1 1 Central level (EUSG, MoI, Coast Guard), Trabzon Airport and Seaport, eastern border with Georgia, western borders with Bulgaria and Greece Expert Col (BG) Antti Hartikainen / Border Guard of Finland PEER REVIEW MISSION TO TURKEY (JHA IND/EXP 42920) 6 10 DEC Introduction At the central level, all the three border management experts assigned for the mission (Mr. Hartikainen, Mr. Karohl and Mr. Gaya van Stijn) with all the accompanied personnel from the EU Commission and the EU Delegation to Turkey had a common programme in Ankara. At the beginning, a preparatory meeting was organised with the EU Secretariat General. Subsequently, a meeting took place with the Ministry of the Interior Integrated Border Management (IBM) Bureau. Representatives of the General Directorate of Security (Turkish National Police, Department of Aliens, Borders and Asylum Affairs), General Staff, Land Forces Command, Gendarmerie General Command, Coast Guard Command, and Turkish Customs Enforcement also were present in both of the aforementioned meetings. At the end of the central level programme, a visit was made to the Coast Guard Command. During the field visit, the expert was familiarised with the Trabzon airport and seaport on the shore of the Black Sea, Sarp Border Crossing Point (BCP) on the border with Georgia, Kapıkule BCP on the border with Bulgaria, Pazarkule BCP on the border with Greece and Edirne Removal Centre located to the close proximity to the last two aforementioned BCPs. Moreover, two Deputy Governors joined the trip in their respective Areas of Responsibility on the eastern and western borders and a meeting was held with the Governor in Edirne and the Deputy Governor in Trabzon. Moreover, representatives of the National Police and Customs were briefly interviewed while performing own duties. Even though introduction to the green border surveillance on the border with Georgia and Greece was included in the programme, it did not take place in practice. On the border with Georgia, local commander of the Land Forces was present at the Sarp BCP, but introduction of the green border surveillance was limited to a short discussion on this topic with him. During the visit to the border with Greece, no representative of the Land Forces was present. Throughout the aforementioned tour, the expert was accompanied by Mr. Francois Naucodie (DG ELARG), representatives from the EU Secretariat General and the Ministry of the Interior IBM Bureau and an interpreter. Ms. Burce Ari/EU Delegation accompanied the expert in Trabzon and at the Sarp BCP. Already during the preparation phase a huge amount of relevant written information was provided for the expert on the topics covered in the visit and, in fact, it was a great challenge to process all of it. Previous Peer Review missions have been implemented in 2006 and 2008 and several other recent assessment reports, like Gap Analysis Report for the Preparation of Border Surveillance Area and EU Commission Turkey Progress Report, both issued in 2010, are available. For this reason, this report is aimed to focus mostly on the strategic level findings and details are taken on board only upon detection of significant changes and in cases when the previous reports fail to cover some relevant information. Therefore, it is recommended to read this report in conjunction with the aforementioned previous reports.
