1 Brussels, January 2011 Peer Review Mission on chapter 24 of the EU/ Turkey accession negotiations- Implementation of the IBM strategy, December 2010 (Peter Karohl) Table of content 1 General information 2 Conclusions on the visited sites 2.1 International cooperation 2.2 Inter-agency cooperation 2.3 Risk analysis, situational awareness 2.4 Border checks 2.5 Border surveillance 2.6 Training 3 General conclusions, recommendations Introduction The mission was organized by the European Commission (DG Enlargement, DG Home), the Delegation of the EU to Turkey and the EUSG in Ankara. Peter Karohl, member of the Federal Police Germany, was appointed by the EC as expert according to the terms of reference for reviewing the state of play in implementing the IBM strategy at the border between Turkey and the Arabic Republic of Syria and the border between Turkey and Iraq. The expert visited the following sites: Yayladag Border Crossing Point and surveillance areas Akcakale Border Crossing Point and surveillance areas Nusaybin Border Crossing Point and surveillance areas Habur Border Crossing Point and surveillance areas. The expert was accompanied by one expert from the EC, DG Home and an expert from the EU Delegation to Turkey. The possibilities to evaluate the system of green border surveillance were quite limited and more or less based on the presentations given by the officials from the Land Force Command. It has to be stated that the findings, conclusions and recommendations do reflect only the assessment of Mr. Karohl and do neither reflect the opinion of the EC nor of the German authorities.
2 At the beginning I would like to thank the EC for organizing this mission, as well as I want to express my gratitude to the Turkish authorities, represented by the EUSG Ankara for all the support and assistance that was given in preparation of the mission and during the visit. A special thank goes to the interpreter. I also would like to express my gratitude to the representatives of the various authorities for their readiness and openness in answering the questions and the great hospitality provided during the mission. 1 General information/ Management summary The Turkish authorities took a lot of efforts to develop and to implement the IBM strategy, following the European model of border management. Especially the foreseen implementation of the Border Guard Service, subordinated to the Ministry of Interior will be a big effort in the way to increase the existing level of effective border management. Nevertheless it became not clear yet, which role this Service will play in the future in terms of coordinating the border management activities among the various players in the field. The expert was informed during the mission that the role of the office of the governor will not change in the future and that this office will remain the main actor in coordinating the law enforcement agencies. In order to avoid overlaps the role of both authorities needs to be clearly defined. Turkey is at national level involved in many fora, important for the border management; the cooperation in these fora, such as SECI and the Black Sea Littoral states Border/ Coast Guard Forum, is highly appreciated as well as the developing cooperation with FRONTEX. The expert found on the visited sites some still existing differences to the European standards in border control. The report will describe the main conclusions and recommendations that are based on the findings during the visit in a very pragmatic way. There is already a good level of situational awareness and professionalism in the involved law enforcement agencies. A higher level of cooperation among the agencies is demanded. Nevertheless the experts found room for improvement in the field of international cooperation, inter-agency cooperation, and quality of border checks in the first and second line, risk analysis and training. 2 Findings and conclusions on the visited sites 2.1 International cooperation
3 During the visit the expert discussed with the local commanding officers the state of play in the cooperation with the relevant authorities of the neighboring countries. It needs to be concluded that the international cooperation is not adequate enough. Whilst the cooperation with Syria does exist by holding bi-monthly meetings between the relevant authorities (Office of the Governor, Land Force Command, Police and Customs), the cooperation with Iraq continues with regular meetings and without time limitation if needed between border commanding officers on the battalion level. Bearing in mind the importance of these borders in terms of trafficking in human beings, smuggling of excise goods and the possible crossborder movement of terrorists the cooperation with the neighboring authorities is crucial for the effectiveness of the border control. It needs to be concluded that the international cooperation is on a low level. Whilst the cooperation with Syria does exist by holding bi-monthly meetings between the relevant authorities (Office of the Governor, Land Force Command, Police and Customs), there are no such forms of cooperation along the border with Iraq. Bearing in mind the importance of these borders in terms of trafficking in human beings, smuggling of excise goods and the possible cross-border movement of terrorists the cooperation with the neighboring authorities is crucial for the effectiveness of the border control. Recommendable for such meetings is to issue common situation reports, to initiate joint investigations and to establish common coordination/ communication centers. Such an approach would foster the practical cooperation by improving the situational awareness on both sides of the border, coordinating the border surveillance activities and to ease the cooperation at the Border Crossing Points. At the Border Crossing Points are no protocols/ agreements with the neighboring states in place that describe the standing operational procedures in cases of incidents (forced breakthrough, accidents with hazardous goods, handling of cases of refusal of entry, etc.). In terms of international cooperation in the field of border surveillance the options are quite limited. The issuance of common situation reports, joint patrols, etc. is recommendable but is based on the state of play on bilateral agreements between the states. 2.2 Inter-agency cooperation The inter-agency is not yet on the desired level. The Turkish government issued a Protocol for inter-agency cooperation that is for the time being delivered to the relevant authorities at national level for their comments and recommendations.
