Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Media Attention, July 16-31, 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 004273
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
SUBJECT: TIP IN TURKEY: MEDIA ATTENTION, JULY 16-31, 2004
1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP public
information campaigns, post provides as examples the
following TIP press reports. Text of articles not published
in English is provided through unofficial local FSN
translation or otherwise noted sources.
2. (U) Published July 28, 2004 by Turkey's Anatolian News
TITLE: SECURITY FORCES INTERCEPT 137 MIGRANTS IN DIDIM
BEGIN TEXT: DIDIM (A.A) - Security forces intercepted
137 migrants in Didim town of western province of Aydin
on Wednesday as they were trying to proceed to Sisam
island of Greece illegally. The migrants of
Azerbaijani, Mauritanian, Algerian, Moldavian, Afghan
and Somalian origin were taken into custody for
violating Turkish borders and passport law. They
will be deported once the legal proceedings are
completed. END TEXT.
3. (U) Published July 27, 2004 by Turkey's Anatolian News
TITLE: Ankara Police Department Morals Branch conducts
operations in Ankara and Afyon.
BEGIN TEXT: Four people involved in human trafficking
and four others who were subjected to trafficking were
After receiving a tip by phone, the Ankara Police
raided a house in the Seyranbaglari district of Ankara.
Recep C., and two women were detained. One woman was a
foreigner and the other was a Turk of foreign origin.
Police had already issued a warrant for Recep C. for
During his interrogation Recep C. told the police that
he "bought" foreign women for $2000 from Samil D. who
is known as "Ahmet" in Antalya. Later Recep C. talked
to Samil D. on the phone and they agreed to meet in
Afyon. Three policemen accompanied Recep C. and they
went in front of a store outside Afyon on the Antalya
Police detained Samil D., Murat O. and Hakan K. They
had two Moldavian women accompanying them. They, too,
were detained. Recep C., Samil D., Murat O. and Hakan
K. were sent to a prosecutor on charges of human
Three foreign women were turned over to the TNP
Foreigners' Department. The Turkish woman of foreign
origin was released. END TEXT.
4. (U) Published July 24, 2004 by Moldova's Chisinau
Basapress in English:
TITLE: Turkey Main Destination for Trafficked Moldovan
BEGIN FBIS TRANSCRIBED TEXT: Chisinau, 24 July: The
Moldovan Interior Ministry said that Turkey remains the
main destination for traffickers in Moldovan women.
According to ministerial accounts the Moldovan police
have destroyed 37 channels of trafficking in persons in
the first half of this year, of which 11 connected
Moldovan networks with pimps and brothels in Turkey, 10
in the United Arab Emirates, seven in the Russian
Federation, four in Macedonia, and five in Romania.
The Moldovan Interior Ministry announced that a Turkish
national and a Russian citizen suspected of recruiting
Moldovan women for the prostitution industry have been
recently detained in Chisinau. A court in Chisinau
has sentenced the Turkish national to five years in
prison for pimping.
The police have filed 287 cases related to the
trafficking in persons, including 28 cases related to
recruitment of children for slavery.
Neither the Moldovan government nor nongovernmental
organizations have exact data regarding the number of
Moldovan women forced into prostitution abroad.
The International Organization for Migration had
earlier said that over 1,200 victims of traffickers in
human beings had been repatriated to Moldova in the
past three years. This year, 143 Moldovan young women
returned home after years or months of slavery in
Russia, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. END TEXT.
[Description of Source: Chisinau Basapress in English -
- Independent news agency; carries economic and
political reports from pro-Romanian positions]
5. (U) Published July 21, 2004 by Turkey's Anatolian News
TITLE: TURKISH GENDARMERY ARREST 23 ILLEGAL EMIGRANTS
BEGIN TEXT: IZMIR (A.A) - Turkish gendarmerie arrested
23 illegal immigrants in Cesme in Izmir province,
sources said on Wednesday.
Security forces captured 23 Pakistanis who entered
Turkey clandestinely en route to Greece. They will be
deported following legal proceedings, officials said.