2 2 The programme of the field visit covering enormous geographical area was very tight even with consideration of the fact that the green border surveillance was actually not included in the programme as being foreseen. For this reason, it is recommended to ensure in the future that for every location to be visited there would be enough time to monitor how the counterparts implement their duties in practice and to have discussions with the counterparts, as well as to avoid excessively long working days for the experts. Logistics and field visit were organised very well and the hospitality provided for the delegation was outstanding at all the locations. Significant amount of Turkish authorities at the central level were able to communicate in English, which was highly appreciated. At the regional level, English language skills are still a challenge. 2. Development of National Integrated Border Management Strategy and Action Plan National Action Plan for implementation of Turkey s IBM Strategy Action Plan has been approved already on 27 March Since then the progress in this domain has been rather slow till the beginning of 2010, but after that is has significantly speeded up. In May 2010 an IBM Coordination Board to the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) was established. The members of this Coordination Board are high level representatives from General Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation and Communication, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Gendarmerie General Command, Under Secretariat of Customs, Under Secretariat of Maritime Affairs, Secretariat General for EU Affairs, Security General Directorate, Coast Guard Command and General Directorate of Provincial Administration with an authority to decide on behalf of their institutions. There is no doubt that this Board, which has already given a significant boost with regard to the development of the IBM strategy, will be also a great asset in implementation thereof. The IBM Bureau of the MoI has been drafting a roadmap for IBM. During the Peer Review mission it was found out that the IBM Bureau has been using the 2007 IBM Guidelines for Western Balkans as a basis for their work and for this reason the draft document is based on the old IBM concept with three pillars vs. the five-dimension IBM concept from After the request of the IBM Bureau the expert has with the assistance of DG Home Border Management Expert provided further clarification of the 2006 IBM concept and validity of the aforementioned guidelines. The basic message is that the current Guidelines for Western Balkans are not a valid reference document due to the fact that, e.g. those deal merely with co-operation aspects, the latest developments in the field of EU border management are not taken into account, a lot of information is outdated, those are not EU Guidelines approved by the Commission and are not fully in line with the EU approach taking into consideration also Customs' issues. According to Conclusions of the Council provided in December 2006, the EU IBM is a concept consisting of the following dimensions: Border control (checks and surveillance) as defined in the Schengen Borders Code, including relevant risk analysis and crime intelligence; Detection and investigation of cross border crime in coordination with all competent law enforcement authorities; The four-tier access control model (measures in third countries, cooperation with neighboring countries, border control, control measures within the area of free movement, including return);
3 3 Inter-agency cooperation for border management (border guards, customs, police, national security and other relevant authorities) and international cooperation; Coordination and coherence of the activities of Member States and Institutions and other bodies of the Community and the Union. Updated Schengen Cataloque (External Borders Control, Removal and Readmission: Recommendations and Best Practices) issued in 2009 has been drafted following the new IBM concept. For this reason, it is recommended to follow the structure of the Cataloque also in the IBM Road Map. A proposal for the structure (index) of the IBM Road Map is introduced in Annex 1. IBM trainings efforts have been intensified in IBM trainings have been conducted for the most of the deputy governors and a presentation about the IBM was delivered to a group of Turkish Land Forces officers involved in border surveillance. In addition, Deputy undersecretary (MoI), officials from IBM Bureau and one representative from Land Forces participated in the TAIEX study tour in Finland in order to learn how the Finnish border management authorities are implementing the IBM. Taking into account the enormous number of officials to be trained for the IBM, Turkish authorities should consider elaboration of a comprehensive training plan and focus on training for trainers approach. It is of utmost importance to enhance the knowledge of the IBM concept and Road Map at all levels. The Turkish border management authorities will benefit significantly from the projects on Integrated Border Management Action Plan Phase-1 and Phase-2. Phase-1 includes a Twinning Project which has started with Hungary- UK consortium in May 2010 ( ) and two technical assistance projects, of which the first has started in October 2010 ( ). The second project ( ) has been already implemented in March - October 2010 and, as a result, Gap Analysis, Risk Assessment, Technical Analysis, Need Assessment and Feasibility Study Reports were produced. In addition, Phase-1 includes supply of , for which a tender is expected to be approved by the EU Delegation. Phase-2 includes a Twinning Project with Finland for the development of Risk Analysis System. This Twinning Project ( ) will start in January In addition Phase-2 includes significant supply ( ) and currently elaboration of technical specifications for this supply are ongoing. In addition to the aforementioned, a 24-month Twinning Project for Strengthening IBM in the Western Balkans and Turkey ( ) has started in 2009 with the participation of Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Turkey. Recommendations: - to follow the EU IBM concept structure in the IBM Road Map and as much as possible also in the other relevant documents related to border management development (proposal for the IBM Road Mad structure is introduced in the Annex 1) - to enhance the awareness of the governors and all the relevant border management authorities at the local level about the IBM and reform plans
