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Cablegate: Tip in Turkey: Media Attention, November 1-10, 2004

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) 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. (U) Published November 10, 2004 by the Jerusalem Post:

TITLE: In Foreign Parts

BEGIN TEXT: The fact that a successful sex industry is
thriving in Israel is obvious to anyone who looks at
the sections of the newspapers offering escort, massage
and "health" services in every possible language.

The media that was supposed to expose the connection
between Mafia money and prostitution, and its attempts
to buy government officials in order to realize the
interests of organized crime, have themselves become a
beneficiary of the pimping business.

But only a few of the readers of those unsavory
sections of the newspaper are aware that Israel has
become a trafficking center in which women are
imprisoned and turned into sex slaves in sub-human

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In Ilana Hammerman's latest expose, In Foreign Parts,
some of the testimonies she records are shocking to
read: women testify that they were locked up without
food, were subject to threats and physical and
emotional abuse, and were humiliated and put through
harrowing work in the sex-service industry.

With all of the focus on the plight of the victim, one
deficiency of the book has to do with the profile of
the typical client. Hammerman, an esteemed literary
editor and gifted writer, leaves him as an anonymous
figure, merely providing an indirect sketch of the
group profile. The general impression is that there is
wide demand from a very broad range of socio-economic
levels and ages.

"I had a very famous rabbi who would come and order a
girl to have sex with him in the doggie position, and
would ask her to bark," a former brothel owner
testified at a parliamentary committee. One of the
working women, presented as a devout Christian,
expresses an aversion to her religious clients: "They
had a big black hat and under it a little black hat and
they were real perverts."

What most impressed Hammerman, however, was that the
clients and the business owners tended to present
themselves as "upright citizens," and while some of the
recipients of their services are aware of the
prostitutes' distress and try to rescue them, the vast
majority views them as mere service providers.

IN A journey to Moldova, the author meets two women,
Maria and Masha, who worked as prostitutes in Israel
for some time. The two, who speak fluent Hebrew, are
glad to meet her, and according to their testimony
remember their time herein a very positive light: "They
told me right away it was fun in Israel, a real
paradise; they had a good time, traveled, went to the
beach, ate at good restaurants - and of course made
money, lots of money."

Through their eyes, the experience in Israel, viewed
retrospectively, looks plainly wonderful. Maria
testifies that she worked in the sex trade in Germany
and Turkey before she came to Israel, where she
describes conditions as excellent. Interestingly,
though, both speakers emphasize the family dimension of
their personal enterprise.

One of the most fascinating elements of these anecdotes
is the strong and surprising resemblance between the
emphasis on family in the prostitutes' consciousness
and in the testimonies of the owners and clients of the
local brothels. In other words, both sides - the one
usually described as the victim, and the other usually
described as the exploiter - sound like enthusiastic
proponents of family sanctity. All of their actions day
and night are presented as supposedly aimed at one
supreme pure purpose - the preservation of very
bourgeois family values.

The two women the author met in Moldova provide
testimony that is actually the opposite of the
enlightened discourse; they announce that they chose
this career consciously, and do not view themselves as
victims. Both are interested in continuing to work
overseas - one as a caretaker and the other as a
stripper, and both continue dreaming of family and

Masha excitedly presents her picture album, a memento
of the days she worked in Israel, and it appears her
parents and family are aware of her work here and
accept it with resignation.

General information about the dimensions of the
phenomenon in Moldova reveals that large numbers of
women are trafficked for prostitution, that Israel is a
prominent target country, and that often the young
women come back in an impaired emotional state,
socially ostracized and bereft of marriage prospects
because of their past.

The local rate for sex services at the Chisinau train
station is about NIS 0.70 for a blowjob, and that
illustrates the huge price gap between the homeland and
export countries. In most cases the prostitutes do not
benefit from the costliness of the service they provide
overseas, because most of the payment goes to the pimps
and sponsors.

ONE OF the strong points of the book is the author's
ability to meet the women who are the protagonists of
her narrative, portraying them as complex individuals
with inner lives that sometimes include literary and
artistic talent.