4 It is clear that there is a distinction in the various fields of inter-agency cooperation at national, regional and local level. As lower the working level, as more detailed the cooperation needs to be defined. The aforementioned protocol will describe the different responsibilities, tasks of the involved ministries and law enforcement agencies. The responsibility for the overall coordination of the inter-agency cooperation should be given in the future completely to the new established Border Agency as the leading agency. This Agency should develop the structure and forms of cooperation at the national level as well as in the day- by- day business at regional and local level. In case that the role of the Office of the Governor shall remain in its powerful position in coordinating the law enforcement agencies, the Border Agency should be given a strong advisory role. The fields of inter-agency cooperation that should be covered in the future are: The development of travel documents between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior The deployment of Immigration Liaison Officers and Document Advisors at embassies in countries of origin The development of common training curricula (Police, Gendarmerie, Land Force Command, Customs) The issuance of joint situation / risk analysis reports The establishment of temporary or permanent investigation teams at national, regional and local level in order to foster the effective fight against all forms of organized trans-border crimes To develop protocols on cooperation between Police and Customs at the Border Gates that should describe standing operational procedures in border checks and cases of incidents To develop protocols with the Land Force Command in order to structure the cooperation at and in the vicinity of the Border Gates It is recommendable to nominate one leading agency at the Border Gates. For the time being that seems to be the Customs. Bearing in mind the threats at the border gates in terms of illegal migration this role should be given to the Police. At local and regional level the inter-agency cooperation was found at different levels during the visit.
5 So far there is a too strict distinction between the border control at the Border Crossing Points and the border surveillance and a lack of coordination and cooperation among the involved law enforcement agencies. The border area needs to be considered as a common area of responsibility; that means that everything the Turkish authorities are doing for example along the green border (e.g. intensifying the border surveillance) will affect the border checks at the Border Crossing Points, since illegal migrants or smugglers will react on these measures and try to cross the border through the Border gates and vice versa. Here is a more common approach required in order to get the overall picture of the situation and to increase the operational effectiveness. It should be reconsidered how investigations in border related crimes will be conducted in the future. From the expert s point of view investigations in border related crimes and offences, except tax and customs violations, should be in the hands of the Police from the beginning. This will guarantee professional investigations and professional analysis of the cases. As a side effect all involved agencies would benefit from analysis of the cases, modus operandi and could react in their own operational procedures. The expert found during the visit that the Police have the weakest role in border control. The Police are not involved in border surveillance and performs only border checks at the border gate. Taking into consideration that the (Border) Police are responsible for the control of people and Customs for the control of goods, the Police should be given a stronger role, taking into account that illegal migration/ illegal entry through Border Crossing Points is one of the main modus operandi and is so with one of the main risks for the border security. According to European standards the (Border) Police are the leading agency at Border Gates. It is recommended to give this role to the Police in Turkey as well. 2.3 Risk analysis, situational awareness The interviewed commanding officers responsible for border surveillance and border checks, and the officers at the Border gates were aware of the existing risks and situation in their area of responsibility. Nevertheless it is demanded to establish an information network (national and regional) to gain and to steer updated information on the situation along the borders. The deployment of staff at the border gates are not based on risked analysis yet, but on the day-by day routine. Risk analysis is the basis not only for the tactical procedures but also for deployment of staff, equipment, technical means and training. There are officers at different levels of the headquarter responsible for risk analysis to mentor the commanders regarding the measures taken at border surveillance areas on the basis of risk analysis. Risk analysis is the basis not only for the tactical procedures but also for deployment of staff, equipment, technical means and training.
