By Tatevik Hayrapetyan
Turkish criminal gangs are ruling over the streets in the UK, controlling much of the drug market in Germany, as well as providing political influence in the Netherlands.
Turkish mafia has launched a wide range of activities in various European countries, has its own network subject to certain Turkish political circles. This is stated in the reports of the European countries and the UN.
Turkish mafia is influential especially in Germany and the Netherlands. According to annual report of the German police, Turks as well as migrants from Nigeria and Sierra Leone are playing major role in coordination of crime among the immigrants.
The number of residents of not German nationality suspected of organizing criminal gangs reached 471,067, while 106,396 out of them were Turks. As to drug trafficking, 26.6% of Germany’s drug dealers are Turks, 21.9% of those engaged in cocaine trafficking are Turks as well.
The representatives of this ethnic group stood out as part of those involved in sex crimes in Germany - 34.9% of rapes and other similar crimes accounted for Turks only.
German press reports that dangerous Turkish youth criminal gangs are operating in the cities of Germany. They also deal with the main business of Turkish mafia – drug trafficking and prostitution.
Back in 2010 Militant Islam Monitor website wrote that Turkish criminal gangs are controlling the streets of Berlin.
Turkish groups also form a part of a large Turkish community in the Netherlands. It is dominated by Turkish gangs, engaged in buying and selling drugs. According to local police, these groups often appear with their families and clans. The dealers are often controlled directly from Istanbul. The Turks in the Netherlands and Belgium are also selling weapons, are dealing with trafficking of immigrants, prostitution, forgery and money laundering.
In the UK drug market is also under control of the Turkish clans. The British press reported that the Turkish criminals are fueling fear. According to law enforcers, about 90% of imported heroin is of Turkish origin. The Turks engaged in heroin business are mainly concentrated in the eastern part of London. They have links with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Back in 2006 thirteen members of a Turkish gang were arrested for hiding 13 kilos of heroine in a butcher shop. Later police found famous Hamit Gokenc aka “Mafia babası” (God father). The criminal gang he was heading had close ties with Turkey’s Grey Wolves gang. As a result of police operation, 22 kilos of heroine was found.
In order to understand the reasons for Turkish mafia’s influence in Europe, we must look back at the history. Drug trafficking, distribution and use of drugs were considered a normal thing under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
Prior to the ban on cocaine, opium and other drugs in Europe, they were imported directly from the Ottoman Empire. Exports of opium was one of the main sources for income. Naturally, the Turkish suppliers entered the European market being particularly active in France.
After the First World War, the Turks formed alliances with the Yugoslav, Bulgarian and Greek criminal circles by organizing cooperation in drug smuggling.
Nowadays, the Turkish-Bulgarian, Turkish-Serbian and Turkish-Albanian groups are active in this business. Large Turkish communities formed in Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary are contributing to this.
After the Second World War, when Marseilles was major opium trafficking center, the Turkish mafia established ties with the leaders of the drug market – Marseille residents and Corsicans. Then, they expanded their activities reaching the United States.
Nowadays, the Turks are controlling major part of the black drug market in Europe - about 93%.
The reports of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says 110 tons of heroine entered Europe in 2009, while 80% came by a route lying through Turkey.
Thus, the Turkish criminal groups are expanding their activities in Germany and the Netherlands due to a large and influential community. In the UK, the lever is a huge community of Sunni Muslims.
The Muslims from African countries are also joining the Turkish clans selling drugs in the European streets.