Author Topic: FBI Director's Visit: Minister Of Justice Ready To Work With US (Turkey, 2009)  (Read 2256 times)

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Offline jujyjuji

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Fbi Director's Visit: Minister Of Justice Ready To Work With U.s.
Origin   Embassy Ankara (Turkey)
Cable time   Mon, 14 Dec 2009 15:27 UTC
Classification   CONFIDENTIAL


C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 001775
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/10/2029
Classified By: POL Counselor Daniel O'Grady, for reasons 1.4 (b,d)
¶1. (C) SUMMARY.  During a November 18 meeting, FBI Director
Mueller pressed Justice Minister Ergin to establish a new
bilateral framework that would facilitate the more rapid
exchange of information.  He also urged Turkey to revise its
terrorism laws to better address the challenges brought by
globalization.  Minister Ergin contended Turkey's laws are
adequate to the task, but said his staff is ready to work
with the United States on these issues.  END SUMMARY.
¶2. (C) FBI Director Robert Mueller met November 18 with
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin to discuss a range of law
enforcement issues of concern.  The Director was joined by
the Ambassador, Assistant Director Sean Joyce, DCM Doug
Silliman, Special Assistant Debra Smith, Legal Attache
Raymond Duda, DOJ Resident Legal Advisor Michael Lang, and
the embassy interpreter.  Minister Ergin welcomed the
Director with a brief overview of the Ministry of Justice,
explaining he coordinates the judiciary, the prosecutors, and
the prisons, and currently supervises over 4,000 judges and
¶3. (C) The Director thanked the Minister for his assistance,
particularly with the extradition of Yuri Zinchencko, a
Russian organized crime member arrested in Istanbul on an FBI
warrant.  He also thanked the Minister for addressing mutual
terrorist threats from PKK and Al Qaeda.  The United States
and Turkey share other areas of common concern, such as cyber
crime, human trafficking, and drug trafficking, he observed.
With globalization, it is even more important for us to work
together.  Because our two countries work under different
judicial systems, we must overcome any differences to ensure
that justice is done within the rule of law.
¶4. (C) The Turkish people have suffered from terrorism for
many years, the Minister rejoined.  Turkey is carrying out a
number of relevant reforms within the EU framework.  For
example, it is working to improve human rights-related
regulations in line with international agreements and the
European Convention on Human Rights.  While its judicial
system is similar to the European system, on terrorism and
cyber crimes, he would prefer to move toward the American
¶5. (C) The Director stated that no EU country has been
impacted by terrorism as much as Turkey.  The FBI, he noted,
is very pleased with the cooperation it has received from the
Turkish National Police, Ministry of Justice, and Turkish
National Intelligence Organization (TNIO).  He then proposed
three ways to further improve these relationships.
¶6. (C) First, the Director stated, we need to establish a
framework to share information between law enforcement
agencies more quickly.  Fifteen or 20 years ago, Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaties (MLAT) were sufficient tools for
exchanging evidence needed for a courtroom.  Today, however,
to prevent terrorist attacks, we need to exchange information
rapidly on items like e-mail addresses, cellular telephone
numbers, bank account information, and personal identifiers.
He acknowledged this initiative may require time to overcome
obstacles created by the fact that the two sides have
different legal systems.
¶7. (C) Second, the Director pointed to the obstacles to
closer cooperation created by the fact that Turkey's legal
system handles investigations differently than that of the
United States.  In Turkey, he noted, once an investigation is
turned over to a prosecutor, any additional information
collected during the prosecution phase cannot be shared with
other law enforcement entities without going through the
cumbersome MLAT process.  He urged the two sides to work
together to find a more efficient ways to share information
at all stages of the investigation.
¶8. (C) Third, the Director noted that Turkey's terrorism laws
are limited to acts against Turkish citizens or the Turkish
state.  As we adjust to globalization brought about by the
ease of travel and communication, however, our laws must be
able to address terrorism that affects other countries, too,
he observed.  Turkey will increasingly be drawn into this
issue as its role as a hub for international trade and
transportation continues to grow.
¶9. (C) Minister Ergin said he agreed with most of the points
raised by the Director.  Turkey, however, has an extra
challenge -- trying to conform with EU regulations while
remaining in compliance with its own Constitution.  The
Minister observed that a bill on the protection of personal
data is currently before the Parliament.  Turkey must pass
this bill before it can address many of the issues the
Director raised.  The opposition political parties, however,
have been obstructionist.  He realized we need to overcome
the obstacles raised by the Director and to work more closely
together.  He had instructed his staff to work to expand our
current cooperation, he reported.
¶10. (C) Director Mueller reiterated that Turkey needs to
coordinate with the EU and to adopt practices approved by the
EU.   Yet no country in the EU faces as many challenges as
Turkey with regard to terrorists transiting through its
territory to stage attacks in other countries.  At the same
time, he added, he was not aware of an EU country with the
same limitations in its terrorism laws that Turkey has.
Ergin responded he believes Turkey's terrorism laws are
sufficient to address these matters; Turkey abides by the
relevant United Nations conventions and protocols, which
according to Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution,
supersede Turkish law.  Nonetheless, if reforms are needed,
his staff is ready to work with the United States on these
issues, he stated.
¶11. (U) Director Mueller did not have an opportunity to clear
this message.