6 It is recommended to establish structures in accordance to the Catalogue of best practices and recommendations and to follow CIRAM (Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model) on the various levels. At national level it will be essential attaching a Risk Analysis Unit to the Border Agency or to become a part of a National Coordination Centre for Border Management. On regional or local level should be officers appointed dealing with risk analysis and advising the commanding officers. 2.4 Border checks In general the border checks are not yet in line with the European standards. The border is a filter for fighting trans-border crimes, illegal migration, and smuggling and maintaining the public order and security at both sides of the border. It is the first and the last chance to detect violations of law and order. Therefore clear and standardized procedures for border checks and a close cooperation between the involved law enforcement agencies are required. On one hand there is clearly the need to guarantee effective checks on persons and goods, on the other hand there is the obligation to guarantee an easy flow of traffic and goods; double checks shall be avoided. The first pre-check is carried out by Land Forces on the basis of the request of the head of civil administration because of the inadequate personnel in Habur. This procedure should be reconsidered; the first and the last agency at the Border Crossing Point is (Border) Police, performing the checks on travelers. This guarantees that the traveler entering or exiting the country fulfilled all entry/ exit conditions when leaving the area of the Border Gate. Desirable is a hand-in hand control Police/ Customs (one-stop principle); this would ease the flow of traffic and increase the effectiveness of checks. A clear distinction between first and second line control/ activities is required at the Border Gates. For conducting checks on travelers in the first line there should be two officers deployed in each lane. One officer shall perform the face to face control of the travelers, check the vehicle and interview the travelers based on risk analysis/profiling (purpose of the trip, means of subsistence) while the second officer in the booth verifies the validity of the travel document, checking the document, searches the persons against the available databases and stamps the passport after finalizing the checks. The deployment of two officers is recommended for the following reasons:
7 Security of the officers on the spot; in Akcakale the control booth of the Police is too far away from the control area of the Customs To prevent uncontrolled movement of persons at the Border Crossing Point and bypassing border checks The Four eyes principle is one measure to prevent corruption. At each Border Crossing Point should be designated officers for second line control/ activities available. These officers shall be trained in document examining (deeper checks of travel documents), interviewing travelers, handling refusals of entry, issuing visa, etc. The technical equipment should be improved. In each booth should be available: PC with access to the national database and POLNET UV- lamp Magnifier Electronically Passport Reader Device The booth should be equipped with foil to prevent that travelers can see the computer screen. The technical equipment for second line activities should be available as recommended in the Schengen Catalogue of best practices. The security of stamps was guaranteed and in line with internationally recognized standards. The handling of trucks and lorries requires different procedures, keeping in mind that smuggling of people and goods, hidden in trucks, is one of the main methods to enter illegally a country. Therefore the handling of trucks in respect of fighting illegal migration is not satisfactory yet. The expert recommends implementing a comprehensive procedure that guarantees thorough checks of trucks, the drivers and the load. It is recommended to conduct a first check on entry by the Police (checking the driver s cabin, pre check on entry conditions of the driver, technical conditions of the vehicle, and search for hidden people). In the second stage of entry/ exit checks shall be conducted by Customs. The last stage of checks is the check of the driver on entry conditions before leaving the area of the border gate. It might be useful to introduce here the procedure of the so called routing slip. This routing slip is handed out to the driver at the first stop and after finalizing each stage of checks signed/ stamped by the respective authority. At the end the driver hands over the routing slip to the Police officer who collects theses slips and does than stamp the passport. This ensures that the driver and his truck did undergo all checks on entry/ exit and is authorized to enter/ leaving the country.