4 4 3. Legal and regulatory framework Turkish authorities have several initiatives to develop legislation and regulations related to border management. In order to avoid fragmented legislation and regulatory framework, elaboration of comprehensive long-term plan for the development of legislation related to the border management should be considered. This is important especially when they have a significant reform progress ahead and this reform requires a lot of changes in the legislation and regulations. Provisions relevant to border management should be collected in a minimum number of laws. Specific regulations related to border management and security could be covered by the general national legislation applicable to all authorities; this could be the case for the Law on Data Protection, for instance. The first draft of the Law on the new Border Agency prepared by the IBM Bureau of the MoI has been sent for the comments, though for some reason only to the institutions inside the MoI at this stage. It is recommended to engage all the relevant border management authorities in the preparation of this law as soon as possible. Turkey has no Local Border Traffic Agreement with Bulgaria and Greece and no plans are introduced in this regards. Even though there is no agreement on the local border traffic with Georgia, the local people may in the exceptional cases (i.e. funerals of the relatives on the other side of the border) cross the border with a special document and stay on the other side maximum 7 days. Recommendations: - to elaborate a comprehensive long-term plan for the development of legislation related to the border management - collect the provisions relevant to border management in a minimum number of laws - to engage all the relevant border management authorities in the preparation of the Law on the new Border Agency as soon as possible. This should be the case also for the coming projects on development of legislation. 4. Organisational structure Turkish authorities are planning establishment of a civilian, professional Border Agency responsible for border management, including removal and deportation procedures, where all the relevant authorities related to this area of activity would be integrated. This year they have intensified their efforts in this regards, but it seems that there would have been a lot of room for improvement at the beginning of the planning procedure. For the time being all the planning has been done in the IBM Bureau of the MoI and even the most relevant partners have not had any opportunity to participate in the development procedure. Some relevant partners have not been even aware of the planning procedure. For the aforementioned reason there is, firstly, an urgent need to communicate the vision and purpose of the reform to all the parties involved and to involve at least all the most relevant border management authorities highly engaged in the elaboration procedure so that they are committed to the reform. Afterwards, as soon as possible they should, in cooperation with the relevant border
5 5 management agencies, elaborate comprehensive internal and external communication strategies and act accordingly. Turkish authorities are very well aware that the establishment of a new agency responsible for border management that is subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior will be a huge challenge also from the human resources point of view. Recruitment, training, as well as authority conferring process of the personnel are planned to be involved in the road map for IBM implementation. Recommendations: - to communicate the vision and purpose of establishment of a civilian, professional Border Agency to all the parties involved - to commit at least all the most relevant border management authorities better to the establishment of the aforementioned Border Agency by involving them closely in the elaboration procedure - to elaborate in cooperation with the relevant border management agencies comprehensive internal and external communication strategies and act accordingly 5. Border checks and border surveillance, including evaluation of operational effectiveness 5.1 Border checks At all the BCPs they have appropriate equipment for I level control, including online biometric passport readers and, via POLNET network, online access to the database of the National Police (criminal records); however, no access to the Interpol database is available. At Trabzon Airport, at Sarp road BCP on the Georgian border and at Kapikule road BCP on the Bulgarian border they have appropriate equipment and trained personnel for the II level control. At Kapikule road BCP they have one fixed and one mobile X-ray for cargo control available and, in addition, they will get two mobile ones in the near future. At Sarp road BCP, they have fixed X-ray device for cargo control. At Sarp and Kapikule BCPs detailed checks of trucks and cars can be performed in a separate building for a thorough examination. Infrastructure at the international BCPs varies a lot between different locations. Kapikule BCP on the border with Bulgaria has been recently constructed and all the infrastructure and equipment are of high standard. Trabzon airport and Sarp road BCP on the Georgian border have very limited geographical space to be used on the shore of the Black Sea in between the coastal line and mountains nearby. For this reason, at the Sarp BCP they have a huge challenge especially with trucks queues waiting for the border crossing into Georgia. Local authorities are being actively seeking solution for these challenges and during the mission they had, e.g. a new parking place for the queuing trucks under constructions. The Chamber of Commerce is responsible for constructing and modernising the BCPs. All the visited places were adequate for work. All the BCPs were properly fenced or guarded. Surveillance cameras and radiation detectors are in use at all the BCPs and entry and exit lanes at the road Sarp and Kapikule BCP are separated and marked with signs (personal cars, buses, trucks). At Kapikule BCP they have separated passenger and cargo terminals.
