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2005-10-19 11:12:00
Embassy Ankara
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 17 ANKARA 006318 



E.O. 12958: N/A
15, 2005




E.O. 12958: N/A
15, 2005

1. In response to G/TIP inquiries, national and
international media sources published the following news
articles about TIP in Turkey. Text of articles
originally published in Turkish is provided through
unofficial local FSN translation.

2. Published by Guardian Unlimited on Saturday, October 1:

TITLE: Police free sex trade women in raid on massage

Officers believe 19 were being held against will.
Ministers urged to step up help for trafficking victims

BEGIN TEXT: Nineteen women from 10 countries, believed
to have been tricked into working in the sex trade,
were under police protection yesterday after a raid on
a massage parlor. Detectives think the women may have
been held against their will behind locked doors and an
electric fence at premises in Birmingham.

The women - from East Europe, Italy, Turkey and East
Asia - are thought to have been duped into coming to
Britain with offers of jobs as nannies or waitresses.

Police say that, once here, they were held at a house
by day and taken to the Cuddles massage parlor on
Hagley Road, near central Birmingham, each evening.
Some may have had their passports confiscated, making
it even harder to escape.

Interpreters were helping officers interview them
yesterday. Police said the women were being treated as
victims, not offenders, and were not under arrest.

Human rights groups welcomed the police action, but
said Britain was not doing enough for the welfare of
victims of human traffickers. Campaigners want the
government to sign up to a new European convention on
the protection of such people, but ministers are
resisting doing so.

The raid on Cuddles followed two months of surveillance
as part of Operation Strikeout by West Midlands police,

targeting violent crime.

Shortly after 8pm on Thursday, two male officers rang
the bell at Cuddles, posing as clients. As the door
opened, 25 female officers leapt off a bus and piled
into the building. Two men and a woman from the West
Midlands were arrested on suspicion of being "concerned
with the management of running a brothel." Two other
men, thought to be clients, were later released.
Police say they found a sawn-off shotgun, batons and

Cuddles has about 12 rooms. There is an electric fence
at the back of the building and some of the windows are

Det Insp Mark Nevitt said: "We went to the property to
execute a warrant in human trafficking. Intelligence
suggests the girls were brought into the country under
false pretenses, sold on and held against their will in
the massage parlor.

"These girls could be subject to violence, sexual
assaults and forced to work as prostitutes. When they
arrived in this country, they would have been told not
to trust the police, so interviewing them will be a
delicate process."

Amnesty International said victims of trafficking did
not receive the protection they needed. A spokeswoman,
Sarah Green, said: "Most are deported without any care
or support or assessment of the risks they face if sent
back. Communities might not want these women back if
they know what has happened to them, and there is
evidence of people being re-trafficked. If you deport
them very quickly and arbitrarily, you are simply
throwing them back into the fire."

Amnesty is calling on the government to sign up to the
new European convention on action against trafficking
in human beings, which gives victims the right to
emergency housing and medical care and a temporary
resident permit in the country they have been taken to.

The government is resisting because it feels the
convention may be open to abuse by people with no right
to stay in Britain.

More than 200 children have been rescued from
prostitution in the past five years on Merseyside, the
children's charity, Barnardo's, said yesterday. END

3. Published by The Telegraph on Saturday, October 1:

TITLE: Sex slaves freed as police smash human
trafficking operation

BEGIN TEXT: Police have smashed a major human
trafficking ring after freeing 19 women who were being
held captive and forced to work as prostitutes in the
West Midlands.

A special task force raided the Cuddles massage parlor
in Birmingham and released women who came from a number
of countries across Europe and beyond.

Four people, a 40-year-old woman and three men,
suspected of being part of the management, were
arrested and were last night being questioned.

A team of 50 officers - half of them female - were
involved in the swoop on Wednesday night. It is
thought that the women were tricked into coming to
Britain, had their passports taken away and were locked
in the grimy massage parlor at night to work.

During the day they are believed to have been locked in
a nearby house and made to stay there until their
evening work began.

Police also found a sawn-off shotgun and four
telescopic batons. Windows were boarded up to stop the
women from escaping and electric fences are also said
to have been erected at the rear of the building.

Det Insp Mark Nevitt, of West Midlands Police, said:
"We went to the property to execute a warrant in human
trafficking and intelligence suggests the girls were
brought into the country under false pretences, sold on
and held against their will in the massage parlor.

"These girls could be subject to violence, sexual
assaults and forced to work as prostitutes in the

He said the 19 women present were "obviously very
distressed" and added: "When they arrived in this
country the girls would have been told not to trust the
police so interviewing them will be a delicate process.

"Immigration has been informed but it is too early to
establish whether any of the girls were in this country

The women come from Greece, Turkey, Poland, Latvia,
Italy, Japan and Hong Kong.

The month-long investigation is part of West Midlands
Police's Operation Strikeout, which is targeting
violent crime and robbery in the force area. A former
visitor to the premises said: "The women were
obviously very polite but you could tell they were very
cagey and frightened of their bosses."

Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International UK,
urged the Government to sign up to the new European
Convention Against Trafficking.

She said, "Amnesty welcomes the West Midlands police
crackdown on traffickers and their vicious trade in
women who are held prisoner and forced to work as

"But the UK needs to protect the victims of this brutal
industry as well as catching the traffickers.

"We must turn the system around so that they are
recognized as the victims and not the perpetrators of
crime. The UK Government must sign up to the new
European Convention."

Details of such activities in Birmingham came to light
in February when a gangster was jailed for 11 years at
Southwark Crown Court.
Vullnet Ismailaj, 27, led a prostitution empire that
trafficked eastern European women into Britain, netting
him 300,000 pounds Sterling.

