUNDERGROUND.COM/GLOBAL/TU.HTML
Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/
WILSON
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