Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Media Attention, June 1-15, 2004
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 ANKARA 003673
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD PREF TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: MEDIA ATTENTION, JUNE 1-15, 2004
1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about Turkey-
specific anti-TIP public information, post provides as
examples the following TIP press clips. Text of any
articles originally published in Turkish is provided through
unofficial local FSN translation, unless otherwise noted.
2. (U) Versions of the following June 15, 2004 article
published in Hurriyet Newspaper (page 5) were also published
in editions of Aksam, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, Vakit, Vatan,
and Zaman. Turkish language articles appeared as half-page
or full-page spreads, including photos of alleged
TITLE: Anca's Notebook Burns Celebrities
BEGIN TEXT: A Romanian-Turkish joint police operation
against a gang forcing women for prostitution resulted
in the detention of two people, Anton Chelaru Gica and
Relu Rotaru, important names in international human
trafficking. The two sent Romanian women to Turkey
with the promise of finding jobs but instead forced
them into prostitution.
The arrests came after Romanian police contacted
Turkish police with information about the operation.
Istanbul police raided Flash Hotel at Tarlabasi
district of Istanbul on May 31 and rescued 5 Romanian
women ages 17 to 20. In the operation, Anca Carpusco,
the Istanbul leg of the network was also captured.
Testimonies by the women also led police to bus driver
Fevzi Yesil and driver Cemal Izgi. Police believe
Martinas Andrea Romona and Anca Carpusco controlled the
financial portion of the network. Romona and Carpusco
reportedly transferred USD 200,000 from their bank
account in Istanbul to Anton Chelaru Gica and Relu
Rotaru in Romania.
Acting upon the testimonies of the girls, including 17-
year-old Daniele Ostaci, who is 7 months pregnant, and
a notebook kept by Anca Carpusco, 11 people were
detained on charges of "having intercourse with
minors." Turkish Rock Star `Akin' was among the
detainees. They were then released after being
interrogated by a prosecutor in Beyoglu, Istanbul.
In a separate box, the daily wrote that Anca Corpusco
kept 9 notebooks filled with information about the
organization's customers. She kept very detailed
logbooks that included customers' plate numbers, home
and cellular phone numbers, references, and particular
sexual preferences. The names of the customers who
gave fake money and used force were marked with red
ink. Names of thousands of people including famous
soccer players, actors and famous businessmen were in
the books. Also there was information about policemen.
Plate numbers of police teams patrolling the district
were also noted.
Under a picture, the daily quoted Pop Star `Akin" who
was detained briefly. He said, "They showed me
pictures of some women. I told them that I do not know
any of them. Maybe we happened to be at the same
venues, but I was not with any of them. In a notebook
of one of the women my name was written. Maybe it was
because I am famous. The most interesting thing was,
when we were taken for a health check-up, everyone
covered their faces. As a reflex, I also covered my
face. There were lots of journalists. After
interrogation, I was released."
In a separate box, the daily wrote that the US State
Dept. issued its annual "Human Trafficking Report."
The report noted that Turkey had taken important steps
against international women trafficking. END TEXT.
3. (U) Published Friday, June 11, 2004 by Aksam Newspaper
TITLE: NATO's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, by Yavuz
BEGIN TEXT: "The decisions NATO will be making at the
Istanbul summit will shape world politics. It appears
that the decisions will be made in line with the United
States' interests. The steps toward involving NATO more
extensively in the Greater Middle East are an
indication of this.
