03:27 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Migrants and refugees, one of them swims, arrive after crossing from Turkey, at the southeastern island of Kos, Greece, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015

    How Turkish Mafia Make Illegal Cash at the Cost of Refugees’ Lives

    © AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko
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    According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a significant number of migrants come to Europe via Turkey.

    While Turkey has signed a preliminary agreement with the EU to help manage the flow of irregular migrants, reports have started to emerge suggesting the Turkish mafia is becoming the largest source of boats used for smuggling refugees.

    The migrant smuggling trade in Turkey is quickly being corralled by organized crime and which was brought to light in an investigative piece by the Financial Times.

    The investigation provided detailed information on the various boats being used by Turkish smugglers to transport refugees to Europe and the careful planning that went into the organization of illegal migrant flows.

    According to the investigation those who pay the Mafia can buy boats at small factories near Ankara for 400 dollars, while those who are reluctant to deal with criminals are forced to pay 6,000 dollars for even smaller vessels.

    In the Turkish port of Cesme, control over the transportation of illegal migrants has been taken over by organized mafia groups, who force migrants to pay 1,000 dollars to even get on a boat.

    As noted by the publication the New Eastern Outlook, this smuggling business run by the Turkish mafia has drawn the attention of the Finnish Border Guard. It has opened an investigation into this matter and according to their inquiry organized criminal groups have trafficked at least 100 people from Iraq via Turkey to Finland, while receiving a profit of well over 10,000 euros.

    In an effort to stem this illegal human trafficking, European-law enforcement agencies and international human rights organizations have raised concerns to Turkey.

    Amnesty International stressed that Turkey has not respected basic human rights of refugees who have been held in detention centers since the start of dialogue with the European Union.

    “The refugees are being detained without the right to any contact with the outside world, and Turkish officials shrewdly present them with a choice: either they stay in prison indefinitely or get sent back to their homeland, Syria or Iraq, where they risk persecution, torture and death. Thus, Turkey’s actions contradict international humanitarian law,” the New Eastern Outlook wrote.

    Similarly, the EU has provided Turkey with money to set up centers for refugees and EU representative in Ankara confirmed that such refugee centers are in fact nothing more than detention centers.

    As the publication noted, different Western political forces have expressed negative attitude towards Ankara’s actions and policies. For instance, US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee expressed his distrust of Turkish politicians in an interview with Breitbart.


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    human trafficking, mafia, crime, smuggling, refugees, Amnesty International, European Union, Financial Times, Mike Huckabee, Europe, Turkey
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