6 6 The Trabzon seaport is historical port on the Silk Road. It is the main export port for the fruits and vegetables from Turkey. The port has been privatised in 2003 and after that the owner has made investments totalling 12 million Euros. The impact of privatisation has been the following: Before privatisation the capacity of the port was one million tonnage, 2,400 containers with 250 personnel, whereas now, 2,3 million tonnage, 25,000 containers with 175 personnel. In the past, they had a lot of Russian tourists visiting Trabzon from Sochi, but this traffic has in practice stopped due to the fact that the port of Sochi has been closed for relevant preparations for the Winter Olympics in A new port nearby Sochi will be opened by autumn From 18 to 20 big cruise ships coming, e.g. from Italy, Istanbul, Yalta and Sochi visit Trabzon seaport annually. Daily short-passports have been issued for the cruise passengers of the OECD countries in order to visit the town of Trabzon. These passports are checked collectively based on the passenger manifest on the vessel and the national passports of the passengers are collected and kept in the possession of the National Police before the passengers have returned to the vessel. There is no cargo X-ray in the port. The Customs have drugs detection dogs available. In the future, the port will focus especially on the export cargo coming from Iran. The port has implemented ISPS since No illegal immigration or drug smuggling cases have been detected in this seaport during the last years. The passport insert designed to raise awareness of the 157 helpline to fight against human trafficking were present at the seaport. At the Trabzon airport a new domestic terminal was opened in 2008 and there was reconstruction underway in the arrival hall of the international terminal. Departure hall of the international terminal will be reconstructed in These investments are partly related to the 11th European Youth Olympic Festival to be organised in Trabzon in In addition, construction of additional parking places for aircrafts is in place and it is planned to construct an additional landing road starting in The topography is mountainous and makes the expansion of the port area very difficult. In 2009 they had 1,6 and in 2010 they will have 1,9 million passengers, of which internationals. Their capacity is in total 3 million passengers per year, of which 1 million international and 2 million domestic passengers. At the moment they have international flights to 8 different destinations like Germany, Azerbaijan, Russia (Sochi) and Georgia (Tbilisi). In addition, e.g. the United Kingdom armed forces are using Trabzon airport for making technical breaks for their flights to and from Pakistan. The total number of employees is 205, of which 44 are Police Officers. Passport Police takes duty only when there are international flights (only on Sundays for the time being). There has been no application for asylum so far and it was told that human trafficking is no longer an issue there. Anyhow it is worth to note that there is no trained police officer present on these aforementioned topics. The Customs has one dog for drugs detection in their use at the airport, but no drugs smuggling cases have been detected due to the fact that most of the passengers to Trabzon arrive via Istanbul and the drugs are detected there. Only a customs official has the authority to open a luggage. Main challenges at the airport are smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol originating from Northern Cyprus and electronic equipment and medicine originating from Far East. Access control to the airport is implemented by a private security company and their premises and equipment were appropriate for their task. A registration plate recognition system is to be installed for the entrance of the airport in the beginning of Kapikule is the liveliest road BCP in Turkey with approximately 4 million passengers and TIR cargos per year constructed two years ago with a budget of 100 million USD. More than 50 % of the passenger traffic takes place in June August. Next to the road BCP
7 7 there is a railway BCP, but no visit was made there. At the road BCP they have 12 lanes for entering and 11 lanes for exiting passenger traffic. In the separate cargo terminal they have 2 lanes for both directions. A vehicle registration plate recognition system is in use at the BCP. In 2009 at the road BCP they detected 117 and in cases of illegal migration. Cases of drug smuggling are detected quite often. Pazarkule BCP on the border with Greece is open only for the passenger traffic and it has approximately border crossings annually. The most of the passengers are Greek, Turkish and Bulgarian citizens. In fact this small BCP with an outdated very basic infrastructure is a suboffice for the Kapikule BCP on the border with Bulgaria and, for this reason, the recourses of these locations are used on a flexible way, i.e. personnel can be moved between these locations based on the current needs and in the case when they detect