In practice, the Greater Middle East is being divided
into several regions. There are plans to form a
Mediterranean Dialogue group consisting of "Grey Area"
countries like Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia,
Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, and the
United Arab Emirates. Here is a noteworthy plan to
establish military cooperation between Arab countries
These countries will not be included in partnership
mechanisms but in a status similar to the Partnership
for Peace (PFP). The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative is
being formed with this purpose in mind. The plan is to
make it possible for willing regional countries to take
part in this initiative. The apparent aim is: a) To
fight terrorism. b) To prevent the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction c) To fight arms, drugs,
and human trafficking. d) To carry out civilian
emergency planning. e) To promote international
Subtitle: NATO in Greater Middle East
As for the plan to broaden NATO's area of influence in
the Middle East, here is what it involves:
a. Encouraging reforms that will integrate the defense
structure of regional countries with NATO.
b. Stepping up support for the efforts to increase
regional countries' capabilities for conducting joint
c. Establishing NATO "Contact Bureaus" in regional
d. Appointing a NATO Special Envoy who will be
responsible for coordinating activities in the region.
e. Restructuring the management of the PFP fund.
f. Establishing a "Multinational Anti-Terror Unit" at
brigade level with the contributions of regional
These plans indicate that NATO's center of gravity is
shifting out of Europe. Another indication of this is
the United States' plan for the deployment of its
troops outside the US homeland. The United States is
abandoning its current basing policies, which entail
big investments. It is planning to intervene rapidly in
crises by establishing Forward Operation Bases with
ready infrastructures and resources close to crisis
areas. The United States will maintain a smaller number
of troops here to be rotated every six months. Places
like Cyprus are important from the viewpoint of this
plan. END TEXT.
4. (U) Published Thursday, June 10, 2004 by Turkish
language Hurriyet Newspaper, page 3:
BEGIN TEXT: Fatimat Magomedova from Dagistan and
Anastasia Kuznetsova from Russia, were lured last
weekend to Antalya with false promises of work as
babysitters, and then forced to go to Bursa. The two
women were put in a house in the Nilufer district and
were marketed at high prices to Bursa's rich and
famous. During the last two days they were locked in
the house and prevented from going out.
In broken Turkish, the two women wrote the following
note on a piece of paper, 'Friends, please call. Tell
them this number. My name is Anastasia. Pimps
kidnapped us.' They threw the note out from the
balcony. A resident of the same apartment complex
found the note and took it to the police station in
Police came with a locksmith and opened the door and
saved Magomedova (34) and Kuznetsova (26).
Recep Tan (34), who allegedly locked the women in the
house, was detained. In the search police found five
passports that belonged to foreign women.
The two women who were saved said that the person who
was mediating for prostitution was Nilgun Tanguc (30).
5. (U) Published Tuesday, June 8, 2004 by English language
Turkish Daily News:
TITLE: Ankara Chamber of Commerce: Turkish mafia is a
serious domestic threat
BEGIN TEXT: According to an Ankara Chamber of Commerce
(ATO) report, "Our lives are mafia," and organized
crime is involved in 100 sectors in Turkey.
Turkish black market operations equal almost one-
quarter of Turkey's national income, says the report,
which notes that while Turkish national income is $238
billion, Turkish black-market operations are estimated
at around $60 billion per annum.
Approximately 17,000 individuals were taken into
custody by the police between 1998 and 2002 for being
members of organized crime, with 4,182 of them arrested
for involvement in 3,012 criminal acts.
The report notes that the capital of organized crime is
Istanbul. Police records show that Istanbul's Anti-
organized Crime Bureau, which was founded in 1998, had
eliminated 454 criminal gangs by 2003. These gangs were
party to 325 criminal acts, only in Istanbul, the
Other cities in which the mafia presence can be felt
are reportedly Adana, Ankara, Aydin, Antalya,
Balikesir, Bursa, Gaziantep, Icel (Mersin), Kayseri,
Kocaeli and Samsun.
The biggest organized criminal activity is the
collection of parking fees on major streets in large
cities. Those who fail to pay the fee are beaten or
their cars are damaged. It was noted in the report
that, assuming that parking fees range between TL 2 and
TL 10 million, the annual revenue of such gangs
approach trillions of lira.
