Peace and Freedom

Smugglers in Istanbul are bribing politicians, police chiefs and border guards in several European countries to turn a blind eye to a racket that is bringing tens thousands of desperate refugees to the continent

A crowded boat of immigrants during one of the rescue operations off the coast of Sicily Photo: AFP
By Ruth Sherlock, Istanbul

The Daily Telegraph

Sitting in the bustling open-air Istanbul café, a gold watch heavy on his wrist, the smuggler made little attempt to lower his voice as he spoke of his work illegally routing thousands of desperate refugees to Europe.

The Turkish intelligence agencies knew his job exactly, he said, and so did the police chiefs and border guards of the Western countries he sent his clients to – without them the smuggling operation wouldn’t be possible at all.

“I set up the journeys, but there are men above me who…

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