The first and quite interesting meeting was between
Hammerman and a young Russian-born prostitute named
Tania, who has been living in Israel for a long time
and who has documented her experiences in writing and
in painting. She has had varied professional
experiences, ranging from horrible brothels to upper-
scale ones where she made large sums of money, and
which she considers "excellent" places of employment.

After being sold into prostitution in Israel and
working in that world for years, Tania was arrested and
locked up. Now she finally feels she will be able to
extricate herself from the vicious world she has
inhabited for so long.

A former prostitute named Olga, who currently lives
with her Arab Israeli partner from Jaffa, told the
author she was forced to work in a brothel after she
was invited to Israel by a friend who promised to help
her find a job. But the indictment against the man who
sold her into prostitution says the two were engaged in
"a romantic relationship" as the judge put it, and that
the former had suggested she come to Israel to work as
a dancer, stripper and prostitute.

Katia, another young girl Hammerman met in the care of
the "Save the Children" association in Chisinau, kept a
diary of her experiences in Israel. Her testimony shows
that she was solicited by a local woman to come to
Israel to work as a caretaker and cleaner, but even
before she left she was aware of the real goal of such
a business trip. She was smuggled from Egypt through
the desert, raped by one of the importers, forced to
work in prostitution and held by force.

She managed to escape and go to the police and after
staying at a shelter for battered women she returned to
her country and came back to visit Israel only to
testify at the trial of the man who imprisoned her.
Segments of her story appear in the book in a
translation from the Romanian and they document a
humiliating experience that reflects the abuse and
dehumanization experienced by many of the women
involved in the Israeli sex industry.

THIS IS an important book, but often an embarrassing
one, because again and again it reveals the troubling
gap between enlightened discourse on the issue and
findings on the ground that paint a complex and very
problematic picture.
Not only is prostitution not part of a marginal back
yard in Israeli society, but it turns out to be a
profitable and thriving business located in its front
yard, and one that is apparently tangent to the axis
between organized crime, laundered capital, and senior
Readers might have liked to see the phenomenon as part
of a dark and obscure world that stands at the opposite
pole of normal family life. But the prostitutes, their
clients and the owners alike talk about a fierce
yearning for family, a yearning that is repeated so
obsessively that it seems prostitution and warm family
lives are inextricably linked.

The women activists, who justifiably wish to come to
the prostitutes' rescue, seek to present the full
horror of the Israeli sex industry, and in that respect
there is no doubt these women are the victims not only
of the system, but of a global meat market that
traffics in body parts and bodies.

Disturbingly, though, the testimonies show that very
often the women are willing victims, serial and
habitual victims, and victims who often cooperate with
their pimps and members of organized crime. At the end
of a fascinating personal and documentary journey, the
writer has to admit that she entered "these gray
regions of trafficking in women that still today, after
all the efforts I have made, the trips and the
conversations, remain foreign and incomprehensible to

This important book ought to generate social and
legislative change and raise awareness of the appalling
phenomenon. Yet it seems that at times it was hard for
Hammerman to deal with the gap between reality and the
enlightened view of the way things should be done as
she tried to bridge the gaps that emerged from the
women's testimonies through personal and literary

The research that started here is indicative of the
need for further and more intensive examination of the
socio-economic system that drives the industry, and the
dark mingling of capital, police-organized crime,
prostitution and Israeli party politics. END TEXT.

3. (U) Published November 10, 2004 by Turkish language
Anatolia News Agency:


BEGIN TEXT: IZMIR (A.A) - Nine illegal migrants died
and three others were rescued when the boat carrying 20
people sank off Doganbey hamlet of Seferihisar town in
western city of Izmir on Wednesday.

Seferihisar Sub-Governor Mehmet Godekmerdan told the
A.A that the boat which possibly departed from the
coast in Menderes town capsized and sank. Bodies of 9
illegal migrants were found in a coast near Doganbey.

Godekmerdan added, 'three illegal migrants have reached
coast by swimming. Investigation continues. There is an
information that the boat was carrying 20 people.'

Godekmerdan added that there were 1 Turkish citizen, 6
Somalians and 13 Mauritanians aboard the boat, stating
that they were trying to sneak into Greece.