a suspicious travel document at the Pazarkule BCP, they go to the Kapikule BCP to make the second line control. This kind of second line equipment use is recommended also for the port of Trabzon, where they do not have equipment for second line control, but the Trabzon airport is equipped with modern second line control equipment and trained personnel can be reached in five - ten minutes. The Sarp road border crossing point is the second liveliest road BCP in Turkey. They have 4,000 5,000 passengers, 6,000 7,000 trucks and 1,000 other vehicles crossing the border daily and the number of border crossings is constantly increasing. The high traffic flow is partly caused due to the fact that the BCPs between Turkey and Armenia are closed and a lot of cargo into Armenia is directed via Georgia. There is a very special and innovative arrangement between Turkey and Georgia to use Batumi airport in Georgia for domestic flights in Turkey. Check-in and passport control for the passengers is made in Hopa on the Turkish side and they are transported cross the border in closed buses. At the Batumi airport the passengers are moved directly to the departure gate without a passport control. Local authorities consider this BCP to be almost free of illegal migration. At the Sarp BCP, the Customs has two drugs dogs in their use, but they have not detected any drug smuggling cases recently. The last case took place two years ago and in this case a Georgian citizen had only 8-10 grams of narcotics in his/her possession. The Customs has in their use a vehicle tracking system for risky TIRs donated by the EU. Task distribution between the Police officers responsible for border checks and the Customs officers differs significantly from the EU best practices, at least at the Sarp road BCP. There Customs officers regulate the traffic and take care of the entry and exit control of the vehicles at the BCPs. The Police officers are not involved at all in the vehicle search activities. The Police and Customs officers do not work together as a team. Instead of one stop principle, a three stop system is implemented. The first stop is for the Customs control at the entrance to the BCP, second for the passport control inside the BCP and the third for the additional Customs Control at the exit of the BCP, where Customs officer is to check that all the Customs and passport control procedures have been implemented properly. This kind of complicated control procedure is very much time consuming, ineffective from the costeffectiveness point of view and, besides, definitely too frustrating for the passengers. The Turkish Customs authorities stated that the control of the passengers and the goods is carried out in Turkey in a different way due to different legislation. They considered it impossible to control both the passengers and goods simultaneously since they have evaluated that such an implementation may extend the time needed for the control of passengers. Moreover, they emphasized that both points of Customs Enforcement in the entry and exit of border crossing
8 8 points are not only Customs control points, but they also serve as registration points of vehicle plates for following vehicles in the Customs zone. In June 2009, Customs Undersecretary has proposed officially to the Bulgarian Customs Authority the common use of Kapıkule and Kapitan Andreevo BCPs. Same kind of proposal has been made also for Syria and Georgia. In this regard, it should be noted that at least for the time being organizing joint border control at the EU external border is not in line with the Schengen Borders Code. For this reason, it is recommended to follow-up the development in the EU in this regards and to move forward with the joint border control procedures only if they are in line with the EU regulations. Other kind of cooperation, like common use of expensive control equipment, expert exchange, etc., is also currently highly recommended. It was a great idea for Turkish authorities to introduce to the best, middle-level and the worst kind of BCPs and thereby to provide the mission members with the true and comprehensive picture of the infrastructure and equipment level at the BCPs. Recommendations: - to develop the task distribution between the Police the Customs at the BCPs to follow the EU best practices and this way to enhance operational as well as cost-effectiveness and making border crossing more fluent for the passengers. This work should be started with the review of national legislation. - to develop control procedures at the BCPs towards the one stop principle - to enhance the knowledge of human trafficking in order to guarantee that at all the time they have at all the international BCPs enough knowledge to fight effectively this crime - to use the passport insert designed to raise awareness of the 157 helpline to fight against human trafficking at all the BCPs - to develop close cooperation between the Trabzon seaport and airport in the second line passport control by taking full use of the existing equipment and trained officers at