Authorities in Turkey have busted more gambling organizers posing as political parties to evade the country’s strict anti-gambling laws.
On Tuesday, Turkish authorities raided an office of the Future Party of Turkey (GTP) in the southern province of Adana after being tipped off that illegal gambling was going on inside. The police were forced to break down the building’s doors with a sledgehammer after repeated efforts to ring the doorbell went unanswered.
For the record, the Adana Police Department had now conducted over 100 raids on the same building, which was previously occupied (in turn) by the Cukurova Labor Union for Workers in the Entertainment and Accommodation Sectors (CEK-IS), the Rise of the Nationalist Will Party (MIY) and the Trust party.
Police have denounced all four organizations as mere fronts for illegal gambling activity. The Trust party was dissolved last year after its premises were raided 44 times. The MIY party was raided 11 times in roughly its first month of existence while the labor union popped its raid cherry in June.
The only gambling permitted under Turkish law is the national lottery and limited forms of sports betting. Yet police have repeatedly discovered illegal forms of gambling – if you can call bingo ‘gambling’ – going on inside the buildings occupied by the various political parties and labor groups.
The party/union leaders have always claimed to be blissfully unaware of what was going on inside their branch offices, but police have accused the parties of hiding behind Turkish law, which puts strict limits on the ability of police to permanently shut down the operations of political groups.
The Hurriyet Daily News reported that Tuesday’s raid resulted in fines being assessed against eight GTP officials as well as 87 gamblers, er, voters who were also caught inside after the cops got out their sledgehammers. Documents discovered at previous raids have indicated that the various political parties have traditionally paid the fines of the gamblers caught within its premises.
Tune in next month, when Turkish police raid the offices of the newly formed Totally Absolutely 100% Not Gambling Party. They’ve already got our vote.