6. (U) Published July 19, 2004 by Bishkek Public Educational
Radio and TV in Russian:
TITLE: Kyrganistan Border Guards Receive Security
Training From Turkish Officers
BEGIN FBIS TRANSLATED EXCERPT: [Presenter] Military
exercises entitled "Border Security" started at the
base of the Border Service's training center under the
[NATO] Partnership for Peace program today.
The maneuvers are being conducted in two stages.
Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Albania and Macedonia
attended the first stage held in March. Tajikistan,
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are taking part in the second
stage. A mobile group of Turkish officers is conducting
[Correspondent] For 10 days _Kyrgyz_ officers will be
improving their skills in protecting the country's
borders under the Turkish officers' supervision. The
Turkish officers first taught our border guards
computer skills and Internet use. They also taught the
commanders how to distinguish genuine passports from
[Nuriddin Chomoyev] deputy chairman of the _Kyrgyz_
Border Service] Border security will be considered as
specific issues. These are border trespassing, human
trafficking and drug trafficking. I think that during
this seminar our officers will get profound theoretical
knowledge and will put it into practice.
[Correspondent] There are other issues on the agenda,
which are regarded as pressing according to
international standards. These are aspects of the
national security system, protection and control of
refugees and international terrorism. The mobile group
of the Turkish armed forces held the first stage as far
back as in spring. END TEXT.
7. (U) Published July 19, 2004 by Turkey's news television
TITLE: Prostitution rife in Turkey: Report
BEGIN TEXT: One in every 350 Turkish women faces the
threat of having to work in the sex sector or of being
July 19 - Though prostitution is legal in Turkey, most
of the women working in the industry are not registered
and many are forced to ply their trade against their
will, according to a report released on the weekend.
According to a study conducted by the Ankara Chamber of
Commerce (ATO), there are approximately 100,000 women
involved in the sex trade in Turkey, with the trade
generating some $3.0 to $4.0 billion annually. However,
the ATO report claimed that only 3,000 of the female
sex workers were employed legally in Turkey's 56
registered brothels, with another 12,000 registered to
work outside the brothel system.
The ATO report, entitled "Lifeless Women", claims that
there could be up to 100,000 women involved in the sex
trade, with at least 30,000 waiting to work in the
brothels of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. Many of these
women work on the streets, as they are not able to gain
the protection of working in a registered brothel.
There are an estimated 6,000 women working illegally as
prostitutes in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir
alone, the report said.
There are at least 500 child sex workers in Istanbul
alone, with some as young girls as 12 working as
prostitutes, the report said.
Most of the child sex slaves are primary school
graduates. Sex workers are mostly driven to
prostitution by their husbands (30 percent), and by
their parents (10 percent).
The ATO survey says that many sex workers are subject
to abuse, oppression, and condemnation. Poverty is main
reason that women enter prostitution, the report said.
Apart from Turkish women in the sex industry the ATO
report said there were sex workers from Ukraine,
Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus engaged in
prostitution in the country. Unlike their Turkish
colleagues, many of these women are well educated.
Sinan Aygun, the chairman of the ATO, said that the
spread of the unregulated sex market was due to a
decade of lax administration on the part of state
The best way to provide an alternative for women in the
sex trade would be to offer them the chance to gain
employment in other sectors, Aygun said. This would
require the provision of education and assistance to
the poor including social security in order to help
women avoid being forces into prostitution, he said.
8. (U) Published July 19, 2004 by Turkey's Cihan News
TITLE: 321 Thousand 805 Crimes Committed In Turkey In
BEGIN TEXT: ANKARA (CIHAN) - A total of 321,805 crimes
were committed in Turkey last year, according to a
survey by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce.
The number of crimes committed in the first five months
of 2004 hit 143,924. The year-end prediction is
350,000. There has been a remarkable increase in
robbery, picking pocketing, purse snatching, car
robbery, bank robbery, kidnapping, extortion, looting
and vandalism, encroachment, arson, forgery, murder,
violent assaults, rape, gambling, bribery, human
trafficking, sexual exploitation and other crimes.
In 2001, 299,589 crimes were recorded; in 2002, nearly
296,000 crimes were recorded; and in 2003, 321,805
crimes were committed in Turkey. Every two minutes, one
malicious act is committed in Turkey.
