Representatives from the European Union Delegation to Turkey, Ministry of Trade (MoT), Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU), Ministry of Interior and IOM, gathered for the launch of a new EU-funded project that aims to develop the capacity of customs officials over the next 30 months, aligning integrated border management practices in Turkey with EU standards.
The “Improvement of Customs Enforcement Capacity Project” kicked off in July in Ankara with the participation of project partners, government officials and members of the international community. Mr. Abdullah Soylu, Director General of Customs Enforcement for the Ministry of Trade said, “We will improve our existing capacity in the field of customs controls by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by technological developments and working in full harmony with the stakeholders” in his remarks.
The project is made possible with the generous contribution of 2.5 million euros by the EU. Over the next 30 months, around 70 activities will be implemented covering topics related to passenger and cargo control, risk analysis, customs-related crime detection and prevention, aircraft search, and detector dog handling.
Activities will include conducting a Gap and Needs Analyses, preparation of handbooks, study visits abroad for customs officials, developing curriculum and materials for trainings. Each activity will be closely organized with the MoT Directorate General of Customs Enforcement.
“This project will draw on the added value of IOM’s global experience in improving authorities’ capacity to combat irregular migration, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and organized crime, at Turkey’s three largest international airports,” said Mazen Aboulhosn, IOM Turkey’s Emergency Programme Coordinator.
Since 2005, IOM Turkey has worked with local border management authorities to strengthen technical expertise, infrastructure and cooperation among Turkey’s border agencies. IOM Turkey’s border management projects aim to further develop legal, institutional and managerial structures and capacities to support the government of Turkey in strengthening border management policies and structures in line with international best practices.
This project will add to IOM’s expertise in this area and ensure adherence to EU standards related to addressing irregular migration and countering organized crime. It will draw on IOM’s network and experience gained through similar programs already implemented in Turkey and around the world