‘Folk dancers’ paid smuggling organization 6,000 euros to flee to Hungary: Report
A group from Turkey who have sought asylum in Hungary have turned out to possess fake dance licenses, which had been obtained by paying a human-trafficking gang 6,000 euros to smuggle them abroad, daily Habertürk reported on Jan. 4.
Turkish media reported on Dec. 5 that a group of “dancers” participated in a folk dance event in Budapest titled “Farewell to Summer” between Nov. 5 and Nov. 10, but stayed on in Hungary and applied for asylum in the country.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office later announced it had launched an investigation into the incident, whose details were obtained by daily Habertürk.
The daily reported on Jan. 4 that a smuggling gang had been behind the whole incident, as they had issued fake documents and handed these to the authorities in order to smuggle a total of 13 people to Hungary.
A former founder of the Ankara Kent Child and Youth Folk Dances Association, initially known as Haydar B., was reportedly the main person responsible for issuing the fake documents in order to help them obtain the fake dance licenses. The 13 people then received approval from the Turkish Folk Dance Federation to go abroad.
Haydar B., along with four others who helped him, now face charges of “forging official documents” and “human trafficking.” They had been detained but released shortly afterwards on a judicial control decision.
In line with the suspects’ testimonies and information received from intelligence units, Haydar B. and his team collected between 5,000 and 6,000 euros each from the 13 people, promising to help them “to flee abroad.”
The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office has discovered there was never actually a folk-dancing event that took place in Budapest in November, which the 13 had claimed they were attending in order to receive the authorized permission to go abroad.
The prosecutor’s office has not established a connection regarding the incident with any terrorist organization, despite previous claims that the 13 people were members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).