Bodily organs, property, check, children and bid mafias
are also noted as being common, said the report. Drugs,
gold, gambling, rent collection, prostitution,
transportation, construction, licensing, cigarettes,
arms, bazaars, beggars, shanty houses, coffee houses,
human trafficking, pornography, books, music,
historical artifacts, phone tapping and jails are some
of the other areas the mafia is involved in, said the
The methods the mafia employs include murder, wounding,
beating, raids, threats and rape. Having a criminal
record of beating or wounding is considered an
advantage in the mafia.
The Turkish mafia has some special characteristics,
which include total obedience to the leader, an
organizational structure close to a corporate system
and the place of origin figuring prominently in
advancement. Those with a record usually obtain a phony
Media reports on the top people of mafia usually work
in favor of the organization, creating either fear or
Policeman Mahmut Cengiz's survey of people linked to
the mafia was also included in the report. According to
it, 54 percent are married, three-quarters come from
families larger than four members, 10 percent are
university graduates and the TV shows they watch are
devoted almost entirely to the mafia. If they had had
the opportunity, they would have wanted to become
engineers or bureaucrats.
ATO President Sinan Aygun said that the mafia had
become a threat to domestic security in recent years,
noting that gaps within the system produce both
criminals and victims. He said people had started to
think that following laws were foolish, when things
could run more smoothly with the help of the mafia. END
6. (U) Broadcast Tuesday, June 8, 2004 by Turkish news
television station NTV:
TITLE: Mafia major factor in economy: report
BEGIN TEXT: June 8 - The Turkish mafia has control of a
significant part of the country's economy, according to
a report released on Monday.
Illegal activities are weighing down the legitimate
economy, the report said.
According to the study, undertaken by the Ankara
Chamber of Commerce, mafia activities are equivalent in
value to almost 25 percent of the Turkish economy. More
than 100 separate sectors of the economy have been
penetrated by illegal organisations, the report said.
The direct value of mafia related activities was
estimated at approximately $60 billion, more than half
the state budget for 2004, the report stated.
Not only was the mafia involved in trafficking,
prostitution and loan sharking, it also kidnapped young
children from poor families and sold them and bought
and sold organs for transplants and operations.
"The mafia has in the past few years become one of
Turkey's main internal threats," Sinan Aygn, the head
of the ATO, wrote in the study. "The mafia economy is
weighing on the national economy." END TEXT.
7. (U) Published Tuesday, June 8, 2004 by the
International Herald Tribune, Al-Jazeera, the Guardian,
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star
Telegram, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post Intelligencer, and
regional papers throughout the United States.
TITLE: Turkish mafia tightens grip on economy
BEGIN TEXT: ANKARA: The Turkish mafia has an
increasingly vice-like grip on the country's economy
and its tentacles are reaching out into ever increasing
areas of activity, a report revealed on Monday.
According to the report, drawn up by Ankara's Chamber
of Commerce, organized-crime activities currently
generate over $60 billion in the black economy in about
100 different sectors each year, equivalent to a
quarter of the entire national income.
Apart from the mafia's traditional activities such as
trafficking in women and children, people smuggling and
drugs and arms dealing, the Turkish mafia has branched
out into less orthodox areas like organ and baby
trafficking and the organization of fixed soccer
An organ such as a kidney purchased from a poverty-
stricken donor for a derisory sum can be sold for
between $61,500 to $123,000 in Turkey or abroad, the
Organs are often removed from individuals kidnapped
specifically for that purpose, according to the report.
Very young children from poor families purchased or
abducted from their families are sold to rich couples
or forced into a life of begging on the streets of
Istanbul or Ankara.
One of the most lucrative areas of activity for the
gangs involves the purchase of plots of urban land
cheaply - often through intimidation - which are then
transformed into car parks, in short supply in the
The report said television was to blame for painting a
false picture of mafia members in popular programs as
Robin Hood characters who simply rob the rich to help
the poor, thereby encouraging impressionable youngsters
to follow in their footsteps. END TEXT.
8. (U) Published Tuesday, June 08, 2004 by English
language Turkish Daily News:
TITLE: Aksu: 10,000 policemen will be brought in for
BEGIN TEXT: Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said on
Sunday that 10,000 policemen from outside Istanbul
would be deployed in order to provide security during
the NATO summit.