The following month, an Albanian immigrant, Xhevahir
Pisha, 21, was jailed for seven years by Sheffield
Crown Court along with two other men for their part in
forcing a teenage girl into prostitution. The 15-year-
old Lithuanian girl was forced to work in a brothel in
Birmingham two days after arriving in Britain when a
man paid 4,000 pounds Sterling for her. She was
imprisoned in Pisha's house in Coventry.

According to Home Office estimates, up to 1,420 women
were trafficked into Britain in 2000. END TEXT.

4. Published by Hurriyet on Friday, October 1:

TITLE: Turkish Sex Slaves in Britain

BEGIN TEXT: It was reported that there were women from
Turkey among the 19 prostitutes saved during a
crackdown on a brothel in Birmingham, England.

The police announced that the women were forced to
serve as sex slaves and were made to work at a massage
parlor against their will. The names of the Turkish
women captured at the brothel were not available.

During an operation on a massage parlor, where mostly
eastern European women were kept by force, three
people, including one woman, were arrested.

It was discovered that on the back of the brothel,
which looked like a prison, there were electric bars.

5. Published by Bugun on Saturday, October 1:

TITLE: Sex Slaves

BEGIN TEXT: Elina Siderova has been giving a fierce
struggle for nine months for saving the women forced
into prostitution by gangs. IOM's Turkey Secretary
Siderova stressed that this human tragedy could be
prevented only with support from the women.

Siderova noted that until now they managed to save 159
women from the houses they were locked into in Turkey
through the 157 hotline they established.

She noted that their Turkish clients informed (security
officials) about the women who were forced into
prostitution. She said, "Those women who refuse to
have sex are burned with hot oil or cigarettes are put
out in their eyes." END TEXT.

6. Published by The Peninsula, Qatar's Leading English
Daily, on Sunday, October 2:

TITLE: Three appear in court over trafficking

BEGIN TEXT: Three people appeared in a British court
yesterday accused of running a brothel in which 19
foreign women, largely from Eastern Europe and Asia,
were found during a police raid.

Carl Pritchett, 52, Nathan Langston, 22, and Susan
Richards, 50, are also charged with possessing a
firearm which was found at the massage parlor in
Birmingham, central England.

The three were arrested after a squad of mostly female
police officers stormed the Cuddles sauna on Thursday

Nineteen foreign women - from Slovakia, Poland, Turkey,
Italy, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong - were escorted
from the building after the raid.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said six of the
women were being dealt with the Immigration Service.
The rest have been released without charge.

At the half-hour hearing at Warley Magistrates' Court,
the defendants spoke only to confirm their names, ages
and addresses.

Pritchett is also accused of possessing an offensive
weapon. He was remanded into custody after being
refused an application for bail. Richards and Langston
were both granted unconditional bail.

All will return to the magistrates' court next Friday,
October 7.

Meanwhile British police and immigration officials
yesterday were offering support to the women.

A force spokesman confirmed that seven of the women
"rescued" from the Cuddles parlor were being
interviewed by immigration officers. Twelve others are
still at police stations while they are found

The women are thought to have been tricked into
becoming "sex slaves."

"They had their passports taken," the police spokesman

"They were locked into the venue during the evening to
work and taken away during the day and locked in a
house," she said.

Amnesty International welcomed the raid but called on
the government to do more to protect victims of

Spokeswoman Sarah Green said there was no protection in
law for victims of trafficking who were normally
classed as illegal immigrants and deported.

"Most are deported without any care or support or
assessment of the risks they face if sent back," she

"Communities might not want these women back if they
know what has happened to them and there is evidence of
people being re-trafficked.

"If you deport them very quickly and arbitrarily, you
are simply throwing them back into the fire."

Green also appealed to the government to sign up to the
Council of European Convention on Action against
Trafficking in Human Beings, which she said gives
victims the right to emergency housing and medical care
and a temporary residence permit in the country they
find themselves in.

"There is no reason why Britain should not sign up,"
she said. "These people are victims of a series of
vicious human rights violations and should be protected
in law."

Meanwhile, a 50-year-old woman from Brierley Hill, West
Midlands, a 50-year-old man from Stourbridge, and a 22-
year-old man from Wolverhampton are being held on
suspicion of being concerned in the management of a

A sawn-off shotgun and 7,000 pounds Sterling ($12,000)
in cash were also recovered during the operation and a
vehicle was seized. END TEXT.

7. Published by Cumhuriyet on Monday, October 3:
BEGIN TEXT: Prof. Metin Kutal, Department Head of
International Relations at the Kadir Has University,
said that economic and political instability in
countries played a major role in fueling the Mafia that
is involved in (illegal) immigration. He noted that
unless these economic and political problems were
resolved, the problem would deepen and added, "The
globalization has deepened the abyss between the
developing and developed countries."

Kutal said that immigrants prefer to go to developed
countries mostly because these countries represent
freedom and economic welfare. He emphasized that
measures should be taken at global level against the
"immigration Mafia."

He stressed that Turkey could not struggle against this
problem by itself and added, "Turkey, because of its
location, has been the focus of the immigration Mafia.
This has created a picture against Turkey on the
international arena. It brings along many legal and
political problems."

Kutan said that among the measures taken an effective
control mechanism was key and noted, "Entries and exits
must be under control. This type of smuggling does not
contribute to the economy. It fuels further the
unregistered economy. As sources increase, the Mafia
will get stronger in a fashion that it would be


Despite all efforts and operations, almost the entire
human trafficking from Central Asia, Middle East and
Africa to Europe has been going through Turkey.

