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Illegal Georgian workers arrested in Turkey

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, October 28
On Wednesday eighty Georgians were deported by bus from Ankara, Turkey. Having carried out a large-scale special operation against illegal employers and their workers, the Turkish police made sanctions against a total of 200 illegal foreigners. The Turkish police, who had been preparing for the mass deportation for over a year, caught illegal employees in their homes and temporary shelters. As the deported Georgians claimed, some of them were visiting their relatives, others working via a mediator company.

Sharing their emotions to the media, the deportees complained about how violent the Turkish law enforcers had been. As the Georgians told the media, armed policemen forcibly entered their apartments and took them in chains without explanation. Having spent two days in a special isolation unit, the detainees didn’t have even minimal living conditions during their detention.

Most men had gone to Turkey to find fortune, but now worried that they had been working at construction sites for months without any payment. Women welcomed the opportunities they had been offered by the mediating organizations. “We were officially registered in a computer database, had language classes and a nice job but we definitely paid money for our accommodation,” one of the elder ladies stated. “It was the first year I left for Turkey to visit my relatives and work for a while, but the police said Georgians aren’t allowed to work in Turkey,” another deported woman added.

According to the information released by Paata Sarishvili, the Georgian Consul to Turkey, 40 illegal employers were arrested with conditional imprisonment in Turkey. These people, most of whom are Turkish citizens, are accused of trafficking; however the Turkish authorities have refrained from revealing their names until the investigation has been completed. There is a possibility that some Georgians are also among the detained employers, as most Georgians had found jobs in Turkey through their mediation. Fifty-seven Georgians still remain in Turkish prisons waiting for deportation to their country.