There has been an increase in economically motivated
crime. In 2003, 152,505 such crimes were committed.
According to the report, 135,898 crimes were committed
in the three most populous cities: Istanbul, Izmir and
Ankara. In Istanbul, 226 crimes were committed daily
last year. In Ankara, 85 were committed daily and 62 a
day were reported in Izmir.
Last year, nearly 8,200 work locations were robbed in
Istanbul. Ankara was the victim of 2,848 robberies and
Izmir 2,871 recorded such events. The lowest number of
robberies took place in Bayburt with 10.
The largest increase was recorded in purse snatching
which is currently being debated within the government.
Most home robberies took place in Istanbul last year
with 10,195. Istanbul was followed by Ankara with
2,884. The lowest number of home robberies occurred in
Tunceli with just 5 incidents last year.
In 2003, 2,277 robberies took place in state buildings.
Istanbul is a center for car robberies with 16,665 last
year. Istanbul was followed by Izmir with 1,711. In
2003, 24,616 cars were robbed across Turkey. The
corresponding figure for 2002 was 20,095. No cars were
robbed in Kars, Tunceli or Igdir.
The most widespread crimes are pick pocketing and purse
snatching. In 2002, 12,595 and in 2003, 12,793 pick
pocketing and purse snatching incidents took place in
Turkey. In the first five months of 2004, the figure
stands at 6,333.
Again Istanbul and Izmir top the listing in terms of
snatching and pick pocketing. The numbers are
successively 5,175 for Istanbul, and 2,430 for Izmir.
Last year, no incidents of purse snatching or pick
pocketing were recorded in the northern city of. Sinop.
The latest trend is the robbery of antique carpets and
similar historic pieces and precious artifacts from
Last year, 3,736 incidents of armed robbery were
recorded in Turkey. Again Istanbul comes in first with
1482 incidents and 295 incidents in Antalya. END TEXT.
9. (U) Published July 8, 2004 by Turkey's Anatolian News
TITLE: `OPERATION ANKARA' IN US' LONG ISLAND ARRESTS
BEGIN TEXT: US federal, state and local law enforcement
agents raided dozens of businesses within the
northeastern state of Long Island on Tuesday and
arrested dozens of people on money laundering and
immigration charges, reported US daily Newsday
yesterday. While seven suspects were charged with
laundering, four others were cited for immigration
violations. According to Newsday, some 57 suspected
undocumented aliens were taken into custody during the
raids, part of a crackdown called `Operation Ankara,'
so named because most of the suspects are believed to
be Turkish nationals. /All Papers/. END TEXT
10. (U) Published July 7, 2004 by the Associated Press:
TITLE: Long Island Sweeps Bring Charges Of Money
Laundering, Immigration Violations
BEGIN TEXT: GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Federal, state and
local law enforcement agents raided dozens of
businesses around Long Island on Tuesday and arrested
people on money laundering and immigration charges.
Arrest warrants were unsealed against 11 defendants.
Seven were charged with laundering as much as $28
million in proceeds from dozens of gas stations and
mini-markets over several years. Four others were cited
on immigration charges: One man was accused of re-
entering the United States after being deported, while
three others were charged with marriage fraud.
"They are all part of the same organization," said
Martin Ficke, special agent in charge for the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau.
He said the investigation was still in the early stages
and more arrests were likely.
During the raids, part of a crackdown called Operation
Ankara, immigration officials also took into custody 57
suspected undocumented aliens. There were suspicions
that the aliens were smuggled into the United States
and forced to work for the operators of the gas
stations as repayment for entry into the country, Ficke
The raids, which involved an estimated 200 law
enforcement agents, also yielded massive amounts of
documents and business records linked to the operation.
The suspects were arraigned on various charges at U.S.
District Court in Central Islip. Five of the seven
defendants in the money laundering case were ordered
held until a bail hearing on Thursday; the remaining
two have yet to be arrested.