Coast guards and gendarmery continue efforts to
identify the bodies. END TEXT.

4. (U) Published November 9, 2004 by Turkish language
Anatolia News Agency:


BEGIN TEXT: AMASYA (A.A) - 09.11.2004 - Turkish police
arrested 63 illegal migrants in Tasova town of northern
city of Amasya, sources said on Tuesday.

Sources said police, acting on a tip-off, searched a
lorry parked at a gas station on Amasya-Tasova highway,
and captured 63 Pakistanis who had entered Turkey

The sources noted that also two Turks, including the
lorry driver, were detained in the operation.

The illegal migrants would be deported after legal
proceedings were completed, the same sources added.
5. (U) Published November 5, 2004 by the Reuters:

TITLE: UK, German police smash people-smuggling

BEGIN TEXT: LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - British and
German police arrested 13 people in co-ordinated raids
on Thursday to smash what they said was a gang
smuggling people from Turkey to the UK.

Detectives from London's Metropolitan Police arrested
eight people in London and south-east England, while
officers in Hamburg and Cologne held five after
searching nine addresses, Scotland Yard said.

Immigration police mounted raids in other parts of
Europe, Scotland Yard added, declining to give further

The London detainees are being questioned over the
alleged trafficking of people between Turkey and

"The arrests follow a twelve-month intelligence-led
operation," said Assistant Commissioner Tarique
Ghaffur, head of Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime

"Working with our European colleagues in this way has
enabled us to take out an entire human trafficking
network, from route to source," he added.

Police believe the gang has brought hundreds of Turkish
people illegally into Britain in the last few years,
through Germany, France and Belgium.

On arrival in London, they are exploited to provide
cheap labour for cafes and take-away food outlets,
police said.

Turks need to obtain visas or work permits before they
can come to the UK legally. END TEXT.

6. (U) Published November 4, 2004 by the Independent (UK):

TITLE: Eight held as police target human trafficking
ring; By Nick Allen, Crime Correspondent

BEGIN TEXT: Police today made a series of raids over a
human trafficking gang thought to be responsible for
smuggling hundreds of Turkish people into Britain in
the past few years.

The illegal immigrants were brought in by air, road and
sea through Germany, France and Belgium.

Eight alleged members of the gang were arrested in
raids in London this morning.

Further raids were launched by immigration police on
the continent and they arrested more suspects.

Five people were held in raids on nine addresses in
Hamburg and Cologne in Germany.

The crackdown was a year in the planning and was part
of Scotland Yard's ongoing effort - codenamed Operation
Maxim - against human trafficking.
On arrival in London the illegal immigrants were being
exploited to provide cheap labour in cafes and
takeaways in London and elsewhere.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, head of the
Yard's specialist crime directorate, said: "Today's
operation is a further example of our commitment to
tackling organised immigration crime that has a
devastating effect upon London's communities.

"The arrests follow a 12-month intelligence-led
operation, which has seen unprecedented co-operation
between the Metropolitan Police, United Kingdom
Immigration Service, our counterparts in Germany and
with other European law enforcement agencies."

The eight suspects were arrested just after 6am during
raids in Surrey, southwest and southeast London.

Police are still searching businesses connected to the

Mr Ghaffur said: "Working with our European colleagues
in this way has enabled us to take out an entire human
trafficking network from route to source.

"Pan-European operations of this type can be very
successful and we expect to be mounting more of these
in the future.

"We are now working more closely than ever with an
increasing number of European law enforcement agencies.

"We continue to target the facilitators and criminal
entrepreneurs who cause misery on many levels, mostly
within their own communities.

"We are increasingly using new legislation to take
criminal assets from those who engage in the movement
of people for illicit purposes.

"Many of the crimes impact directly on the diverse
communities of London and by arresting these people we
are making London a safer city for all its

Immigration minister Des Browne said: "This operation
is a real success for the Immigration Service in its
joint work with the police.

"It sends a clear message that those seeking to abuse
our immigration system will be caught and prosecuted.

"The UK welcomes all foreign nationals who come to the
UK legitimately - as visitors, students or workers -
with the intention of making a contribution.

