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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ISTANBUL452 2003-04-03 08:56:00 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Istanbul
Cable title:  

"RUSSIAN" PROSTITUTION IN ISTANBUL

Tags:   PHUM KCRM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF UK MD TK 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ISTANBUL 000452 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/01/2013
TAGS: PHUM KCRM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF UK MD TK
SUBJECT: "RUSSIAN" PROSTITUTION IN ISTANBUL

REF: ANKARA 1396


Classified By: Consul General David Arnett for reasons 1.5 (b) & (d)




1. (C) In separate March 26 meetings, Istanbul contacts
confirmed that illegal foreign prostitution in Istanbul
remains widespread, and that criminal networks, and possibly
even corrupted officials, have a lucrative stake in the
business. Marmara University sociologist professor Nilufer
Narli told poloff that foreign prostitution, particularly
involving "Russians," remains widespread in various
neighborhoods of Istanbul (Note: Such women are generally
Moldovan, but also come from the other countries in the
region. End Note). In addition to cheap hotels and bars
which play host to foreign prostitution in Taksim, Laleli,
and Aksaray, Sisli District Governor Osman Demir confirmed
that prostitution is also widespread in the night clubs of
the Elmadag neighborhhod in Sisli. Asked how many of these
women might have been involuntarily forced into this work,
both Narli and Demir said that the overwhelming majority work
voluntarily. Demir maintained that many are primarily
"suitcase traders," who simply "raise capital" by engaging in
prostitution on the side. Narli said that her research had
not found many such women, although she admitted that there
are probably some young women who are lured to Istanbul under
the expectation that they will engage in other work (as
waitresses, maids, or babysitters), and are pressured into
prostitution by economic circumstances or even by force.




2. (C) Both Demir and Narli said that criminal groups have a
major stake in the prostitution business. Demir (who
oversees the security apparatus for the Sisli district) told
poloff that he believes both local and international groups
are involved. In addition to the mafia elements, Narli added
that there are "undoubtedly" corrupt officials who profit
from these illegal activities. She pointed to the fact that
some of the hotels and other establishments where such
prostitution occurs are even owned by retired police
officials. The fact that even the highest levels of Turkish
society use such prostitutes (or at least the exclusive
high-end "escorts"), Narli suggested, may be why such illegal
activities are tolerated. Separately, Demir noted that the
sharp disparity between the economic prospects such women
face at home compared with what they can earn in Istanbul
will always make it difficult for the authorities to control
such activities.




3. (SBU) Comment: These remarks largely track with what we
had understood to be the situation here in Istanbul. It is
interesting that both of these contacts raised the subject on
their own in meetings on other subjects, suggesting to us
that our contacts are increasingly aware of our concerns
regarding trafficking in persons.
ARNETT