Timur Soikan's latest book, "Invasion of the Barons"

Timur Soikan's latest book, "Invasion of the Barons"

In a riveting exposé of the shadowy world of organized crime, Timur Soikan's latest book, "Invasion of the Barons," published by Turkey's largest private publishing house, "Kyrmyzy Kedi" ("Red Cat"), pulls back the curtain on Turkey's transformation into a haven for global mafia activity. Soikan's narrative delves deep into the underbelly of criminal networks, shedding light on the involvement of Azerbaijani "thieves in law" in high-profile mafia operations.

At the heart of Soikan's narrative are the figures of Rovshan Janiev and Nadira Salifova, whose connections to a notorious mafia crime in 2013 cast a shadow over Turkey's underworld. The assassination attempt on Aslan Usoyan, known as "Grandfather Hassan," serves as a focal point, revealing the intricate web of alliances and rivalries within the criminal hierarchy. Notably, Janiev, a young Azerbaijani "thief in law," emerges as a central figure, with the Russian mafia placing a hefty bounty on his head following the murder of Grandfather Hassan.

Soikan's meticulous research unveils a troubling trend: over the past decade, Turkey has become a magnet for influential mafiosi seeking refuge from international law enforcement. Under the guise of the state's "open door" policy, these fugitives have established clandestine operations, orchestrating illegal activities with impunity. The tenure of Suleiman Soylu as Minister of Internal Affairs from 2016 to 2023 witnessed a surge in mafia-related violence, turning Turkey into a battleground for warring criminal factions.

Intriguingly, Soikan's narrative exposes the intricate web of alliances and rivalries within the criminal underworld, with Azerbaijani "thieves in law" occupying a prominent role. The exploits of individuals such as Rovshan Lankaran and Lotu Guli illustrate the extent of Azerbaijani involvement in transnational organized crime.

However, amidst the turmoil, a glimmer of hope emerges with the appointment of Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya as Interior Minister in 2023. Yerlikaya's crackdown on organized crime signals a turning point in Turkey's battle against the mafia. His relentless pursuit of justice has led to the arrest of numerous mafia leaders, dealing a significant blow to criminal syndicates operating with impunity.

Haluk Hepkon, the head of "Kyrmyzi Kedi" publishing house, emphasizes the importance of supporting legitimate efforts to combat illegal organizations. Soikan's book, along with previous works shedding light on corruption within Turkey's political establishment, underscores the publishing house's commitment to promoting transparency and accountability.

As Soikan's revelations continue to reverberate, Turkey finds itself at a crossroads. The battle against organized crime is far from over, but with each revelation, a step closer to justice is taken. The publication of "Invasion of the Barons" serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by criminal networks and the necessity of unwavering resolve in confronting them.

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