Speaking to journalists after the ruling Justice and
Development Party (AK Party) Istanbul bureau assessment
meeting, Aksu said the NATO summit in Istanbul was very
important for Turkey, noting that heads of state and
government and chiefs of general staff from between 60
to 65 countries would be attending the meeting.
He said they had thought about every detail of the
summit and that a guiding committee, headed by a
Foreign Ministry diplomat, would oversee the
proceedings with the Gendarmerie, police and coastguard
all cooperating to ensure the security of the event,
adding that 10,000 additional policemen from outside
Istanbul would be brought in to boost security.
It was only natural for groups and individuals to air
their democratic grievances during the summit, said
Aksu, noting that in addition to the meeting places
assigned for such gatherings, they had listed 16 more
such areas that could be used to stage rallies.
At the same press conference, Aksu stated that
terrorist groups were involved in international drug
trafficking and that Turkey had signed agreements with
48 countries to cooperate in preventing this illicit
Turkey had made significant strides in the past year to
eliminate this crime, said Aksu, before revealing that
the largest drug seizures were made in Istanbul.
Apart from terrorism, the entire world was united in
combating human and drug trafficking, said Aksu, who
went on to say that in the past five years, 470,000
illegal migrants and 4,000 people involved in people-
smuggling had been caught. The human traffickers so far
arrested represented 63 different nationalities, said
Aksu, explaining that these people cooperated with
terrorist groups from time to time.
He said due to precautions taken by Turkish police, the
main route of human trafficking had moved to the north
of the Black Sea and to the south of the Mediterranean.
9. (U) Published Monday, June 07, 2004 by Turkish language
Cumhuriyet Newspaper page 3:
TITLE: "Boss Ainura of Kyrgyistan"
BEGIN TEXT: Ainura Tusunbekova was arrested as the
leader of a prostitution gang luring Kyrgyz girls with
an ad "Employment for those who want to serve as
helpers (bakici) in Turkey" and sending them to Turkey.
Operations are due to begin at the Kyrgyistan leg of an
international prostitution gang disclosed in Istanbul.
The police got in touch with their Kyrgyz counterparts
in order to capture Ainura Tusunbekova who is the gang
The Istanbul police conducted an operation when a while
ago a woman speaking in broken Turkish called from a
house in the Fatih district and claimed that she was
kept in the house, raped and sold to other men.
Halim Akgun, a pimp, was captured in a three-story
house in Fatih and eight Kyrgyz-citizen women who were
raped and sold to men were liberated.
Testimonies of the women demonstrated the bitter face
of the gang involved in international prostitution.
Women who were deceived and were forced into
prostitution in Turkey said, "In a Kyrgyz newspaper
there was an ad for nannies for kids in Turkey. When
we called the number, a woman said that her husband in
Turkey would arrange a nanny job. s eight women we
came to Istanbul Halim Akgun met us and took us to a
house in Fatih. When we entered the house he said,
'You all owe me $4000. I'll sell you to men for you to
pay me back.' Akgun tied up the arms and legs of the
girls and raped us threatening us with arms. Many of
us were virgins."
Akgun was captured during the operation in Fatih and
after completing police procedures he was sent to the
judiciary. He was arrested and put into jail. END
COMMENT: The newspaper published the pictures of the
girls, as well as Tusunbekova and Akgun. A caption said
that the eight girls were returned to their countries.
10. (U) Published Monday, June 6, 2004 by Zaman Turkish
language newspaper (nationwide distribution):
TITLE: The Ubiquitous Mafia
BEGIN TEXT: According to "Our Life, Mafia report,"
prepared by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, the mafia
is active in over 100 localities.
The report estimated that throughout the world,
organized crime roughly earns US$1trillion annually.
Organized crime in Turkey makes US$60 billion annually,
a quarter of the total national income and half of the
government's 2004 budget.