the airport to support the seaport in the investigation of suspicious travel documents - to deploy time to time mobile X-tray to Trabzon seaport - to enhance cooperation between the Turkish and neighbouring country BCPs i.e. by exchanging information and experiences as well using commonly expensive control equipment existing only on the one side of the border - to follow-up the development of regulations in the EU regarding joint border control procedures and to move forward with the joint procedures only then if they in line with the EU regulations 5.2 Border Surveillance While introduction to the green border surveillance on the border with Georgia and Greece was included in the Peer Review programme, it did not take place in practice. On the border with Georgia local commander of the Land Forces was present at the Sarp BCP, but introduction to the green border surveillance was limited to a short discussion on this topic with him. During the visit to the border with Greece no representative of the Land Forces was present at all. The local commander of Land Forces unit responsible for green border surveillance in the area nearby the Sarp BCP on the Georgian border told that their scope of responsibility is 120 kilometres of border line. The mountainous geography makes crossing the green border very
9 9 difficult and for this reason only 15 illegal border crossing have been detected annually. They have four-wheel vehicles for patrolling. Helicopters are available upon request. Dogs, night vision and target identification equipment are widely used to support patrolling. Patrolling is based on a basic risk analysis, where the most risky areas and times for illegal border crossings. Situational awareness is on basic level based on the radio communications between the Command Centre and patrols via digitalized radio network. Early warning system, where the border guard authorities of a neighboring country are immediately informed about the detected or suspected illegal border violations, is in use. Otherwise activities are not coordinated with the Georgian border authorities. Reaction capacity can be considered to be satisfactory at most of the locations, but some areas are very difficult to reach due to the mountainous terrain and lack of roads. 80 % of the personnel are conscripts. In general, the number of personnel is considered to be enough. In order to enhance their operational effectiveness, more technical surveillance equipment is needed. Recommendations: - to introduce the green border surveillance system for the EU experts on a detailed way in order to make it possible to make a comprehensive and reliable analysis of it 5.3 Operational effectiveness The figures of detected illegal migrants in Turkey have dropped by about 20 % in 2010 as compared to the previous year. The only rational explanation behind this is the economic crisis in Europe and, thus, less willingness for illegal migration into Europe. Whatever, the the Ministry of the Interior has achieved significant results in preventing illegal migration. In 2010, they have deciphered 332 crime organizations and apprehended 990 organizers involved in human smuggling. According to 2010 data, the number of deciphered crime organizations increased by 9 % and the number of apprehended organizers rose by 16 % compared to the previous year. At the Kapikule BCP on the border with Bulgaria, Turkish authorities have estimated that the pressure of illegal immigration would increase in their area of responsibility after Bulgaria joins the Schengen Agreement. In Edirne region nearby the border with Greece, Turkish authorities have recently intensified inland control of illegal migrants at the bus stations, crossroads and in the city centre. By the end of Nov 2010 they had in the Edirne region apprehended approximately 10,300 illegal migrants on the Turkish side. During the same period of time, in total 21,471 illegal migrants have been apprehended by the border units of Land Forces and local security forces in the overall 203 km sector of the Turkish-Greek border..edirne Deputy Governor said that they have enough surveillance equipment, including thermal cameras as well as personnel in the Land Forces Command for border surveillance, but the corn and sunflower fields make it difficult to control illegal migrants. According to his assessment, the most effective way to decrease the flow of illegal immigration would be to focus more on 12 km sector in the north. After considering the possibilities of illegal migrants of hiding in the fields of corn and sunflower, the expert came to the conclusion that most obviously the use of thermal image equipment, as well as sniffer dogs would be an asset. The Turkish Coast Guard is a modern, quite well equipped and effective law enforcement organisation with appropriate Coast Guard functions. Border surveillance at sea is effectively implemented. Conscripts are used for the assistance tasks only. The Coast Guard have a significant fleet of modern vessels and helicopters and several modernisation projects of the