No: 238, 2 July 2021, Press Release Regarding the Turkey Section of the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 03.07.2021

The 2021 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report confirms that Turkey has increased her efforts to combat human trafficking. Despite this, we regret that our efforts are trying to be obscured by the mention of allegations from some NGOs of dubious reliability and their groundless assumptions.

Turkey exerts every effort to prevent the crime of human trafficking, punish its perpetrators and protect the victims. The “Action Plan on Human Rights”, and its vision of a “free individual, strong society and a more democratic Turkey”; signed by our President; also envisions an effective fight against human trafficking and is a testament of our determination.

On the other hand, we fully reject the allegations attributing responsibility to Turkey regarding military recruitment of children. Turkey is party to main international mechanisms on protection of children rights, including those within the UN system, and has a clean record in this field.

It is the most striking example of double standard and hypocrisy that the U.S. blatantly slanders Turkey on this issue, while clearly supporting and arming the PKK-PYD-YPG - a terrorist organization that recruits children and uses them in terrorist acts in Syria and Iraq.

The report by Virginia Gamba, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict published on June 21st, 2021 had duly confirmed that the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces”, led by the PKK/YPG terrorist organization, committed various violations and serious crimes, such as forcible recruitment and use of children, deprivation of liberty and abduction of children as well as military use of schools. In spite of these facts, the report oddly disregards violations by the SDF.

It is unacceptable and a grave contradiction that the US is throwing such baseless accusations at her ally Turkey, with whom she works in close coordination on multiple regional issues, while ignoring the serious crimes, such as abduction and conscription of children not only in Syria, but also in many parts of Iraq including Mahmur and Sinjar committed by this separatist terrorist organization, with whom she partners with in Syria, providing training and weapons.

Turkey will always remain resolute in continuing her efforts to prevent the crime of human trafficking in line with the conventions it is a party to.

Atatürk

Mustafa Babür Hızlan Ambassador
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