The mafia has its greatest presence in Istanbul where
in 2002, 1,637 were committed in Istanbul alone. The
Istanbul Organized Crime Directorate, in response to
the high level of activity, busted 454 criminal
organizations, and caught 325 gang leaders.
Other provinces where networks of criminal activity
exist are in Adana, Ankara, Aydin, Antalya, Balykesir,
Bursa, Gaziantep, Icel, Izmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli and
Samsun. The report concluded that the most common,
illegal activity of criminal organizations is parking
lot fee collection.
The report found that the mafia shared the streets and
roads of big cities and collected parking fees via
parking attendants they hired. When considered that
there are around two million cars in Istanbul, Ankara
and Izmir -- the three largest cities in Turkey -- and
the parking fees in these cities vary between 2-10
million Turkish liras, the annual turnover of a single
mafia network is over trillions of Turkish liras.
"Land mafia, check-bond mafia, organ mafia, child mafia
and tender mafia" follow the parking lot mafia in
A questionnaire conducted among mafia members by Mahmut
Cengiz, a security forces employer known for his
scientific studies on the mafia, is also included in
the report. The questionnaire found that 54 percent of
mafia members are married. Three fourths are from
families with at least 4-members, and 10 percent are
university graduates. The TV series they watch the
most are about the mafia. If they have the chance to
study, they would become bureaucrats or engineers. END
11. (U) Published Sunday, June 6, 2004 by Anadolu News
TITLE: Aksu: Turkey Captured 470 Thousand Illegal
Immigrants In Last Five Years
BEGIN TEXT: ABANT - Turkish Interior Minister
Abdulkadir Aksu has said, "our security forces captured
470 thousand illegal immigrants in the last five years
as they were trying to proceed to European countries
Replying to questions from journalists, Aksu said on
Sunday, "our security forces captured 470 thousand
illegal immigrants from 63 different countries in the
last five years as they were trying to proceed to
European countries via Turkey. Also, 4 thousand human
smugglers were captured. Human smugglers often co-
operate with terrorist organizations."
Noting that illicit drug trafficking happened among the
most important sources that finance terrorist
organizations, Aksu added, "following the September
11th attacks, the United States have exerted great
efforts to improve co-operation in fight against
terrorism. Turkey has signed agreements with 48
countries to co-operate in fight against illicit drug
trafficking and terrorism." END TEXT.
12. (U) Published Saturday, June 5, 2004 by the Associated
TITLE: N.J. not immune to human trafficking problems,
congressman says; By DONNA DE LA CRUZ, The Associated
BEGIN TEXT: WASHINGTON - The small New Jersey towns of
Brigantine and Plainfield tout themselves as family
friendly places. The two towns also share the infamous
distinction of being linked to the worldwide problem of
trafficking young girls and women who are forced to
work as prostitutes or domestic servants.
"Human trafficking has become a negative suburban
phenomenon," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said in a recent
interview in his Capitol Hill office.
Smith, vice chairman of the House International
Relations Committee, said millions of young girls and
women are trafficked each year. He said many of these
victims are smuggled into the United States to work in
large cities and small hamlets, like Brigantine and
Plainfield, two of several New Jersey communities where
trafficking victims have been found.
Earlier this year, a Malaysian citizen was arrested for
allegedly operating a brothel he ran from his
Brigantine home, employing women smuggled into the
country from Asia. And in the summer of 2002, federal
authorities charged several people with luring Mexican
girls and women to work as prostitutes in Plainfield.
Two of the defendants later pleaded guilty and were
sentenced to 210 months in prison.
Smith wrote the Victims of Trafficking and Violence
Protection Law, the nation's first law that deals
specifically with human trafficking. The law provides
investigators with resources to prosecute offenders and
money to help victims. He also authored the Trafficking
Victims Protection Act that expanded on the
government's abilities to fight human trafficking.
President Bush signed both laws in 2000 and 2003.
