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Factsheet regarding the measures taken by Turkey for countering ISIL/Daesh terrorism finance
28 December 2015
Letter dated 24 December 2015 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Upon instructions from my Government, I am writing to you regarding the baseless allegations levelled against my country at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council Ministers of Finance, which was held on 17 December 2015.
Turkey considers the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Daesh, to be a national security threat. ISIL/Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front have been listed by Turkey as terrorist entities since 2013.
Turkey became a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL/Daesh immediately after its establishment and since then has been actively contributing to its endeavours.
After the beginning of the crisis in Syria, in response to increasing chaos on the other side of our borders, Turkish law enforcement and security forces stepped up their efforts to counter all threats to our security, including smuggling activities stemming from Syria.
Enhanced measures targeting smuggling networks were introduced in 2012 and preceded the capture of two major oil fields in Iraq and Syria by ISIL/Daesh in June-July 2014, as well as Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2199 (2015) adopted in August and February, respectively.
In this context, in 2012, our Action Plan on Countering Oil Smuggling was revised. A Circular Order (2012/19) on enhanced measures was introduced by the Office of the Prime Minister. Legislation was passed on 11 April 2013 that increased the penalties for smuggling oil and the sale of smuggled oil.
Those measures, in fact, were complementary to steps taken previously to counter attempts to smuggle oil along Turkey's south-eastern borders. The Government of Turkey has been actively fighting both the smuggling of oil and its use in the country through inspections and enhanced legislation, in particular since the beginning of the 2000s. The Anti-Smuggling Law was adopted in 2003, and a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry was set up in 2005 to investigate oil smuggling, which led to the revision of the Petroleum Market Law in 2006.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, Turkey is fully aware of the seriousness of the threat and conducts a zero tolerance policy towards ISIL/Daesh, including illegal cross-border activities. It employs effective and robust measures to prevent the smuggling of oil, particularly in the border areas.
As a result of those measures, in the first 10 months of 2015, 1,220,000 litres (322,289 gallons) of smuggled oil were intercepted by the law enforcement and customs authorities of Turkey, while in 2014, that amount was 79 million litres (21 million gallons). This decrease clearly demonstrates the deterrent effect of the measures that have been taken against smuggling attempts. Moreover, 300 kilometres of illegal pipes, which are often in the form of irrigation hoses across the Syrian border, were destroyed.
Turkey, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2199 (2015), which it also co-sponsored, regularly provides information to the Security Council ISIL (Daesh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee about the incidents of smuggled oil and the amount of oil seized in the border area with Iraq and Syria, although no link between material seized and ISIL/Daesh or terrorist groups of Al-Nusra Front could be established.
Furthermore, Turkey, which has been taking part in 2015 in the preparation of the Financial Action Task Force Typology for Countering Financing of Terrorism by ISIL, actively sought to cooperate in determining the methods and scope of the financing of terrorism by ISIL/Daesh. Turkey is also a member of the Coalition's Working Group on Countering the Financing of Terrorism by ISIL/Daesh.
I attach herewith a factsheet regarding the measures and actions taken by my Government for countering ISIL/Daesh terrorism finance as well as foreign terrorist fighters (see annex).
Turkey welcomes credible intelligence and information that will contribute to the global fight against ISIL/Daesh in every aspect, including curbing its terrorist financing.
Yet, regretfully, the Russian Federation fails to engage in such cooperation, and prefers instead to run a smear campaign against Turkey. In so doing, it chooses to ignore facts and evidence that reveal that ISIL/Daesh draws financing from sources linked with the Syrian regime, including by supplying them with oil and gas.
We reject these unfounded claims by the Russian Federation. Those allegations, which are not backed up by evidence and are an obvious part of a smear campaign against Turkey, have also repeatedly been rejected by third-party officials and experts.
I would be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Y. Halit Çevik
Annex to the letter dated 24 December 2015 from the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Turkey's fight against ISIL/Daesh
Facts and figures
- Turkey is a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL/Daesh
- ISIL/Daesh has been listed as a terrorist entity since October 2013
- More than 140 Turkish citizens have lost their lives since 20 July 2015 as a result of terrorist attacks by ISIL/Daesh
- Turkey has adopted a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal cross-border activities
- Enhanced personnel, patrols and equipment have been put in place at the Turkey-Syria and Turkey-Iraq borders
- Turkey has adopted an Action Plan on Countering Oil Smuggling, revised in 2012
- A Circular Order (2012/19) on enhanced measures has been introduced
- New Law was adopted in April 2013 that increased the penalties for the smuggling of oil/sale of smuggled oil in gas stations; and increased the number of inspections
- 79 million litres (21 million gallons) of smuggled oil were intercepted in 2014
- 1,220,000 litres (322,289 gallons) of smuggled oil have been intercepted in 2015 (first 10 months)
- 300 kilometres of illegal pipelines across the Syrian border have been destroyed
- Turkey provides regular reports to the Security Council ISIL/Daesh and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee on incidents of smuggled oil and the amounts of oil seized in the border area with Iraq and Syria in accordance with Security Council resolution 2199 (2015) (although no link with terrorist groups of ISIL/Daesh or the Al-Nusra Front has been established)
- Only two border gates are operational at the Syrian border area, and no vehicle transit is allowed
- Goods not subject to United Nations sanctions are unloaded at zero point and are delivered to the other side of the border after customs check
- New units of air defence and reconnaissance have been added to border battalions
- 90 per cent of operations of unmanned air vehicles is focused on the Syrian border area to detect illegal crossing and smuggling activities
- The number of border patrol stations has been increased
- 375,695 metres of trenches have been dug
- 153,336 metres of barbed wire have been installed
- 3,386 metres of security wall are being built
- 19,810 metres of movable concrete wall have been formed
- 26,355 metres of accordion barrier systems have been put into position 422,630 border illumination poles have been installed
- 79,507 metres of embankment (3x3 m) have been formed
- 1,217,700 metres of border patrol path have been improved
- "Syrian border physical security system" is being established (includes the construction of 151 kilometres of wall; expected cost: 81 million United States dollars)
- Security measures have been enhanced to prevent travel by foreign terrorist fighters
- Risk Analysis Units have been established at airports and major bus terminals
- Passenger screening and security checks have been enhanced in regions adjacent to the Syrian border
- More than 28,443 people have been included in the no-entry list
- More than 2,741 foreigners have been deported since 2011
- 1,273 individuals affiliated with ISIL/Daesh are in detention (including foreigners)
- 397 individuals affiliated with Daesh are under arrest (since the beginning of 2015)
- More than 300,000 Iraqis and 2.2 million Syrians and are under temporary protection.
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