According to a recent report by the Smuggling and Fight
against Organized Crime Department, Mafia groups
organized at the international level were involved in
human trafficking. The security forces were mobilized
when the U.S. brought on the agenda some sanctions,
including an embargo, for (Turkey) not to work enough
to prevent human trafficking.

Upon a proposal by the MFA, a Task Force was
established with the participation of the TNP, Jandarma
the Coast Guard and the MIT. As a result of the work
of this Force, some operations were conducted. Upon
this development, the U.S. put Turkey in Tier Two,
among countries that take measures against human
trafficking. But none of this prevented Turkey from
being used as a transit country in human trafficking.

There are around one million immigrants in Turkey
waiting to go to the West. Last year 61,228 immigrants
were captured. It is estimated that the same year
those who managed to end up in the West through Turkey
was at least ten times this figure.

In the last activity report by the Smuggling
Department, human trafficking was tackled in length.
According to the report entitled, "Immigrant Smuggling
and Human Trafficking," organizers are using Turkey as
a transit country in order to take immigrants from
Central Asia, Middle East and Africa to European

The report stressed that in recent years Turkey also
turned into a destination country. Many immigrants
from the Middle East and Africa reportedly come to
Turkey to live here.

An immigrant from Iraq or Afghanistan has to travel
thousands of kilometers and pass through dozens of
countries in order to reach Western Europe. If he
manages to pass through these borders without being
detected, he finds himself in the back streets of
Paris, in the shanty town of London and in the ethnic
ghettos of Germany. It is not possible for an
individual immigrant who is not happy with his life in
his country to do this on his own. So he goes to the
Mafia. He pays between 3-7 (thousand) Euros to the
Mafia that is involved in human trafficking depending
on the country he is going or the itinerary he will
use. The annual income of the Mafia involved in human
trafficking is up to $8 billion. Since it is very
profitable, the Mafia, involved in drug and arms
trafficking, also got involved in human trafficking.

According to the report of the Smuggling Department,
the most important characteristic of the Mafia that is
involved in human trafficking is that they are
organized at international level. There are Turks
among the influential people in the Mafia.

The Smuggling Department conducted many operations last
year against human trafficking. Some important
operations included:

- Yayla Operation: It was conducted on April 25, 2004,
in Ankara, Istanbul, Hatay, Canakkale and Agri. In
that operation 30 immigrants, mostly Chinese, were
captured and 117 fake passports were seized. It was
learned that Chinese immigrants first were brought by
plane to Jordan and from there were taken to Syria.
Later they entered Turkey through Hatay. Traffickers
were planning to take the immigrants through Romania
and Greece to Western European countries.

- Sea Project Operation:
This operation was conducted jointly with Britain. In
Kocaeli and Istanbul 60 immigrants, including 57
Iraqis, two Egyptians and 11 Uzbekis were captured.
During the operation 10 organizers were arrested.

- Alaca Operation:
It was conducted at the same time in Istanbul, Aydin
and Edirne on December 25, 2004. In the operation 108
immigrants were captured and 30 organizers were
detained. Four of the gang members were Greek. During
searches at their residences, security forces found a
10-meter speed boat used in human trafficking, one
Kalashnikov, 110 bullets and three unregistered
pistols. END TEXT.

Two Pakistani illegal immigrants who were treated in
the Emergency ward of the hospital were sent to the
Infectious Disease Department and were put under

8. Reported by Anadolu Ajansi on Tuesday, October 4:

TITLE: Antalya Prostitution Operation - Four suspects,
including a woman, who were involved in human
trafficking and encouraging prostitution and ten
foreign women who are allegedly involved in
prostitution were captured.

BEGIN TEXT: Four suspects, including a woman, who were
allegedly involved in human trafficking and encouraging
prostitution and ten foreign women who were allegedly
involved in prostitution were captured in Antalya.

The Antalya Public Order Police Morals Department made
an announcement and noted that after receiving a tip,
they carried out an operation and captured G.T., who
was involved in human trafficking and mediating for
prostitution. Others captured were M.A., her son and
the owner of the hotel, L.E. and M.V. Ten women,
including six Moldovans and four Uzbeks, who were
involved in prostitution, too, were captured.

On their testimony at the Public Order department,
police discovered that three of the foreign women, O.C.
(18), O.K. (19) and L.C. (37) were brought for $3,000
each from an unidentified woman for the purpose of
using them as prostitutes.

It was reported that suspect G.T. was earlier charged
12 times for mediating prostitution and two times for
serving as a prostitute. END TEXT.

9. Published by Kuwait News Agency on Wednesday, October 5:

TITLE: Tracking Trafficking from Ankara throughout the
Black Sea Region

BEGIN TEXT: The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) announced Tuesday that a new initiative
to track trafficking throughout the twelve nations of
the Black Sea Region will be launched from Ankara
today. IOM spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy told
reporters that this was a major step forward in
Turkey's efforts to combat trafficking in cooperation
with its neighboring states in the CIS and the European
Union. He added that the project aims to create a
regional information hub in Turkey for trafficking
information and trends, including emerging trafficking
hot spots, economic and social conditions and
prosecution rates in the Black Sea Region. According
to Chauzy, Turkey is a major destination country for
trafficked individuals throughout the nations bordering
the Black Sea. So far this year, IOM has assisted 163
victims return to their home countries, including 51 to
Ukraine and 43 to Moldova. The project announced today
is designed to work in coordination with Turkey and the
11 other member states of the Black Sea Economic
Cooperation (BSEC), from Greece to Turkey's West,
Russia to the North and Georgia to its West. The
project is designed to complement on-going campaigns to
combat human trafficking, which include increased
public awareness activities, stepped up training for
law enforcement and medical, psychological and direct
assistance to victims of trafficking. END TEXT.

10. Published by Cumhuriyet on Thursday, October 6:

TITLE: Cut-off nose trial delayed

BEGIN TEXT: The Diyarbakir Heavy Penal Court Number 3
continued the case of R.G., whose nose was cut off and
thrown on the street after being raped when she refused
to abide by her husband's family wish to serve as a

Her husband was in prison then.

Feyyat Gezginci, Turan Gezginci, who are under arrest,
and Ekrem Gezginci and M.G., who are on trial on
release, appeared at the session on October 5.

R.G.'s lawyer asked the court to arrest the two
suspects who were released at the first court session.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of the suspects requested the
release of his clients.

The chief judge rejected the requests and adjourned the
next session to complete the missing points in the
file. END TEXT.

11. Reported by Radikal on Thursday, October 6:

TITLE: R.G. with a cut-off nose: I was forced into

BEGIN TEXT: R.G. (15), who was forced to marry the man
who raped her when she was 12, did not attend the trial
of her three brothers-in-law and her father-in-law.

Three years ago, R.G. was raped by her neighbor
Sabahattin Gezginci. When she found out she was
pregnant, she told her parents what had happened to
her. She was forced to marry her rapist in a religious

Gezginci was arrested and put in prison in 2003 for
raping a 7-year-old boy.

R.G. moved in with her in-laws. The family cut her
nose on March 11, 2005 as punishment for going out on
the streets too many times. Upon her complaint, her
three brothers-in-law and father-in-law were arrested.
They are charged with forcibly keeping and cutting the
nose of a minor. The prosecutor demanded 15-year
sentences for each.
The Diyarbakir Heavy Penal Court Number 3 on October 5,
2005 continued the case. In the previous session, the
court released two of the four suspects, Feyyat and
Turan Gezginci.

The two also attended the session on October 5. Feyyat
Gezginci took all the blame. He said, "When my brother
entered prison, she (R.G.) was going to her own
parents' house against our will. She was going in the
early morning and coming back late in the evening. I
followed her for three days and noticed that she was
speaking to four men. When she claimed that I did not
have a say, I slapped her and cut her nose."

R.G. testified without appearing in court because of
security concerns. She said, "When I was asleep they
tried to tie me up and rape me. They claimed that I
was serving as a prostitute and to teach me a lesson
they would cut my nose. They were forcing me into
prostitution. When they cut my nose, there was a lot
of bleeding. To stop the bleeding, the boiled barley
and wheat and applied it to my nose."

The session was adjourned and the court asked for a
report. END TEXT.

12. Reported by Anadolu Ajansi on Friday, October 7:

TITLE: Interior Minister Aksu due to Greece

BEGIN TEXT: Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu
will leave for Greece to attend a meeting on illegal
migration and human trafficking.

The Interior Ministry stated on Friday that the meeting
will be held with the participation of Turkey,
Pakistan, Iran and Greece between October 10th and
11th. END TEXT.

13. Published by The Guardian on Monday, October 10

TITLE: European mission unearths torture claims in

BEGIN TEXT: Reports follow launch of EU membership
talks. Ankara dismisses findings as "silly stories."

A European parliament delegation visiting Turkey to
check on its progress in human rights has found
"shocking" reports of murders and mutilations, a
British MEP said yesterday. The findings, which come a
week after Brussels launched membership talks with
Turkey, highlight the scale of progress the
predominantly Muslim country needs to make in its quest
to join the European Union.

Richard Howitt, part of the mission by the parliament's
seven-member human rights subcommittee, told the
Guardian: "What we heard was shocking. There were
accounts of soldiers cutting off people's ears and
tearing out their eyes if they were thought to be
Kurdish separatist sympathizers . You cannot hear these
things without being emotionally affected."

The MEP, Labour's European foreign affairs spokesman
and a champion of Turkey's EU accession, said the
abuses had been corroborated by human rights
organizations. A trip by the group to Turkey's Kurdish-
dominated south-east had also confirmed allegations
that security forces were reverting to tactics from
"the bad old days," although statistics showed that
instances of torture had fallen by around 13 percent
since last year. Indiscriminate shootings, widespread
extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and instances
of masked men raiding homes in the night were reported
to have made a comeback.

"Our sources were very credible and the evidence was
corroborated by all the different groups we spoke to,"
said the MEP. "They left me in no doubt of the
veracity of the claims."

But Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman, Namik Tan,
called the claims "silly stories." "They are purely
fictitious. They have nothing to do with the truth.
You will not find anyone who is credible in Turkey
saying such things."

Mr. Howitt said that in September alone 95 people had
been arbitrarily arrested in Van, a town near Iran.
Among them was Yusuf Hasar, a 19-year-old suspected
Kurdish rebel sympathizer whose body was found last
week after being arrested by police the previous day.
The violations have coincided with an upsurge of
violence in Turkey's troubled south-east. Armed
clashes have intensified since rebels lifted a
unilateral ceasefire in June last year.

The delegation, whose findings will form the basis of a
report that will feed into Turkey's membership
negotiations, was equally appalled by reports of
violence against women and allegations of body organs
being removed by security forces. Mazumber, a group
representing the relatives of torture victims, told the
MEPs that vital organs were routinely removed from the
bodies of ethnic Kurds, presumably as part of the
illicit trade in people trafficking.

Mr. Howitt said it was essential the abuses be
confronted before Ankara got into the nitty-gritty of
the talks.

Since assuming power in 2002, Ankara's modernizing
Islamist government has won plaudits for overhauling
the penal code, abolishing the death penalty,
dismantling once-dreaded state security prisons and
increasing cultural rights for ethnic minorities. But
Turkish human rights defenders still speak of a
pervasive "culture of violence" in the country's
police, security and judicial forces. END TEXT.

14. Reported by BBC News on Monday, October 11:

TITLE: People-smuggling racked "smashed"

BEGIN TEXT: An alleged multi-million pound people-
smuggling racket, believed to have brought up to
200,000 people into the UK, has been smashed in dawn

Ten people, arrested after swoops on addresses in
London and Lincolnshire, are alleged to have smuggled
thousands of Turkish Kurds into Britain.

Police say the racket's ringleaders are among 10
detainees, who are all Turkish Kurds.

Operation Bluesky has involved police from around

The network is thought to have brought people to
Britain, in groups of up to 20 a time, concealed in
cars, vans, lorries and aircraft.

We have today dismantled a huge organized criminal
network of human smuggling - Tarique Ghaffur, Assistant

The illegal immigrants, smuggled in the Kurdish areas
of Turkey, pay between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds for
journeys which often take months.

The journeys involve being passed on to gang members in
several European countries, staying at safe houses
before being smuggled into the UK in cramped

Many of the immigrants find low-paid, black market
menial jobs in north London's Turkish community.

Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur
said the "massive operation" had been aimed at those
"right at the top of this network."
"We have today dismantled a huge organized criminal
network of human smuggling," he said.

Low-paid jobs
The racket had mainly targeted people from the Kurdish
areas of Turkey with the promise of a better life, Mr.
Ghaffur said.

"One here some of these people get into low-paid jobs,
others are clearly left to their own devices to find
work," he added.

"Our commitment is to take out such networks and this
operation is the latest in our collaboration with the
growing number of law enforcement agencies in Europe to
work robustly to achieve this mission."

The 10 were arrested in raids on 12 addresses in London
and one in Boston, Lincolnshire.

More than 200 officers were involved in the London
raids at five houses in Enfield, two in Bexleyheath and
one each in Barnet, Hackney, Hammersmith, Haringey and
Tower Hamlets.

"European prosecutions"

BBC correspondent Neil Bennett said "tens of thousands"
of people were alleged to have been smuggled into the
UK by the network with "many millions of pounds made."

There had already been prosecutions in several European
countries in relation to the network, he said.

There had been disruptions of the gang's activities at
various stages of the chain in other countries.

There would certainly be charges of people trafficking
here, he said.

"The police believe that this operation has certainly
uncovered one of the biggest people trafficking
networks they have ever uncovered in this country," he
added. END TEXT.

15. Reported by TimesOnline on Monday, October 11:

TITLE: Europe's biggest human-traffic ring smashed

BEGIN TEXT: Eight people suspected of masterminding a
pan-European human-trafficking network, which has
smuggled up to 200,000 Turkish Kurds into Britain, were
among 19 arrested in a series of dawn raids today.

The arrests are the result of a two-year investigation,
Operation Bluesky, in which 200 officers in Britain
have collaborated with counterparts in Italy, France,
Holland, Belgium and Denmark to follow the gang's
movements and trace its hierarchy.

Detectives said that the eight - who were arrested from
12 residential and business addresses in London and one
in Boston, Lincolnshire - were running a sophisticated
criminal network that charged asylum seekers between
3,000 and 5,000 pounds for a ticket into Britain.

Of the other 11 people detained in today's operation
two were women, believed to be wives of the alleged
ring-leaders, who tried to intervene in their arrests.
Another six people were held as suspected illegal
immigrants, one man was detained on suspicion of money-
laundering and two more for theft.

Police said that the majority of the migrants would be
driven across mainland Europe in groups of 20 to
coastal ports. The journey could last several months
in cramped conditions and some migrants never arrived.

There, they were held in safe houses before being
smuggled aboard ferries in secret compartments hidden
in lorries and cars. Some were taken across the
Channel in light aircraft and flown into provincial
airfields in Kent and Cambridgeshire.
Once in Britan, most of the illegal immigrants have
been absorbed into north London's Turkish community,
working in the capital's black market economy.

Some illegal immigrants have obtained stolen or forged
UK papers. Many have used the money they earn to
sponsor other family members to join them.

The smugglers are estimated to have made tens of
millions of pounds. Money has been invested in
property and small businesses such as cafes and snooker
halls. It is believed officers also recovered hundreds
of thousands of pounds.

One source described the scale of the operation as
"absolutely massive" and "frightening."

This morning's raids were part of Scotland Yard's
Operation Maxim, which was set up to tackle organized
immigration crime in London.

More than 200 police officers were involved in this
morning's raids at five houses in Enfield, two in
Bexleyheath and one in each of Barnet, Haringey, Tower
Hamlets, Hackney and Hammersmith.

Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner, Tarique
Ghaffur, the head of the Specialist Crime Directorate,
said: "We have today dismantled a huge organized
criminal network of human smuggling.

"We have been working on this operation for two years
and we have worked with agencies across Europe. It is
a massive operation."

Mr. Ghaffur said today's raids were aimed at those
"right at the top of this network."

Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Skelly, one of the
lead officers in the operation, said police were
searching for at least one more man in connection with
the investigation.

"This is the most significant action taken by the
Metropolitan Police against a London-based human
smuggling network," he said.

"We believe these are the very top people in this
network. Having arrested them it will end its
activities in the short term and it will take some time
for the network to recover, if indeed it can." END

16. Published by Life Style Extra ( and China
View ( on Monday, October 11:

TITLE: 10 arrested in people smuggling raids

BEGIN TEXT: Ten people suspected of being involved in
one of Britain's largest ever human smuggling rackets
were arrested today.

Seven men and two women were held after a series of
dawn raids were carried out at 12 addresses across
London this morning involving more than 200 officers.
Another man was arrested in Lincolnshire.

Those arrested were involved in running an organized
criminal network, smuggling illegal immigrants, mainly
from Turkey, into the UK through ports in Holland,
Italy, France and Belgium.

Today's arrests were carried out under Operation Blue
Sky, a two year operation involving police in France,
Holland, Denmark, Italy and Belgium, as well as
Europol, which represents pan-Europe policing activity
and Eurojust.

The operation was led by the Met's Operation Maxim,
which aims to eradicate human trafficking, and REFLEX,
a government sponsored multi-agency taskforce dealing
with organized immigration crime as well as the
National Criminal Intelligence Service, the Immigration
Service and the Passport Service.

Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Directorate,
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: "We have
today dismantled a huge organized criminal network in
human smuggling.

"Our commitment is taking out such networks and this
operation is the latest in our collaboration with a
growing number of law enforcement agencies in Europe to
work robustly to achieve this mission."

Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Skelly, Head of the
Metropolitan Police Service's Operation Maxim said:
"Today's arrests were the result of a co-ordinated
response involving numerous parts of the Metropolitan
Police Service, and in close cooperation with partner
agencies across London and Europe, sharing their
expertise and working closely together.

"Under Operation Maxim, funded by the Home Office's
REFLEXT activity, the Metropolitan Police Service,
supported by Europol and Eurojust, continues to enhance
its efforts against those seeking to make profit from
the illegal movement of people into the United
Kingdom." END TEXT.

17. Reported by The Anatolian Times on Tuesday, October 11
and by The New Anatolian on Wednesday, October 12:

TITLE: Turkey Takes All Steps to Fight Human
Smuggling, Aksen

BEGIN TEXT: Turkey takes all legal and administrative
steps to fight human smuggling, said Serhat Aksen, a
Turkish diplomat at the Office of Turkey's Permanent
Representative to the UN.

The UN General Assembly First Committee which deals
with social, cultural and humanitarian issues, had a
plenary session on prevention of crimes, international
drug trafficking and penal law and discussed four draft
resolutions the same day. Addressing the session,
Serhat Aksen said that Turkey adopted the UN Convention
against Transnational Organized Crimes and the UN
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, Especially Women and Children.

Aksen also stressed that the Turkish Penal Code which
went into effect on June 1st, 2005 envisaged fines and
imprisonment terms from 8 years up to 12 years for
those who are involved in human trafficking.

Aksen also referred to the shelters built for victims
of human trafficking by the National Mission Group to
Fight Human Trafficking (founded in Turkey in 2002) and
the aid-information telephone line established for
victims in many languages 24 hours a day.

Turkey was at the transit route of international drug
trafficking because of its geographical location, Aksen
said and added that Turkey signed all related UN
conventions on the fight against drug trafficking and
bilateral cooperation agreements with 66 countries on
the issue. END TEXT.

18. Reported by Financial Times on Monday, October 11:

TITLE: UK police break human smuggling ring

BEGIN TEXT: UK police on Tuesday arrested at least 18
suspected of involvement in one of Europe's largest
human smuggling ring, in a series of 12 early morning
raids across London and one in Lincolnshire.

Reports on the number of arrests have varied between 18
and 19, and those arrested include six men and two
women in London. Seven of those are believed to be the
ring leaders, who face conspiracy charges. Six others
will be charged with residing in the country illegally.
Those arrested also included former asylum seekers.

The joint operation code named `Bluesky,' was carried
out by 200 British police working in conjunction with
detectives from Italy, Holland, France, Belgium and

Scotland Yard said the raids followed a two-year
investigation into the smuggling network that brought
illegal immigrants, predominantly from Turkey, into
London from mainland Europe.

The ring, allegedly a pan European organization, may be
behind the smuggling of up to 200,000 people into the
UK, senior officials said. It is one of the biggest
human trafficking operations the British police have

Bill Skelly, directive chief superintendent of the
Metropolitan police, said that illegal immigration was
a huge problem. "Worldwide, it is estimated that this
is a business worth 8 billion pounds and for the UK it
is estimated that it is as significant as the
trafficking of Class A drugs."

Police said the gang is believed to have lured
thousands of economic migrants from eastern Europe to
Britain with the promise of a better life.

Those illegal immigrants would have paid between 3,000
and 5,000 pounds to be smuggled - in groups of up to 20
at a time - from the Balkans. The journey may have
taken several months to cross from mainland Europe to
the continent's western coastal ports. According to
Mr. Skelly, "The mode of transport varied but it was
inherently very dangerous."

After arriving in Britain, most are believed to enter
low-paid work in menial jobs. Some are believed to
carry stolen or forged UK papers and many use the money
they earn to sponsor other family members to make a
similar trip to Britain.

The smuggling ring is estimated to have made tens of
millions of pounds from the racket, a portion of which
goes into businesses such as cafes and snooker halls.

19. Published by Sabah, Milliyet and Cumhuriyet on
Wednesday, October 12:


BEGIN TEXT: Police in Britain gave a blow to the
biggest human trafficking network of Europe, involving
Turks as well. According to an announcement by the
British Police, the network made approximately 200,000
people enter the country secretly and that it earned
millions of Euro for human smuggling. Approximately
200 policemen raided 12 houses and offices in the early
morning hours in the capital London and in Lincolnshire
and detained suspects, including 18 Turkish citizens.

According to the police announcement seven of them were
detained for human trafficking, two for interfering in
an investigation, six for violating the immigration
Law, two for theft and one person for money laundering.

The police noted that eight of the detainees were the
leaders of the network. In the operation codenamed
"Blue Sky," the London Police cooperated with the
Italian, Dutch, French, Belgian and Danish police. The
network is believed to have used to bring in people in
20-person groups on cars, trucks, TIR trucks or

The police said that immigrants sometimes paid 4,500-
7,000 Euros to smugglers for their voyage that
sometimes lasted for months in return for a promise of
a better life.

Those who enter Britain through illegal means are
mostly from the Southeast Anatolia and during their
voyage as they traveled in Europe they were handed over
from one gang to another and sometimes were kept in
secret cell houses and in very bad conditions.

Most of the immigrants are employed with low salaries
at the Turkish quarters in northern London. These are
either illegal workplaces or they are employed in the
service sector. Smuggling leaders, with the millions
of Euros they earn from smuggling, invest in cafes and
pool bars.

Bill Skelly from the British police said, "This
operation was a product of a two-year study and it is
part of an international operation." He added that
some of the immigrants, following many month long
voyages in very bad conditions, died even before they
could reach Britain. END TEXT.

20. Published by UNFPA News ( on Tuesday,
October 11:

TITLE: Merchants of Misery: Human Trafficking in

BEGIN TEXT: Silvia's descent into the dark world of
trafficking began when a neighbor told the 19-year-old
that she could get a good job as a sales girl in
Moscow. Unemployed, broke, with a baby daughter and no
husband or job prospects in her hometown of Uhgheni,
Silvia (not her real name) decided to travel to the
Moldovan capital of Chisinau where she was to meet two
men who would arrange her travel to Moscow. Upon
arrival in the capital, her daughter was put in the
care of one of the man's sisters. "I still do not know
what was happening to me until the day we left for
Moscow and all my papers, including my passport, were
confiscated," recalls Silvia. "They told me that if I
did not cooperate, I would never see my baby daughter

In poverty stricken Moldova, sex trafficking is big
business, controlled mostly by Russian organized crime
networks. According to some estimates, as many as
140,000 young Moldovan women have fallen prey to the
flesh trade, lured by phony newspaper ads or introduced
to traffickers through neighbors or school classmates.
Like Silvia, most of the girls come from impoverished
rural areas where more than half the population is

Now 21 and reunited with her daughter, Silvia is hiding
out in Chisinau. Like a fugitive, she is staying in an
undisclosed location, while her neighbor and others in
the smuggling ring are being charged with trafficking.
"I still fear for my life and that of my daughter,"
explains Silvia in an unsteady voice. "I do not know
if I will ever again feel safe. Certainly not until
the people who trafficked me are in prison."

Sitting on a couch in her `safe house' - an
International Office of Migration (IOM) haven for
trafficked women - Silvia does not look like a victim -
except for the deep sadness in her large brown eyes.

"I was sick, tired, afraid and filthy," she recalls,
looking down at the floor and grasping her hands
tightly together. "I was really in bad shape when I
arrived here. I was shaking constantly, had horrible
headaches and continuing nightmares. If not for the UN
[United Nations] system here and help from IOM, I would
be either dead or in a mental hospital."

The shelter has provided her with medical treatment and
psychosocial counseling, "which has helped a lot," says
Silvia, smiling for the first time. "I have also
learned about reproductive health, thanks to UNFPA, and
how to take better care of myself and my daughter."

Since 1999, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund,
and International Organization on Migration (IOM) have
been collaborating closely to assist trafficking
victims. The IOM shelter is not far from a UNFPA-
supported health center, which offers a complete array
of reproductive health services, including sexually-
transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, free
contraceptives and pre- and post-natal care.

IOM, in collaboration with UN agencies, is also
providing Silvia with a skill. "I am taking beauty
courses, which will allow me to make money doing
manicures and pedicures once I have completed my
training." She adds, "All I want now is to have a
normal life again."

Returning to normalcy is a huge challenge for girls
trafficked into the sex industry. Most are unable to
have trusting relationships with men. "Many girls are
so destroyed by the experience that even after being
rescued and returned home, they try to kill
themselves," says Olga Kolomeyets, counter-trafficking
coordinator for IOM in Moldova.

Nearly 90 per cent of returnees that come through
Chisinau have acquired an STI that needs treatment, and
1.2 per cent are HIV positive. "Before we set up this
rehab facility and shelter, victims of trafficking had
no help at all in this country," says Kolomeyets. "We
have assisted over 1500 girls here, but we need to do

According to Kolomeyets, virtually all of the girls who
pass through the facility are emotionally traumatized.
"Some will never recover," she notes sadly, adding that
up to 85 per cent had suffered domestic abuse prior to
falling into the clutches of traffickers. "There is a
history of violence in their families," she continues.
"So they see their sex slavery as another form of
domestic abuse, which they have been subjected to all
their lives."

Silvia's own "journey into hell," as she calls it,
lasted for a year and a half. "I was smuggled into
Moscow along with 11 other young women, all from
Moldova," she says in a quiet monotone voice. "None of
the girls were doing this voluntarily. We refused to
work at first, so they starved and beat us. One of the
overseers took an instant dislike to me. He raped me,
then beat me senseless."

Her "home" in Moscow was a grimy hotel in a seedy
section of the city. Actually, the entire hotel was a
brothel, filled with girls from Moldova, Ukraine,
Belarus and other former Soviet republics. "At first
we were forced to walk the streets in search of
clients," recalls Silvia. "If I did not return with
clients, I was beaten. We had to work in thin dresses
even in the middle of the Russian winter."

Silvia became numb in both body and spirit. The cold
and brutal conditions under which they were forced to
live wore most of the girls down. "A number of girls
tried to commit suicide. I stayed alive because of my

When one girl from Ukraine threw herself out of the top
floor window, her body was removed from the street like
a piece of garbage. "The police did nothing to close
the brothel or take action against the operators,"
explains Silvia. "The police were in the back-pocket
of the criminals. We had to service lots of cops for

Her captivity in Moscow lasted a full year. Although
she was permitted to send $100 a month to Chisinau to
support her daughter, Silvia was forbidden direct
contact. "Other than this, I never saw one dollar of
the money I brought in," she says. "And it was a lot,
as we charged $150 for sex, and sometimes I had to
service up to 30 clients in one day."

When Silvia got sick and had to be hospitalized for
exhaustion and venereal disease, the overseers sent her
back to Moldova to visit her daughter. "I was still
weak and afraid all the time," she says. "I did not
even know what disease I had." She later guessed that
it was syphilis.
After recovering her health, Silvia was confronted
again by the same two men who had smuggled her into
Russia. They threatened to harm her daughter if she
did not continue to work for them and shortly
thereafter smuggled her into Turkey via Izmir.

After just three months, the Turkish police raided the
hotel, and she was arrested. After spending two months
in jail, she was turned over to IOM staff and
repatriated back to Moldova. (Comment: Kolomeyets has
admitted to IOM Ankara that Silvia is actually several
women and that none of the women were imprisoned in
Turkey for two months. End Comment.)

Why does Silvia want her story told? "At first I
thought all the stories about trafficked girls were
fake, a scare tactic," she says. "But now I know
better, and I want to help others understand that it is
real and can happen to anyone."

Silvia pauses to dry her eyes and collect her thoughts.
"When I came back from Turkey and collected my
daughter, it was the lowest point in my life," she
says, staring at the floor. "I had no hope for the
future. Here I found myself and have learned a lot."
She pauses, then looks up. "I will have a new life,"
she says defiantly. "No one should have to endure what
I went through. No one." END TEXT.

21. Published by The Independent on Wednesday, October 12:

TITLE: Drinking dens provide link for those seeking
better life

BEGIN TEXT: The network of Turkish social clubs and
cafes dotted throughout Wood Green in north London are
the focal point for scores of illegal immigrants being
smuggled into London.

For the Turkish men and women seeking a better life,
but who do not have family in Britain, the unlicensed
bars and drinking dens provide a crucial link,
according to community leaders.

But Yashar Ismailoglu, the co-ordinator of London's
biggest Kurdish and Turkish community and information
center, said they could also introduce economic
migrants to London's underworld.

"Some of the people who are smuggled from Turkey come
from rural areas, cannot speak English, and have no
contacts in Britain.

"They end up in [the north London boroughs of] Hackney
or Haringey in the underground cafes and social clubs.
Many of these places do not have licenses, or toilets,
or fire escapes. People can end up getting involved in
drugs and prostitution. People can end up sleeping
rough. They do not have any money, many have spent it
all getting into the country. It can cost 8,000 pounds
per head."

He added that he had heard of cases in which people
were "packed into lorries in confined spaces unable to
move for hours."

"Some have mental problems," he said. "We have also
heard about smugglers who have abandoned people at

Mr. Ismailoglu said many of the Turks that were
smuggled into London ended up working in the hidden

"They end up in kebab and coffee shops, or working on
building sites. There is an established network
throughout the country among the Turkish and Kurdish

"They go from London to cities such as Liverpool,
Manchester and Doncaster," he said.

Scotland Yard yesterday released an X-ray image which
shows illegal immigrants packed into secret
compartments on a lorry, to highlight the methods used
by people smugglers.

Most of the Turkish Kurds smuggled into Britain by the
gang targeted yesterday are believed to have been
brought in hidden on lorries and vans. It is estimated
the gang could have made up to 100,000 pounds from a
lorry-load of 20 migrants.

Police say the immigrants, most of which came from
eastern Turkey, were charged between 3,000 and 5,000 to
be smuggled in groups of up to 20 across mainland
Europe to the continent's northern ports. Once there,
they waited in safe houses until the time was right for
them to be brought into Britain.

Some were taken across the channel in light aircraft to
small provincial airfields in Kent and Cambridgeshire.
The journey takes several months. The police who
carried out the investigation said that most of the
Turkish people being smuggled into Britain should not
be considered "victims" as they co-operated with the
trafficking gang and most immigrants were coming to
Britain to live illegally with family and friends who
were legitimately living in this country. The officers
said there was no evidence to suggest that violence was
used by the gang members against the people they were
smuggling into Britain. END TEXT.

22. Reported by Sabah on Thursday, October 13:

TITLE: Some Donate Organs

BEGIN TEXT: An immigrant speaking to the British
Daily, The Guardian, said, "We went on a truck without
knowing where we were heading. They (the smugglers)
did not tell us that the trip would last for six days.
We could have suffocated."

Ibrahim Dogus, who lives in North London noted, "Since
many of them (the smuggled) did not have enough money,
their organs are taken. Some of them (the smugglers)
just disappear." END TEXT.

23. Published by The Turkish Daily News on Friday, October

TITLE: 7 charged in UK over human smuggling ring

BEGIN TEXT: Seven men were charged on Thursday with
people trafficking after being detained in police raids
aimed at smashing a ring suspected of bringing tens of
thousands of Turkish Kurds into Britain, police said.
The seven were charged with conspiracy to facilitate
illegal entry into Britain, and six of them were also
charged with money laundering at Croydon magistrates
court in south London. A further six men suspected of
immigration violations were released by police to be
dealt with by the Immigration Service. A total of 19
people were arrested Tuesday in the raids at a dozen
houses and business premises in London and in Boston,
eastern England. END TEXT.