The laws also require the State Department to issue an
annual "Trafficking in Persons Report" to Congress -
known as the TIP Report - that identifies countries
that are found to have significant human trafficking
The fourth annual report, due to be issued June 14, is
a diplomatic tool that the U.S. government uses to
encourage countries to crack down on human trafficking,
which is third only to drug and arms trafficking in
terms of reaping financial benefits for criminals, said
John Miller, head of the State Department's Office to
Combat and Monitor Trafficking in Persons. Countries
that do little or nothing to deal with the problem can
face sanctions, Miller said.
In the 2003 report, 15 countries, including U.S. allies
Greece and Turkey, were deemed to have made no
significant efforts to stop human trafficking.
"The public is becoming more aware in the last couple
of years but you still have large elements of the
public that would say 'Slavery? Didn't that end with
the American Civil War?' And that's true abroad as
well. This doesn't affect a lot of people, and it comes
to a shock to them," Miller said.
The U.S. government estimates that between 18,000 to
20,000 young girls and women are trafficked into the
United States, but that number could actually be
higher, said Avaloy Lanning, director of the New Jersey
"It's such a hidden phenomenon," Lanning said. "It's so
hidden, because there are cases that may not lend
themselves to arrest or prosecution."
Some victims are afraid to cooperate with authorities,
fearing retribution against themselves or their
families back home, she said.
Human trafficking in New Jersey is widespread because
of the state's makeup, Lanning said.
"We have a high concentration of factory labor and
commercialized workers in the north and a huge
concentration of farm labor in the south," she said.
"And the state's proximity to New York City and
Philadelphia makes New Jersey ripe for the problem."
The International Institute of New Jersey started the
anti-trafficking initiative one year ago in an effort
to establish guidelines on how to identify victims and
help them. The institute held its first statewide anti-
trafficking conference in March, bringing together
human rights and other community organizations, and
legal and law enforcement personnel, Lanning said.
From that conference, the New Jersey Coalition Against
Human Trafficking was formed, and there will be two
meetings held at the end of June - one in north Jersey
and one in the southern part of the state - to discuss
ways to battle human trafficking, Lanning said.
Lanning and Miller credit Smith for taking a leading
role to battle human trafficking.
"He took charge of drafting the bills and he pushed it
through the House of Representatives," said Miller, a
former Republican congressman from Washington State.
"Because of that, the United States has been able to
assume a leadership role in opposing slavery around the
world. And more importantly, thousands of victims have
been freed and hundreds of traffickers have been thrown
"This sort of work that he is doing ... mankind will
thank him for in future generations," Miller said.
Smith has traveled extensively to discuss the problem
of human trafficking with other government officials,
and has met many victims.
"You just have to look into one of those young girls'
eyes just to see the despair," Smith said. "So many get
sick, get AIDS or other kinds of sexually transmitted
diseases, become throwaways and they die."
Smith says his Catholic faith is why he became involved
with human rights issues ever since he was elected to
Congress in 1980. He recited part of the Gospel
scripture that motivates his work.
"Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do
likewise to me," Smith said, quoting scripture. "For
me, it's all about caring for those who are
disenfranchised - that's what government should be all
about." END TEXT.
13. (U) Broadcast May 29, 2004 by Islamabad PTV World (FBIS
TITLE: Pakistan, Turkey Joint Commission to Boost
Security Cooperation, Fight Terrorism
BEGIN TEXT: Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to form a
joint commission to gear up cooperation in the field of
security and counter-terrorism. This was announced by
the interior ministers of the two countries at a joint
news conference in Islamabad. The commission--to be
headed by the interior secretaries of Pakistan and
Turkey--will meet twice a year to review the
implementation of the agreements on fighting global
terrorism, drug abuse, and human trafficking.
Earlier, the two leaders held a meeting to discuss the
regional and international situation. Federal Interior
Minister Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat said Pakistan and
Turkey had agreed to work closely in various fields to
boost mutual cooperation. Turkish Interior Minister
Abdulkadir Aksu said Pakistan and Turkey would jointly
play a positive role in countering international
terrorism. END TEXT.