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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04ANKARA3675
2004-06-29 15:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TIP IN TURKEY: JOINT OPERATION RESULTS IN ARRESTS,

Tags:   KCRM  PHUM  PGOV  SMIG  PREF  KWMN  TU  TIP  IN  TURKEY 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 003675 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2014
TAGS: KCRM PHUM PGOV SMIG PREF KWMN TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: JOINT OPERATION RESULTS IN ARRESTS,
VICTIM ASSISTANCE

REF: ANKARA 3673

(U) Classified by Polcounselor John Kunstadter; reasons: 1.5
(b,d).



1. (C) SUMMARY. Turkish National Police (TNP) officials
confirmed press reports (reftel) that a joint anti-TIP
Turkish-Romanian Police operation (Mirage 2004) netted an
international trafficking ring and freed seven Romanian TIP
victims ages 17 to 20. TNP Foreigners, Borders and Asylum
Department Director Mehmet Terzioglu asserts that the
operation is evidence of 1) Turkey's successful international
cooperation with counterpart law enforcement organizations;
and 2) a growing focus on humanitarian assistance for
victims. Despite the operation's success, Embassy contacts
privately associate Terzioglu with police corruption in
Turkey. END SUMMARY.


THE TRAFFICKERS



2. (U) On May 31, 2004, Turkish National Police (TNP)
officers launched Mirage 2004, an anti-TIP raid on Hotel
Flash in Istanbul's Tarlabasi District. Though the
investigation continues, Mirage 2004 produced multiple
arrests in Turkey and Romania and yielded nine logbooks which
reportedly contain thousands of customers' names, home and
cellular telephone numbers, references, and notes on
customers' particular sexual preferences.



3. (C) TNP Director of Security Mehmet Terzioglu, who
oversees the Department responsible for the raid, asserts TNP
furnished evidence obtained during the Mirage 2004
investigation to Romanian Police forces who subsequently
arrested Bucharest-based ring leaders Anton Chelaru Gica and
Gheorghe Relu Rotari. Victims later identified Gica and
Rotari from arrest photos forwarded by Romanian Police
officials to the TNP. Along with bank transfers to Gica and
Rotari totaling USD 182,450, statements obtained from victims
led investigators to the organization's financial manager
Anca Carpusca and chauffeurs Fevzi Yesil and Cemal Izgi. All
are currently incarcerated and awaiting further judicial
proceedings.


THE CUSTOMERS



4. (U) Turkish Pop Star (Mustafa) Akin, unnamed famous
national football players, actors, prominent businessmen, and
police officers were reportedly among the customers listed in
the logbooks. Newspapers report that following the raid, TNP
officers detained 11 suspected customers, including Akin, for
"illegal sexual intercourse with minors". A prosecutor in
Beyoglu, Istanbul, released the 11 detainees pending formal
charges. The daily Hurriyet News quotes Akin, "They showed
me pictures of some women. I told them that I did not know
any of them. Maybe we happened to be at the same venues, but
I was not with any of them. My name was written in a woman's
notebook. Maybe it's because I'm famous."


THE VICTIMS



5. (U) Following the raid, officers from the TNP Department

of Foreigners, Borders and Asylum moved the victims into a
police guest house and contacted Turkey's anti-TIP NGO, the
Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF). HRDF
Executive Director Dr. Demet Gural visited the victims,
including 17-year-old Daniele Ostaci, who is reportedly 7
weeks pregnant. "As you can imagine, their stores were all
very desperate," Gural commented. Gural noted that the
victims were given medical exams and treated at Haseki
Hospital in Istanbul, where Ostaci first learned of her
pregnancy. According to Gural, a psychotherapist concluded
initial interviews on Sunday, June 13, 2004, just before the
victims returned to Romania on June 16, 2004.



6. (U) Gural praised police officers as "very cooperative."
She also noted that each of the victims, in separated,
private and confidential settings, confided through
interpreters that 'there were no problems with policemen
throughout the process. No one treated us badly.'



7. (U) Asserting that HRDF lacks the financial and physical
resources to properly care for the victims, and noting that
each of the victims requested to return to Romania, Gural
said she contacted the International Office of Migration
(IOM) for repatriation assistance. On behalf of the victims,
HRDF also requested from IOM ongoing psychological counseling
and medical treatment "especially for two of the victims who
are extremely traumatized."



8. (U) According to Acting Director Meltem Ersoy, IOM Turkey
coordinated with IOM Romania to place the victims in a
Romanian shelter for reintegration counseling, and additional
medical and psychological treatment. Both Ersoy and Gural
asserted the victims requested time to recover (in Romania)
before returning to their families. Ersoy noted that the
repatriation process flowed smoothly; IOM was permitted to
accompany the victims beyond the Istanbul Ataturk Airport's
no access security zone, and directly to the flight. When the
plane landed in Bucharest, Ersoy noted, IOM Romania escorted
the victims from the flight to a shelter.



9. (U) In a follow-on story published June 17, 2004, Turkey's
Hurriyet News carried victim Daniele Ostaci's statement on
page 3. Gural confirmed the statement is accurate based on
her personal interview.

BEGIN TEXT: "Last year in August my father died. I was in
9th grade. My mother was an alcoholic. She moved in with
another man. She kicked me out of the house. I started
staying with a friend. I went to a disco. I met a man named
Relu. He told me that he would find a job for me in Istanbul
as a baby sitter or a cleaner. He told me that I would earn
good money. After staying at his home that night, we went to
Piatra Neamt. He introduced me to Alex (Anton Chelaru Gica).
Alex gave me $100 in advance and placed $300 in my bank
account but told me not to spend it. On October 2, 2003, a
man working for Gica took me to a Turk named Fevzi Yesil. I
came to Istanbul together with the other girls on a bus owned
by Yesil. A taxi driver named Cemal Izgi met us. We went to
a hotel in Taksim. I met with Anca Carpusco in the hotel.
She runs the money-laundering network. Anca tore my
documents up, including my passport and identity card. She
told me that I would work for them. She took all my money.
They issued fake passports and IDs for us. She made me
memorize a telephone number. If there were ever any
problems, she told me to call this number. She also said
that they would kill me if I said anything to the police.
Cemal Izgi was transporting us to the customers. According
to Anca's instructions, we were taking notes about the
demands and preferences of these people. In 8 months, I had
sex with about 200 people. From time to time we were
involved with lesbians and in orgies. I found out later that
one of the customers was a famous singer. He was calling me
with another girl. His friend was meeting with her, and I
was with A." END TEXT.


THE NUMBERS



10. (U) In the first 6 months of 2004, IOM has received 27
referrals from law enforcement offices, compared to less than
5 in all of 2003, according to Ersoy. An additional 20 women
have applied for and received humanitarian visas this year,
Ersoy asserted. Many of these victims are currently seeking
medical assistance, legal aid, and psychological counseling.
"The process is definitely getting better," she noted. Ersoy
and HRDF Executive Director Demet Gural both noted a "direct
impact between the number of trainings and the number of
victim referrals." "One of the Jandarma officers involved in
the raid had previously attended IOM TIP training. He knew
what to do." "We need more money to keep this program
going," both noted repeatedly.



11. (C) COMMENT: In past meetings, General Security
Directorate Commissioner for Children's Issues Murat Guller
has criticized TNP Director of Security Mehmet Terzioglu's
commitment to battling TIP, repeating, he said, allegations
that Terzioglu and other police officials, including Turkish
Jandarma officers, are profiting from human trafficking.
While this is an unusually blunt criticism, particularly
considering Guller is Terzioglu's subordinate, other Embassy
contacts also associate Terzioglu with corruption.
EDELMAN