Two of the four immigration violation defendants have
been taken into custody; one was ordered held until a
bail hearing Thursday and the other was released on a
$50,000 personal recognizance bond, said Joseph Conway,
the assistant U.S. attorney in the Central Islip
The investigation was named Operation Ankara, after the
capital of Turkey, because most of the suspects are
believed to be Turkish nationals. Conway said the
arrests were not related to terrorism.
The money laundering charges are tied to a scheme
called "structuring," said Joseph Foy, a spokesman for
the Internal Revenue Service. The suspects made bank
deposits of less than $10,000 to evade federal currency
reporting requirements, prosecutors said. END TEXT.
11. (U) Published July 7, 2004 by Turkey's NTV News Station:
TITLE: New York raids target alleged Turkish money
laundering ring; Five of the seven Turks, considered by
police to be the ringleaders of the group were
BEGIN TEXT: July 7- New York police have conducted a
series of raids of petrol stations around the city
targeting what officials described as an organised
Turkish crime ring involved in concealing millions of
dollars and smuggling in illegal workers. The ring
allegedly controlled up to 140 petrol stations, mainly
in the Long Island region, used in part as a front for
their criminal activities, officials said.
The group had hidden tens of millions of dollars in
receipts and illegally smuggled workers into the
country, the officials said. Five of the seven Turkish
men wanted in connection with the ring were arrested in
the raids. The other two may still be in Turkey,
according to officials.
"This is a big step in shutting down an organisation
that has been responsible for smuggling immigrants into
the country and collecting millions of dollars
illegally," Laura Hedyweiller, the head of federal
Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Long Island told
reporters. END TEXT.
12. (U) Published July 7, 2004 by New York Newsday:
TITLE: Gas stations raided in alleged crime ring
BEGIN TEXT: Dozens are targeted as officials say
Turkish organized crime ring hid millions in cash,
smuggled in workers; By Robert E. Kessler
Staff Writer; Staff writers Mitchell Freedman and
Indrani Sen contributed to this story.
Hundreds of federal agents and police yesterday raided
dozens of Long Island gas stations allegedly controlled
by a loosely organized network of Turkish organized
crime figures, officials said.
The ring concealed tens of millions of dollars in
receipts and illegally smuggled workers into the
country, the officials said.
Among those arrested were five of seven key figures in
the ring, which allegedly controlled more than 140 gas
stations on Long Island, and more than 50 employees who
are suspected of being illegal immigrants. The other
two alleged leaders were still being sought and may be
in Turkey, officials said.
"This is a big step in shutting down an organization
that has been responsible for smuggling immigrants into
the country and collecting millions of dollars
illegally," said Laura Hedyweiller, head of federal
Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Long Island.
The immigrants were being interviewed late yesterday to
determine their status, Hedyweiller said. Many of the
employees lived under arduous conditions, working 14-
to 18-hour days and sleeping on cots in the gas
stations as they paid off the $10,000 fees they were
charged to be smuggled into the country, officials
The agents also seized several current bank accounts
containing $2.2 million at several branches on Long
Island the gang allegedly used, officials said.
The five people arrested were charged with
"structuring" more than $14 million in the past three
years, violating a law that makes it a crime to break
down large cash deposits into multiple smaller deposits
of less than $10,000. Cash deposits of more than
$10,000 must be reported to the Internal Revenue
Service under a law aimed at finding the profits of
criminal enterprises such as tax evasion or drug
dealing, said Joe Foy, a spokesman for the Criminal
Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
Arrested yesterday and charged with structuring were:
Turhan Ak, 44, of 5 Miller Farm Dr., Miller Place;
Ahmet Cayan, 32, of 95 Central Ave., Port Jefferson
Station; Adil Bayat, 41, 4 Cobblestone La., Lake Grove;
Yaha Bayat, 39, of 2 Wisteria Dr., Lake Grove; and
Orhan Alparslan, 44, Rugby Dr., West Shirley.
Still being sought were Sukru Akkaya, 42, also of 5
Miller Farm Dr., Miller Place, and Mustafa Catalbas, 41
of 9 Casey La., Mount Sinai.
The raids were conducted jointly by the IRS and
immigration enforcement, along with 100 Nassau and
Suffolk police officers.
