A highly sophisticated criminal enterprise obtained classified documents by making use of a honey trap scheme in the capital city of Ankara, with officers, governors, investigators and other bureaucrats ensnared in its web.
Nordic Monitor tracked the story of an escort woman who had traded sexual favors to gain access to official documents and pass them to her handlers, who then blackmailed her clients with a leak of taped sexual encounters, if necessary. She was one of many women who were tapped by the gang to extract sensitive government data from clients.
Her name is Ferda Berge, 34 years old at the time she was detained by the police in 2012 on multiple charges. Having grown up in a large family of nine children in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mersin, she was married at the young age of 19. She went through a divorce in 2002 after the couple had three children. She moved to Ankara and started working as a waitress in bars. She later started a prostitution business, renting a house to use as a rendezvous location while advertising herself on escort sites.
After a while she was recruited by a gang that set up schemes to obtain classified documents from government officials who were lured by sex. Berge screened her customers to identify whether they would be suitable candidates from whom the gang could acquire information on various branches of government. She took detailed notes on clients’ backgrounds, listed their weaknesses and suggested the best course of action for turning them into assets.
Documents seized from mastermind Bilgin Özkaynak and other suspects in the gang during the execution of search warrants in homes and offices revealed Berge’s secret record, which showed whom she had sex with and what documents or information she managed to obtain from the officials who were targeted.
In the house she used to meet with clients, police found 12 CDs and one 320 GB hard drive during the execution of a search and seizure warrant. An examination of the CDs and hard drive revealed that she possessed Turkish military documents including ones stamped secret on subjects such as counterterrorism and organized crime. The gendarme’s organizational chart as well as the names, photos and task assignments of dozens of law enforcement officers are included in the list of documents.
The expert report on the examination of CDs and a hard drive seized from the house used by a prostitute to meet with her clients: