2006-02-08 15:40:00
Embassy Ankara
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E.O. 12958: N/A
31, 2006




E.O. 12958: N/A
31, 2006

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 Embassy translation.

2. Published by Sabah on Tuesday, January 17:

TITLE: Trip to Hope - by Erdal Safak

BEGIN TEXT: Human trafficking is one of the most
shameful things in our century, but it is also one of
the most profitable illegal activities. The camp in
Edirne reflects the images of the immigrant trafficking
victims. There is also a human trafficking aspect for
which we need to pursue the traces in big cities.

Poverty and hunger, as well as wars, in Asia and
Africa, and unemployment in the former eastern bloc
countries led millions of people to the roads. Human
smuggling, one of the most shameful activities of our
century, emerged. Criminal organizations earn around
$10 billion annually. Human trafficking is more
profitable than drug trafficking.

Many organizations in Turkey, from the PKK to the
Mafia, control an important part of this trade. Turkey
signed all international agreements on human
trafficking. Also, the Turkish Penal Code that went
into effect last June foresees heavier sanctions for
traffickers. But despite these sanctions, neither
immigrant smuggling nor human trafficking can be
prevented because Turkey is a source, destination and a
transit country. In other words, while some of our
citizens try to travel abroad illegally, we are on the
path of hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and
the Far East who want to travel to Europe. Those who
are kidnapped or brought in secretly from the Balkans
and the Caucasus also constitute a market. Some of
them work in the prostitution sector, others as
household help.

Former Labor Minister Yasar Okuyan, in 2000, announced

that the number of foreigners who were secretly
employed in Turkey was one million.

The EU Justice and Interior Ministers, at their meeting
in Vienna on Friday, agreed to increase the authority
of the "European Joint Police" and, in particular, in
border security against illegal immigration. END TEXT.

3. Reporter/Columnist Savas Ay visited Edirne and met with
some illegal immigrants kept in that province. He wrote a
three-part series on immigrant smuggling and human
trafficking in Sabah on January 17 through 19. Following
are highlights from that series:

BEGIN TEXT: January 17:
- Human trafficking is a global problem. It imposes a
heavy social, economic and humanitarian burden on countries.
- In 2005, only in Edirne, more than 10,000 fugitives
from 40 countries were captured at the border with Greece
and Bulgaria.
- In the past 15 years, 400 illegal immigrants, who were
trying to either enter or leave Turkey, drowned in the Meric
River. None of the bodies were claimed by their relatives
or consulates. Indeed, most of them did not have a passport
or ID. The Edirne Municipality buried the dead in certain
quarters in the city cemetery or in Ipsala.
- The largest area where these illegal immigrants are
kept is in the old Tunca Barracks. As I was touring the
site, some officials warned me by saying that it might not
be safe for me to wander around, and also I might be
infected with lice or start itching. There is open sewage
dripping inside and recently 14 people fled the site by
digging a hole in the wall.
- The Mafia earns around $7 billion annually from human
smuggling. Turkey is one of the main arteries of this
bloody, dark and dangerous traffic. What I saw was a human
tragedy and a shame for humanity.
- Edirne Police Chief Hanefi Avci noted that he spent
approximately 600 thousand TL in ten months to feed and meet
the needs of these people. He noted that they had 500
refugees from 40 countries, including Pakistan, Somalia,
Mauritania and Iraq, who needed to be deported. He said
that they were deporting refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and
Pakistan from Agri. Now we are not deporting and maybe
their number might exceed 2000.
- "Have You Seen My Mother?" is a 30-second film that
will be shown in movie theatres and TV in February.
According to IOM (The International Office for Migration),
one of every three human trafficking victims is a mother.
So the IOM found four kids whose mothers were kidnapped in
Turkey to appear in this film. They were taught Turkish.
Three of them are boys aged between 10 and 16 and one of
them is a four-year-old girl. It was shot in Moldova and
demonstrates the plight of families and children. The
Trabzon, Izmir and Antalya metropolitan municipalities are
supporting the campaign. The Ankara Metropolitan
Municipality will put campaign posters on 700 buses and the
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on 500 buses. They will
also support the campaign with their billboards.

January 18:

- The British police captured a 19-member gang during the
"Blue Sky" operation a few months ago. They raided 12
offices and houses in London and Lincolnshire. The gang was
earning around 3,000-5,000 pounds Sterling from each illegal
immigrant. They were brought into the country in 20-person
groups after voyages that sometimes lasted months.
- I visited the Acisu Cemetery in Edirne. An official
showed me where they buried these illegal immigrants. Most
of them were buried without proper religious ceremonies.
- The Mafia that was involved in immigrant trafficking
was earning around 2-3 billion dollars in the early 1990s.
Meanwhile, western countries lowered their quotas for
immigrants. Thus, the cost of illegal immigration went up.
Now the Mafia earns around 7 billion dollars annually from
this dirty trade. The Mafia organizations have members from
all countries.
- Those who send immigrants by boat earn around one
million dollars per vessel.
- According to the Smuggling and Organized Crime
Department of the Jandarma, human smuggling is an ever-
growing sector. No country alone can prevent it by itself.
- Depending on their destination and itinerary,
immigrants pay around 3,000 to 7,000 Euros each.
- According to Turkish National Police officials, the
number of illegal immigrants in Istanbul alone is around one
million. Most of them are from Asia. Then come Africa,
Eastern Europe and Latin America.

January 19:

- Turkey has been exposed intensively to illegal
immigration because of its geographic location between the
source countries in the east and the destination countries
in the west.
- We all know that illegal immigrants follow an itinerary
that passes through either Istanbul or other provinces on
the shore. So the controls are very tight.
- Officials said that these immigrants certainly do not
travel by themselves and that illegal criminal organizations
help them in return for 3,000 to 5,000 dollars. Turkey
captured tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and
organizers. It is known that these organizers are also
linked to the PKK terrorist organization and to drug
- It costs 8,000 pounds Sterling for an illegal immigrant
to travel from Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan to Britain. It
costs 6,000 pounds Sterling to France and 4,000 to Greece.
The approximate fee for traveling from Africa to Europe is
6,000 to 8,000 dollars. Meanwhile, travel to the U.S. and
Australia cost the most, 15,000 to 20,000 dollars.
- The first allotment, which is a quarter of the fee, is
paid, say in Afghanistan. When the person reaches Iran, his
family is informed and family members pay the smugglers the
second quarter of the total fee. When illegal immigrants
reach the third phase, that is Turkey, Greece or Bulgaria,
the third allotment is paid. Once they reach the
destination, they pay the remaining quarter.
- If an illegal immigrant is captured at one of these
stages and returned home, then smugglers do not charge him
for the same portion in their second attempt. END TEXT.

4. Published by Sabah on Tuesday, January 17:

TITLE: "Have you seen my mother?"

BEGIN TEXT: The United Nations International Office
for Migration (IOM),has laid out the tragic truth of
trafficking in women. UN research shows that one out
of every three foreign women abducted and forced into
prostitution is a mother. A new campaign called "Have
you seen my mother?" has begun. Short footage films
prepared by the UN will take attention with the "mother-
child drama."

Three women in 1 a mother.

IOM, in starting a campaign to prevent human
trafficking, has revealed that one in every three
foreign women forced into prostitution is a mother.
The Organization took up the issue in its 2005 Human
Trafficking Trends report and, with a campaign to begin
in February, the drama of the children left behind of
mothers who have been kidnapped by gangs will be shown.
The report tells the stories of the children whose
mothers, mostly from northern countries, were kidnapped
and brought to Turkey. The report stressed that these
women, due to poverty, cannot take care of their own
children and are duped into accepting child-minder
positions. Furthermore, the report said, the Mafia
takes their passports and threatens to kill the women's
children while locking the women up and forcing them
into prostitution.

IOM, in order to increase public sensitivity and show
the bitter truth, have gone into action by showing a
short film on television and in cinemas. In the
American- and several film company-sponsored film, four
children whose mothers were kidnapped and sent to
Turkey took lead roles. The slogan "Have you seen my
mother?" is used.

The film on TV and billboard notices

The film, shot in Moldova, stresses the drama of
children who are left behind and families that are torn
apart due to trafficking in persons. The 30-second
film will be shown first in Turkey, then Moldova, and
then other countries where trafficking is heavy. The
municipalities of Trabzon, Izmir and Antalya, where the
concentration of working foreign women is, have been
supportive. The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality will
post notices on 700 buses and the Istanbul Municipality
on 500. There will also be billboards. The film was
shot in a village in Moldova from where trafficked
women came. The film, made by an IOM team, was
financed by the USG. The film crew first chose the
children and then taught the four children Turkish.
Three boys, aged 10-16 and a four-year-old girl from
the poverty-stricken village took leading roles. END

5. Published by Milliyet on Monday, January 23:

TITLE: Visa scandal tied to Turkish businesswoman

BEGIN TEXT: The explosive scandal involving visa
selling by Austrian representatives in several
countries has also affected the Austrian Embassy in

The investigating commission, which uncovered the visas
for money scandal in Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine at the
Austrian embassies, also reported that, "between 2003
and 2004, an Austrian diplomat working at the embassy
in Ankara sold visas for money."

The unnamed person who worked in the Austrian Embassy
in Ankara has been arrested and an investigation into
the person's background has begun.

It has been asserted that the embassy official involved
in this visa scandal, a Turkish businesswoman living in
Vienna, provided false guarantee documents and shared
in the money. A case has been opened and charges of
trafficking in persons and being a member of an
organized crime network have been filed against the 33-
year-old unnamed Turkish businesswoman.

According to the report issued by the commission
established to unearth the visa scandal in Austria in
the middle of last year, Foreign Minister Plassnick may
be held accountable and questioned in front of the
parliamentary investigation committee if she is proved
to be responsible for the visa scandal. END TEXT.

6. Published by Aksam on Saturday, January 28:

TITLE: Anchovies vs. Condoms

BEGIN TEXT: Along with the opening of the Sarp Border
in 1989 and the spread of prostitution came many
communicable diseases. The rate of sexually
transmitted Hepatitis B and C in the Black Sea is
higher than the Turkish average. The average rate of
Hepatitis B is six percent, while in the Black Sea
region it is eight percent. The rate of Hepatitis C is
two percent nationwide, and three percent in the Black
Sea region. According to Dr. Mustafa Torun of the AIDS
Research Association, the rates of these types of
illnesses increase every day. Ignorance had an effect
on the spread of these illnesses.

Dr. Torun said, "The most important thing to the
increases is the transmission within families. Couples
do not take tests before they enter into relations, nor
do they protect themselves. If one of the partners has
a disease, it is passed on to the spouse or even to the
children. The most effective prevention is using

(A caption under a photo reads: Dr. Mustafa Torun said
that foreign prostitutes have a big effect on the
spread of disease.) END TEXT.

7. Published by Yeni Safak on Sunday, January 29:

TITLE: Prostitution Ring Brought Down

BEGIN TEXT: Operation Orchid. A team from the Sakarya
Security Directorate organized an operation called
"Orchid" against a prostitution ring in the Karasu
district. Forty women, mostly foreign, who were sold
to men were caught. Twenty-one organizers, who were
caught with these women, were arrested.

3 Police in Gang. It was alleged that three policemen
were among the suspects and that an unregistered
hunting rifle and cannabis products were seized.
Sakarya Security Director Mustafa Aydin said that the
operation was international and that there were
officials among the arrested. Questioning of the
suspects continues. END TEXT.

8. Published by Cumhuriyet on Sunday, January 29:

TITLE: Blow to Prostitution Sector in Sakarya

BEGIN TEXT: Sixty people, most of them foreign women,
were arrested in a prostitution raid in the Karasu
region of Sakarya.

Operation Orchid was realized through cooperation
between the Sakarya Smuggling and Organized Crime
Department and the Karasu Security Directorate and was
pre-planned. Sixty people, including foreign female
prostitutes and people who worked those women, were
arrested. Among the arrested were female prostitutes
from Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as Turks.
One air gun and some cannabis were seized. END TEXT.

9. Reported by Reuters News on Monday, January 30:

TITLE: Turkey targets traffickers of women with

BEGIN TEXT: Turkey will launch a media campaign this
week to help foreign women, mainly from the former
Soviet Union, forced by criminal gangs to work here as
prostitutes, organizers said on Monday.

Television and newspaper advertisements will feature
children asking, "Have you seen my mother?" to
highlight the fact that an estimated one in three
foreign prostitutes in Turkey are mothers and also to
stress the human dimension of their plight.

The women, many of them from Ukraine and Moldova, are
usually conned by gangs into coming to Turkey to work
because they have to support families back home. They
then have their passports confiscated and are kept
virtual prisoners.

"One of the points we are trying to make is that
trafficking takes an enormous toll, not just on the
individuals but on families and communities," Allan
Freedman of the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) told Reuters.

"Women with children are especially vulnerable. They
are under incredible social pressure to make money for
their kids so they become more vulnerable to being

IOM experts say the international trafficking of women
has become a hugely lucrative industry, worth around
$3.6 billion in Turkey alone.

IOM data showed 469 women were trafficked in 2005 into
Turkey, but experts say this probably represents just
10 percent of the real figure. Turkish Interior
Ministry data put the number of trafficked women at 243
in 2004.

A woman forced into prostitution would service on
average about 15 women a day, at a cost of $150 per
person, the IOM said.

"There is a tremendous amount of money being made in
trafficking and nobody knows for sure where the money
is going," Freedman said.


Last year, Turkey set up a 24-hour telephone hotline to
help victims of human trafficking. It is staffed
mainly by Russian speakers as language problems are
believed to have discouraged women in the past from
going to the police.

Three out of every four calls made to the hotline have
come from clients of the women who wanted to help them,
IOM data showed. Authorities plan to expand the
hotline service.

Around a third of the trafficked women in Turkey live
in Istanbul, the country's commercial hub. About a
quarter live in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya,
underlining a close connection between trafficking and

A large majority of the victims were recruited by
citizens of their own countries. Ukraine provided
nearly a third of the trafficked women in Turkey,
followed by Moldova, Russia and the Turkic-speaking ex-
Soviet republics of Central Asia.

The advertising campaign, due to begin on Tuesday, will
be financed by the United States. The European Union,
which Turkey aims to join, is also providing help to
Ankara to tackle human trafficking. END TEXT.

10. The following was published by Cumhuriyet on Monday,
January 30 in an article on the recent conference on Women
and the Alliance of Civilizations held in Istanbul.
Marielle Sander-Lindstrom, Chief of Mission of IOM Turkey,
was interviewed:

BEGIN TEXT: Cumhuriyet interviewed Marielle Sander-
Lindstrom (Turkey's International Office for Migration
Chief of Mission) and she said, "Turkey's geographical
position is on the illegal migrant route. Women from
the former Soviet Bloc, especially, come to Turkey to
find work. Many of them fall into the human
traffickers' traps, however. The "157" helpline,
established in cooperation with the Turkish government,
helps women who have fallen into the Mafia's human
trafficking trap.
In the one year that I have been in Turkey, I have seen
many different characters who have been sheltered. The
most interesting is that 70 percent of the calls into
the hotline are from men who want to save a woman they
know. Essentially, Turkish men value women. END TEXT.

11. Published by the Turkish Daily News on Tuesday, January
TITLE: Campaign to reveal impact of human trafficking
on children

BEGIN TEXT: The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) is launching a public information
campaign today that is hoped will raise awareness on
the impact that human trafficking has on children, a
move inspired by the disquieting fact that one out of
three women trafficked into Turkey are mothers.

"Trafficking takes an enormous toll, not just on the
woman and girls who have been trafficked to Turkey, but
on the children and families they are forced to leave
behind," said Marielle Sander-Lindstrom, the IOM's
chief of mission in Turkey. "Families and communities
are paying an enormous price."

The campaign, which is for the most part made up of a
television advertisement to be broadcast on channels
throughout Turkey, is part of an anti-trafficking
project coordinated by the Turkish government,
sponsored by the U.S. government and implemented by the
IOM. The advertisement focuses on four children from
the former Soviet Union, where most of the victims of
human trafficking come from, and their search for their
mothers who left for jobs in Turkey.

"One-third of the women trafficked to Turkey are
mothers, which means this is not only about individual
victims," Allan Freedman of the IOM told the Turkish
Daily News. The campaign, which is to be announced to
the public at a press conference at the Turkish Foreign
Ministry, is aimed at "creating a conversation on what
trafficking is about."

Turkey has been a major transit and destination country
for human trafficking in recent years, attracting many
women from the former Soviet republics aspiring for
jobs and better living standards, many of whom end up
enslaved at the hands of human trafficking gangs that
force them into sex or servitude.

According to IOM figures, 469 were identified as having
been trafficked into Turkey last year, although
authorities estimate this could be as little as 10
percent of the real figure.

Media sponsors of the IOM campaign include Kanal D and
Star television, as well as film distributor FIDA FILM
and the cinema company Sinefekt. Airport authorities
in Istanbul, Trabzon and Antalya, as well as
municipalities in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir and
Trabzon are also providing sponsorship by setting aside
billboards for campaign posters. END TEXT.

12. Published by Sabah on Tuesday, January 31:

TITLE: The United Nations' Natasha Report; Traffickers
earn 765,000 USD a year from one prostitute.

BEGIN TEXT: The United Nations, in its 2005
prostitution report, reported that victims of sex
trafficking can make 765,000 USD by being marketed to
15 men a day at 150 USD each. According to the report,
most of the victims are women from Ukraine and Moldova.
The mafia makes 360 million dollars from prostitution

The United Nations Human Trafficking Report, to be
released today, gives shocking information about women
forced into prostitution in Turkey.
According to the report, trafficking in women earns 360
million dollars per year for the mafia. The United
Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM)
prepared a report called "Turkey: Trends in Human
Trafficking" for its new campaign, which was financed
by the U.S. government. The report indicated that more
than half the victims of trafficking in Turkey are from
Ukraine and Moldova, the rest from the Balkans and
neighboring eastern countries. It is interesting to
note the details about trafficking in women and
prostitution in the United Nations' research. The
report indicates there is a social and economic side to
human trafficking and that women have earned the mafia
millions of dollars.

According to this report, the women make 150 USD a
customer and service 15 men per day. This means she
earns 2,250 USD a day and 765,000 USD for 340 days, and
that most of this money ends up in the hands of the
mafia. The total number of victims in Turkey was
reported as 4,690 (sic),but it is stressed that this
number may represent only 10 percent of the victims.
This means the yearly figure is 360 million dollars.
According to the UN report statistics, 469 women were
conned and kidnapped in Turkey last year. It was noted
in the report that IOM helped 220 women to return to
their countries and information from them indicated
that they came to Turkey to help ensure their
children's futures. Most of the women, many who earn
less than two dollars a day, were duped into coming
with promises of a nanny job.

Thirty-six percent of women are carrying infectious

Women from Moldova, Ukraine and Russia come most often
to Turkey and enter through Istanbul and Antalya.

Forty percent of the kidnapped women forced into
prostitution are mothers whose children are threatened
with death if the women do not comply.

In a survey of 117 rescued Moldovan women, emotional
and physical effects have taken their toll. According
to the survey, 36 percent of the women have
gynecological communicable diseases and 31 percent have
had damage to their reproductive organs. END TEXT.

13. Reported by Milliyet on Tuesday, January 31:

TITLE: One billion dollars earned from human
trafficking. Report reveals the amount of money made
on Eastern Bloc women forced into prostitution

BEGIN TEXT: The International Office for Migration
(IOM),in its report "2005: Turkey, Human Trafficking
and Trends," to be released today, stressed that the
illegal income generated from human trafficking of
people from Moldova and Ukraine and from other old
Eastern Bloc countries, amounts to one billion dollars.

According to information from IOM officials, last year
469 women from Eastern Bloc countries were forced into
the sex trade. This number is about ten percent of the
number of foreign women who are victims of trafficking.
In one year each woman is forced into relations with 15
people and the illegal money made from these all women
is more than one billion dollars.

Publicity films. In order to raise sympathy with the
Turkish public, an IOM-made and Kanal D and Star TV-
sponsored film entitled "Have You Seen My Mother" will
be shown free of charge on 26 television stations.

The film shows four Moldovan children of victims of
trafficking looking for their mothers, and, according
to IOM Chief of Mission Marielle Sander-Lindstrom,
"Human trafficking does not just affect these women; at
the same time it affects the children and families who
were left behind. Families are paying a high price."

14. Published by Radikal on Tuesday, January 31:

TITLE: Let us save mothers in trouble

BEGIN TEXT: The United Nations' International Office
for Migration, which put the 157 hotline into operation
in May 2005, in order to raise more interest in the
hotline, has now released a film entitled "Have You
Seen My Mother."

IOM, which has saved 52 women from the hands of human
traffickers with the 157 hotline, revealed that one of
every three women is a mother. IOM, in order to raise
more interest in the hotline is using the "mother"
element, and is cooperating with the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to start a new public awareness

Four Moldovan children. The first part of the campaign
was to use four Moldovan children in the film "Have You
Seen My Mother." The four children, whose mothers are
victims of trafficking, give the following messages:
"I miss her," "I do not know where she is," "We needed
to eat," "One of us needed to work and my mother went,"
"Have you seen my mother?" The film, which will be
shown on 26 television channels, got clearance from the
government. The film will also be shown during the pre-
film commercials in cinemas. Posters advertising the
film are in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya and
Trabzon bus stops and on billboards at airports.

Selin Arslan, IOM's Information Officer, said, "The
number of victims of trafficking in Turkey has reached
three thousand. Forty percent of the kidnapped women
are forced to work in Istanbul, 16 percent in Antalya
and Ankara. Women from Ukraine, Moldova and Russia use
the 157 hotline most often. Twenty-six percent of the
callers to the 157 hotline are victims, while 74
percent are friends or customers of the victims. We
are waiting for help from the public.

"They so scare the women they force into prostitution
that the women are afraid to call us. There is a
shelter in Istanbul and one to be opened in Ankara."
(Note: The shelter in Ankara opened at the end of
October, 2005. End Note.)