Turkish police rescued 251 human trafficking victims coming to Turkey with the promise of work and a better life in anti-human trafficking operations held since the beginning of the year.
According to Turkish daily Star's report, a total of 1,222 victims were rescued during the anti-human trafficking operations held by the police between 2005 and 2017.
The number of victims rescued during the raids carried out by the police was 142 in 2005, 194 in 2006 and only nine in 2013. However, the number of victims increased again in the following years and by the end of September, reaching 251 people.
Around 500 out of 1,222 human trafficking victims were rescued since the establishment of the General Directorate of Immigration in 2013, the Head of the Human Trafficking Victims' Protection Office Osman Koramaz said.
"Human trafficking occurs both on a national and international level, whereas migrant smuggling only occurs through border crossings," international human trafficking expert Tamme De Leur said, emphasizing that the observance of the distinction between human trafficking and migrant smuggling played a critical role in preventing these crimes.
He said that human trafficking is carried out without the will of the victim and some victims are being used for prostitution and other illegal industries.
According to a report produced by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Turkey is a top destination for victims of human trafficking.