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Project News: IBM LOC-CAP Closure Conference

26 February 2018

The last 18 months were marked by the close cooperation between ICMPD and the Ministry of Interior of Turkey in the framework of the EU-Turkey co-financed IBM LOC-CAP project (“Technical Assistance for Improving Administrative Capacity of Border Management at Local Level”). Now the time came for the final phase of the project, which includes a Closure Conference to take place in Ankara on 27 February 2018.

The main target group that ICMPD worked with was the local administration in Turkey, namely the deputy province governors and district governors who play a key role in the coordination of the border agencies in the country. The project followed a two-folded approach: within the MoI, the creation of an environment for the continuous capacity building on border management for all the members of the Turkish local administration and, on the other hand, the provision of immediate and direct training.

The first goal was achieved through the development of a tailored Training Strategy and Training Manual on Integrated Border Management (IBM) for local administrators based on comprehensive gaps analyses and needs assessment. The second – through direct capacity building activities that were organised throughout the year in different regions in Turkey and in the European Union member states.

Four local study visits in the provinces of Edirne, Izmir, Mersin and Artvin provided 120 local administrators with an opportunity to witness the management of sea, air, western and eastern land borders in practice in their country. Theoretical input on EU practices combined with the visits to various border gates and presentations from National Police, Customs Service, Aviation Security/ airport administration, port authorities, DGMM, Land forces, GTİ, Veterinary and phytosanitary authorities created a comprehensive picture of the IBM framework in Turkey.

While it is critical for local administrators to be aware of the state of play on border management in Turkey, it is highly important for them to be exposed to knowledge and concrete examples of current international best practices for an enhanced understanding of such global issues. Such an opportunity was provided to 44 local administrators from 17 different provinces during 5 study visits to EU Member States. They were organised between May and October 2017 to Spain, Poland, Finland, Romania, and Lithuania. The study visits have enabled the local administrators to observe border management from different angles and learn about the broad scope of border management practices that proved to be highly functional in countries with different backgrounds and border challenges.

Ten trainings organised within Turkey

One of the key components of the project, namely 10  five-day long training sessions on IBM, were organised in Ankara, Trabzon, Canakkale, Adana, and Istanbul, with more than 320 local administrators trained.

The aim of each training session was to develop the skills and competences necessary for local administrators to perform their border management-related tasks according to the national legislation and good practices of the EU IBM policy. Five experts from Lithuania, Hungary and Turkey, with long-term professional experience in border policing, customs and migration management, have delivered the courses between August 2017 and January 2018.  

During the training sessions, an interactive methodology was applied, including a mix of theoretical input, analysis and examples, audio-visual materials, group work, case studies, and interactive discussions. Classroom-based training was combined with practical training in the field, i.e. site visits to border gates or border authorities were organised.

All in all the training sessions allowed the local administrators of 80 provinces (from total of 81 of them in Turkey) to gain new knowledge and skills on the EU IBM concept, national borders management framework, operational legislation, inter-agency and international cooperation and migration management.

An additional outcome of all project activities was the establishment of a networking platform for the participating local administrators, which enabled them to get acquainted with each other and share relevant experience, which will be sustained beyond the project’s lifespan. The project activities also contributed to a better understanding of the roles and challenges among all players in the area border management and the overall strengthening of security at the national borders.     

Closure Conference

The project will end with the Closure Conference to take place in Ankara on 27 February 2018 in order to take stock of the results and achievements and map out the future steps necessary for the further enhancement of border management policies and practices in Turkey. The Conference will gather the stakeholders directly involved in the project, as well as other relevant national actors, including the Land Force Command, the General Command of Gendarmerie, the Coast Guard Command, the Ministry of Customs and Trade, local administrators, along with the international actors.