Initial raids were carried out at three gas stations
that officials said in court documents were cash
collection points for the ring and where the leaders
had their offices. They are a Citgo station at 1099
Horseblock Rd. in Farmingville and two Delta stations,
at 305 Union Blvd. in West Islip and 624 Broadway in
Court documents filed by federal prosecutors Joseph
Conway and Mark Lesko said cash from all the gas
stations controlled by the ring was brought daily to
the three collection stations. It was then broken down
into amounts under $10,000 and deposited in several
Two of the principal bank branches where agents seized
money yesterday were a Washington Mutual Branch in Port
Jefferson and an HSBC branch in West Babylon. Spokesmen
for both banks said they were cooperating with
The structuring charges are the initial part of the
investigation and officials are also looking into money
laundering, tax evasion and smuggling charges, sources
close to the investigation said.
In one raid yesterday, a dozen unmarked cars filled
with federal agents went into the Farmingville gas
station and blocked all of its driveways. Agents
swarmed out, seized two men and began to go through the
A resident who gave only his first name, Scott, said he
lived in the area for 14 years. "Seven or eight years
ago, they really rebuilt the place," he said. "It was a
dumpy little gas station before that."
Scott said that at one point years ago, immigrants were
living in trailers behind the gas station. "Good for
them," he said of the federal officials.
The five suspected ringleaders were arraigned before
U.S. Magistrate James Orenstein at U.S. District Court
in Central Islip and held without bail pending future
hearings. If convicted of the structuring charge the
defendants face up to 10 years in prison.
Ahmet Cayan's attorney, John Andrews of Port Jefferson,
declined to comment.
A woman who identified herself as a family friend at
the home of Ak and Akkaya declined to comment on their
families' behalf. Relatives of the other suspects could
not be reached for comment.
Also arrested yesterday was a Yonkers woman, Natalia
Sanchez_, 30, who was charged with staging marriages
with four Turkish gas station workers so they could
fraudulently obtain citizenship. Sanchez_ was released
on $50,000 bail by Orenstein. The four people she had
married are being sought, officials said.
Staff writers Mitchell Freedman and Indrani Sen
contributed to this story. END TEXT.
13. (U) Published July 6, 2004 by the International
Organization for Migration:
BEGIN TEXT: MOLDOVA - New Migration Information Centre
- IOM has launched a new, multimedia summer campaign,
as part of its Migration Information Project, to
provide Moldovan citizens comprehensive information
about going abroad and the dangers of trafficking.
Working with the Moldovan Migration Department, IOM is
creating the first ever Centre for migration
information in Moldova. The Centre opened with a
website www.migratie.md and a
mobile information centre/minibus that will travel
The Centre will also be closely linked with the
national toll-free Hotline (0-800-77777) operated by
the IOM partner NGO La Strada. IOM personnel,
Migration Department representatives and student
volunteers will staff the migration bus. They will
distribute leaflets containing facts on countries of
destinations, such as Italy, Portugal, Turkey and
Russia, as well as details about obtaining visas, legal
work and study opportunities and the dangers of
trafficking. They will also be conducting interviews
and gathering opinions about the needs for migration
"With this project, IOM is providing reliable and
objective information about legal opportunities for
those who have decided to go abroad," said IOM Chief of
Mission Marielle Sander-Lindstrom. "Our goal is to
ensure that those who have decided to go abroad do so
legally, protect themselves against those who offer
fraudulent offers and most of all, guard against the
dangers of human trafficking and exploitation."
IOM and the Migration Department are launching the new
Center with a nationwide promotion campaign. With
funding from the European Union, IOM has produced a 4-
minute music video, "Undeva," by the rock band The
Snails about a young girl who dreams of going abroad.
Also with EU funding, IOM has created a 30-second
public service announcement based on the video that
promotes the hotline and website.
The EU and the US Government are funding the campaign.
Moldova National Television and Radio is the summer
campaign's official media sponsor and will air the 30-
second spot free of charge five times per day
throughout July and will feature the "Undeva" video.
Other sponsors include local radio and television
stations, Patria Cinemas and Sun Communications.
Form more information contact, IOM Chisinau, Tel:
373.22.23 29 40 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. END TEXT.