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29 April 2014

Minister’s visit to INTERPOL underlines Turkey’s central role against transnational crime

LYON, France – A meeting between INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Turkey’s Minister of Customs and Trade, Hayati Yazici, provided an opportunity for the world police body and Turkey to review their cooperation against transnational organized crime.

During his visit to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters, Mr Yazici was briefed on INTERPOL’s current activities to support member countries combat all forms of crime, including terrorism, human trafficking and people smuggling, as well as trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting. The agenda also included cybercrime and the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation, due to open later this year in Singapore.

“No single country can be successful in combating transnational crime threats alone, it takes regional and international collaboration. We believe that we can enhance regional security by working collaboratively with international organizations like INTERPOL to extend and share information and expertise,” said Minister Yazici.

"As a country geographically connecting three continents to each other, Turkey's position against transnational crime is crucially important. Fully aware of this fact, Turkey continues to play a leading role in the fight against crime regionally and globally." 

Mr Noble noted ‘the significant role played by Turkey in a number of key activities against transnational organized crime’, including illicit trafficking and counterfeiting, as well as terrorism.

In this respect, under the aegis of Turkish Customs and Minister Yazici, Turkey hosted in Istanbul the Seventh Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in April 2013, in a bid to seek innovative and collective responses to the illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.

Turkey also played a leading role in Operation Black Poseidon in May 2012, involving police, customs, prosecutors, investigators and Intellectual Property crime experts across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It revealed the increasingly elaborate methods used by transnational organized criminal groups to traffic illicit goods as a major source of funding.

With Turkey a key player in INTERPOL’s Project Kalkan, targeting terrorism-related threats in Central and South Asia and the emerging role and impact of terrorist-related criminal acts, the country hosted an INTERPOL regional anti-terrorism meeting in July 2013, focusing on travel routes used by suspected terrorists into and out of major conflict zones.

“Turkey has shown it is a strong supporter of INTERPOL in our global efforts to turn back crime and that it understands that working via INTERPOL helps make its citizens and those beyond its borders safer,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Minister Yazici’s visit to INTERPOL will help identify areas where we can enhance our cooperation, especially given Turkey’s strategic importance in sitting at the crossroads where Europe meets Asia,” added the INTERPOL Chief.

During his visit, the Minister – whose delegation included Hakki Akil, Turkish Ambassador to Paris, and Rafet Ufuk Önder, Head of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Ankara – also visited the world police body’s Command and Coordination Centre.