Main opposition deputy: AK Party turned Turkey into human trafficking center

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Erdoğan Toprak has said that Turkey has been turned into a human trafficking and prostitution center during the last 14 years under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule.

“Now they are promising citizenship [to Syrian refugees in Turkey] to legalize this disgrace,” Toprak added.

Referring to the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released by U.S. Department of State, Toprak said, “The report states that Turkey has become the destination point and transit country of sexual slavery, forced labor and inhuman treatment towards women, men and children and it has also become a source country for these, although lesser than other countries in the black list, during the last 14 years under the AK Party rule.”

The deputy underlined that the report also states police officers and officials in Turkey underestimate human trafficking and do not put the necessary emphasis on eliminating the interested networks in the country.

“It is stated that Turkey does not even meet the minimum standards to prevent human trafficking and it recently started to take some steps towards the issue.”

Highlighting that earning visa-free travel to Europe will only get harder, Toprak said, “According to a research done by the Hacettepe University Migration and Politics Research Center (HÜGO), Turkish government refrains from putting education and integration policy for Syrians on its agenda for five years, hoping that they would return to their country. … According to the HÜGO research, most of them do not speak Turkish. … Their level of education is quite low. More than 45 percent of Syrian refugees are not even literate. Most of the children do not attend school for the last five years. … Granting citizenship to 3 million Syrians will urge millions in Syria, Iraq and other countries to press in upon Turkey. One of the most critical results of this will be EU’s sealing their door shut against those with Turkish passports and making visa-free travel harder to get.”

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