8 It also needs to be guaranteed that on request of the Police the trucks and its loads can be opened by Customs. Although the x-raying of trucks is an effective measure to detect hidden persons or goods the expert is fully aware of the fact that the procurement and maintenance of such devices is expensive. Nevertheless the Turkish authorities are invited to purchase equipment for the checks of trucks, such as heart beat detectors, laser measurement equipment, CO2 Detector, etc. It is recommended to prevent uncontrolled movement of persons and vehicles in the area of border gates. Especially in Harbur this was seen by the expert (people leaving their cars, surrounding the control booths, moving around the area, etc.). Turkish authorities are invited to implement technical measures at the Border Crossing Points to separate controlled travelers from uncontrolled travelers and to grant a permanent communication between all involved authorities by phone and/ or radio. A CCTV is recommendable to be established at all Border Crossing Points to increase the effectiveness of border surveillance in the vicinity of those areas in order to avoid bypassing Border Crossing Points and to foster the cooperation among the units. 2.5 Border surveillance The threats along the border with Syria differ from the situation at the Turkish border with Iraq. Whilst the situation along the border with Syria is characterized by illegal entries of people from countries like Somalia, Afghanistan and other African countries of origin and smuggling of goods of daily use the situation along the border with Iraq is additionally faced with the movement of members of terrorist groups, mainly PKK. The visited area has a good infrastructure and good roads that can be used to get fast to the inland. Land Forces Command is responsible for the protection and security of the land borders. This duty is performed by border units and the border units are responsible for preventing acts which constitute offences and apprehending the offenders within the first degree forbidden military zones set up along the land borders up to meters, following and apprehending the offenders of Flagrento Delicto offences committed in that zone and in second degree forbidden military zones up to 1-2 km, conducting legal proceedings, delivering the apprehended persons and evidence to the local law enforcement authorities. Apart from the first and second degree forbidden military zones, the Land Forces Command has no responsibility. Big parts of the border with Syria are mined. The cleansing of minefields will be carried out by the Ministry of Defense under the projects Demining of Turkish-Syrian Border and Establishment of Border Physical Security System. The tactical approach to the land border should consider a two layer surveillance system that covers the Area of Responsibility and allows for a quick response to unexpected incidents.
9 There is air support available on request of the surveillance units. Due to the difficult geographical conditions along the external borders, a concept for air surveillance/ support seems to be recommendable. Unmanned air vehicles are used along the borders where necessary. In order to determine and prevent terrorist crossings, unmanned air vehicles are intensively used. When it comes that the Turkish authorities will demine parts of their external borders, the tactical approach and the technical equipment needs to be reconsidered. When the technical obstacle of mine fields disappears, the pressure to the green border will increase since it will be much easier to cross the border. Since it is not every time possible to get a neighboring patrol of the Gendarmerie to the spot in such cases in due time, it might be necessary to reconsider the competences and the equipment of the Land Force Command in cases of a hot pursuit to the own hinterland. The tactical approach to the land border should consider a two layer surveillance system that covers the Area of Responsibility and allows for a quick response to unexpected incidents. There is air support available on request of the surveillance units; nevertheless an air surveillance concept is not in place yet. Due to the difficult geographical conditions along the external borders a concept for air surveillance/ support seems to be recommendable. When it comes that the Turkish authorities will demine parts of their external borders, the tactical approach and the technical equipment needs to be reconsidered. When the technical obstacle of mine fields disappears the pressure to the green border will increase since it will be much easier to cross the border. Such a situation requires a comprehensive approach to the new risks and the expected higher pressure to the border. The system of the surveillance in two layers (Land Force Command and Gendarmerie) requires a clear division of tasks and responsibilities and a close cooperation between both agencies and a synchronization of activities. The surveillance technologies and surveillance equipment needs to be updated in case of demining the border area. 2.6 Training The expert found during the visit highly motivated and professional officers and commanding officers. Nevertheless, permanent training is a keystone for a continuous successful work. The expert invites the Turkish authorities to take more efforts in training in the following fields: Risk analysis:
10 Since the system of risk analysis is not yet in line with the European standards (vertical and horizontal flow and analysis of information) it seems to be necessary to develop a job profile for officers, dealing with risk analysis, and developing in accordance to the profile a training curriculum for theses officers on all levels (national, regional, local). Profiling/ Interviewing The training should be addressed to Police officers conducting border checks in the first and second line as well as to officers conducting interviews with apprehended persons and/ or pre-trial investigations in border related legal offences. Such a training will enable these officers to perform the checks and interviews in a even more professional manner by checking the conditions of the entry and the purpose of the trip, and to gather information on the modus operandi of criminals crossing the border (smugglers, facilitators, trafficker in human beings). Document training Use of forged or counterfeited documents is one of the main methods to get illegally into a country. The quality of forgeries is getting better and this makes it harder to detect documents during the border check in the first line. The permanent training on documents for officers in the first line is a crucial point of training. Training for document specialists of the second line should be more advanced. These experts should be able to detect forged or counterfeited in a more professional manner when the officer in the first line has doubts on the document and transfers a person for deeper checks to the second line. Another training subject is the misuse of original documents by impostors ( Look-alike ). There are already training programs available that train officers in the detection of typical identification measurements (shape of the head, shape of the nose, shape of the ears, etc.). It is advisable to take such training onboard for the advanced vocational training. Language training It is desired that the officers at Border gates should be able top speak the language of the neighboring country and/or the language of the majority of travelers in order performing the border checks on entry (interviewing travelers, etc.) in appropriate manner. Management training Turkish authorities are invited to provide tailored management training for the different management level in order to consolidate and to develop the managements skills on all levels (management of staff, tactical management, etc.)