"However, we will take tough action on people here
illegally and those who make money by facilitating

"This kind of racket undermines the confidence of local
people and we are determined to ensure we disrupt and
prosecute those responsible." END TEXT.

7. (U) Published November 4, 2004 by BBC NEWS:

TITLE: Human smuggling racket 'smashed'

BEGIN TEXT: A gang that is thought to have smuggled
hundreds of Turkish people into London has been
smashed, police have said.

Thirteen people were arrested on Thursday as raids were
carried out in London, Hamburg and Cologne.

Scotland Yard said they are being questioned over the
alleged trafficking of people between Turkey and the

The illegal immigrants, thought to have been brought in
by air, road and sea, were exploited as cheap labour in
cafes and takeaways in London and elsewhere.
The Metropolitan Police and European immigration
officers joined forces for operation Maxim which has
been more than a year in the planning.
Eight people were arrested after dawn raids in Surrey,
south, west and south-east London. Police are
continuing to search these addresses.

A further five people were arrested by immigration
officials in Hamburg and Cologne.

Met Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said:
"Working with our European colleagues enabled us to
take out an entire human trafficking network; from
route to source.

"We continue to target the facilitators and criminal
entrepreneurs who cause misery on many levels, mostly
within their own communities.

Tough action

"Many of the crimes impact directly on the diverse
communities of London. By arresting these people we are
making London a safer city for all its inhabitants."

Immigration Minister for the UK, Des Browne, said the
success of the operation "sends a clear message that
those seeking to abuse our immigration system will be
caught and prosecuted.

"We will take tough action on people here illegally and
those who make money by facilitating them.

"This kind of racket undermines the confidence of local
people and we are determined to ensure we disrupt and
prosecute those responsible." END TEXT.

8. (U) Published November 3, 2004 by Turkish language
Anatolian News Agency:


Jandarma carried out an operation in rural areas of Van
and near the Basegmez vilage they spotted a crowded
group of people walking outside the village. The
Jandarma checked their IDs and found out that these
were 20 Afghanis and Pakistanis who came to Turkey
through Iran through illegal means.

The officials said that after the legal procedures
(based on violation of the Passport Law and violating
the country's borders) the illegal immigrants will be
deported. An investigation is ongoing.


In the last six days 150 foreigners and their six
Turkish guides were captured in Edirne's Kesan, Ipsala,
Meric and Uzunkopru townships as they wanted to leave
Turkey illegally.

The illegal immigrants were from Pakistan, Algeria,
Tunis, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Mauritania, Somalia and

The Turkish citizens were sent to the public prosecutor
for being involved in human smuggling. The foreigners
were sent to the Edirne police for deportation.


The Jandarma captured 50 foreign illegal immigrants in
Baykan village of Siirt.

As the Jandarma searched a small truck, they found 38
Pakistanis, 10 Bengalis, two Iraqis.

Meanwhile, the truck driver and six others were

Foreigners were deported.

9. (U) Published November 2, 2004 in editions of
nationally distributed Aksam, Cumhuriyet, Sabah, and
Hurriyet Newspapers:

BEGIN TEXT: Mualla Ustuner (32) sent an e-mail to
Abdullah Gul's website to suggest that Turkey and
Russia sign an agreement to prevent prostitution.

Ustuner, who is a teacher, complained in her e-mail, "I
have two children. My marriage came to an end because
of a 'Natasha.' You, too, have a family. The EU
countries adopted special laws against 'Natashas.' If
you make such an initiative, it will be welcomed by the
EU as well."

She suggested to Gul that Turkey sign an agreement to
prevent human trafficking and prostitution during the
visit of Russian President Putin in December. END TEXT.

10. (U) Published November 1, 2004 by Turkish language
Anatolian News Agency:


BEGIN TEXT: AGRI (A.A)- Turkish gendarmery
detained 67 illegal migrants in eastern city of
Agri on Monday. A total of 67 Pakistanis who
entered Turkey illegally were captured during
controls at Tutak town of Agri. Illegal migrants
will be deported after legal procedures. END TEXT.


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