Turkish mafia

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Turkish Mafia
Territory Turkey, Western Europe, Balkans, Middle East
Ethnicity Turkish (including Turkish Laz) and Kurdish (including Zaza Kurdish)
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, Arms trafficking, Assassination, Assault, Auto theft, Bank fraud, Blackmailing, Bribery, Car bombing, Contract killing, Counterfeiting, Extortion, Forced prostitution, Fraud, Human trafficking, Infiltration of Politics, Illegal gambling, Insurance fraud, Kidnapping, Money laundering, Murder, Police corruption, Police impersonation, Political corruption, Prostitution, Racketeering, Tax evasion, Theft, Witness intimidation, Witness tampering.
Allies Azeri mafia, Albanian Mafia, Bulgarian mafia, British firms, Sicilian Mafia, 'Ndrangheta, Camorra

Turkish mafia is the general term for criminal organizations based in Turkey and/or composed of (former) Turkish citizens. Crime groups with origins in Turkey are active throughout Western Europe, where a strong Turkish immigrant community exists and the Middle East. Turkish criminal groups participate in a wide range of criminal activities, internationally the most important being drug trafficking, especially heroin. In the trafficking of heroin they cooperate with Bulgarian mafia groups who transport the heroin further to countries such as Italy.[1] Criminal activities such as the trafficking of other types of drugs, illegal gambling, human trafficking, prostitution or extortion are committed in Turkey itself as well as European countries with a sizeable Turkish community such as Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium.

Turkish crime groups are not solely gangs composed of ethnic Turks. Individuals of ethnic groups other than Turks but originating in the country are also involved in organized crime. Major Turkish crime syndicates mostly have their origin in two main regions: the Trabzon province on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey and the mostly Kurdish-populated regions of East and Southeast Anatolia in the south of the country.

Turkish crime groups[edit]

Criminal groups composed of ethnic Turks are active throughout the country and in communities with a large ethnically Turkish population. Certain Turkish criminal groups have strong links with corrupt politicians and corrupt members of the local law enforcement. They are active in different sections of organized crime and can often be linked to politically motivated groups, such as the Grey Wolves. This can especially be the case with criminals in immigrant Turkish communities.[2] Powerful and important Turkish criminal organizations mostly have their origin in the Trabzon Province[3] and incorporate members of both the ethnic Turkish and the Turkish Laz populations.

Laz crime groups[edit]

Even though crime groups composed of ethnic Turks come from all over the country, a relatively high amount of them have origins in the Black Sea region of Turkey. These groups consisting of Turkified Laz people and Turks are especially strong in the country itself. Black Sea crime bosses such as Alaattin Cakici are known from having links to or being members of the politically motivated group Grey Wolves.[4]

Turkish Cypriot crime groups[edit]

Following the substantial immigration of Turkish Cypriots to London criminal gangs composed of Turkish Cypriots were formed in working-class neighborhoods. Mainly involved in drug trafficking, armed robbery, money laundering these crime clans have more in common with the traditional White British crime firms than with the Turkish mafia. Turkish Cypriot crime groups are native to the United Kingdom, as is the case with the Arif crime family.[5]

Kurdish crime groups[edit]

The ethnically Kurdish crime groups have their origin in the Southeast Anatolia part of Turkey. These groups are largely clan based and their main source of income is the trafficking of heroin and weapons. Kurdish crime bosses such as Huseyin Baybasin have been active in Western European countries, especially Great Britain. Links to the PKK exist.[6] Kurdish organized crime groups incorporate members of both the Kurmanji as well as the Zaza speaking populations.

Zaza Kurdish crime families in the United Kingdom[edit]

While ethnically Zaza Kurdish groups are not noteworthy in Turkey itself, large Alevi Zaza immigrant communities have formed in Great Britain and Germany. Criminal gangs from these communities have links with other Kurdish crime bosses and are involved in drug trafficking and contract killing. An example in London is the brutal turf war between Turkish gangs of mostly Kurdish and Zaza Kurdish origin, such as the so-called Tottenham Boys and the Hackney Turks.[7]

Notable Turkish mafiosi[edit]


External links[edit]