11 3 General conclusions/ recommendations The establishment of a central Border agency will contribute in streamlining the border management among all involved authorities. The role of the aforementioned border agency needs to be clarified in terms of its foreseen role in coordinating border control activities. So far this role is not clearly defined yet, and there might occur conflicts in the future with the role of the Office of the Governor in coordinating those activities. The deployed staff of all involved law enforcement agencies showed a high level of professionalism and motivation taking into account the institutional, organizational and legislative limitations. There is from the expert s point of view a strong demand in the field of international cooperation, especially with the authorities of Iraq. The deployment of Liaison officers in countries of origin and transit towards Turkey is advisable as well as the establishment of regular meetings with border authorities of Iraq. In the field of inter-agency cooperation is room for improvement. Competences of the different involved ministries and law enforcement agencies on all levels need to be clarified. It will be useful to nominate one leading agency in this process. Protocols of cooperation/ Memoranda of Understanding at all Border gates should be developed to allow for a clear division of tasks and responsibilities of the different law enforcement agencies in the daily routine and in cases of incidents. Such protocols should be developed also with the authorities of the neighboring country. The process of permanent Risk Analysis should be developed on all levels. It is recommendable to follow the recommendations of the Schengen Catalogue of best practices and to deploy designated officers in the law enforcement agencies, dealing with analysis and to guarantee a permanent flow of information (vertical and horizontal and between the different agencies). The regularly issuance of situation reports (daily bulletins/ weekly/ monthly reports, etc.) will contribute in increasing the effectiveness of operations. The border checks, performed by the Police, are not yet fully in line with internationally recognized standards. The border police should be the first agency on entry and the last on exit at border gates. It is advisable to deploy two officers in each lane in order to guarantee thorough checks on travelers and their means of transport. The quality of checks on travelers needs to be improved (interviews on purpose of the trip, means of subsistence, validity of travel documents, etc.). There is need to strengthen the role of the second line activities. The officers deployed here should be experienced officers and specially trained in the following fields: interviewing of travelers in cases of doubts on the reasons of the trip, debriefing
12 of travelers (to elaborate the nationality of the traveler in cases of doubts), advanced knowledge on travel documents, issuance of visa, dealing with asylum applications presented at the border, refusals of entry, etc. The equipment for the first and second line activities at the border gates needs to be updated. It is recommended to follow here the recommendations, provided in the Schengen Catalogue of best practices. The existing procedures of handling trucks at the border gates should be reviewed. The role of the Police in this field should be enhanced; so far the check of trucks and their load is in the hand of Customs. Police should be trained and equipped to conduct checks here as well with the focus on fighting illegal entries by using trucks. Turkish authorities are invited to review the existing facilities at the border gates in order to prevent uncontrolled movement of people in the area of border gates. Keeping in mind the special situation at the Turkish border with Iraq the permanent deployment of specialized sniffling dogs (drugs/ explosives) is recommended The border surveillance, especially at the border with Syria, relays very much on the existing minefields. During the visit the expert was informed that Turkish authorities are considering demining the area. This will require a different tactical approach in the future. The already existing surveillance system in two layers (first line: Land Force Command, second line Gendarmerie) will require a high level of coordination. In case of demining the area the existing equipment (night vision equipment, means of transport, etc.) needs to be updated. In investigations in border related crimes/ offences, in accordance with national law, there should be close and constant cooperation between all competent law enforcement authorities. This will guarantee an equal level of quality in investigations and the results of such investigations will contribute to a comprehensive risk analysis. The reaction capabilities along the external border shall allow for an adequate intervention on incidents along the green border and at border gates. Turkish authorities are invited to consider a concept for air support/ air surveillance at the external borders. Permanent training is a keystone for successful border control. as mentioned afore especially the fields of training in : risk analysis, profiling/interviewing of travelers, training on documents, language training and management training should be covered in such training programs.