- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2001

ANKARA, Turkey (Agence France-Press) Turkish police have detained a schoolteacher suspected of abusing his pupils, among them retarded children, and distributing pornographic pictures of them on the Internet, officials said yesterday.
The arrest Wednesday of Ozgen Imamoglu, 30, a teacher and psychologist at a private school in the northwestern city of Bursa, followed a monthlong probe as part of an international drive against child pornography, police chief Mutlu Celik told a press conference.
British police last month announced that an operation against child porn had been started in 19 countries including Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.
Turkish police monitored Mr. Imamoglu's Internet communications and telephone conversations and established that schoolboys aged between 8 and 12 frequently visited his home, Mr. Celik said, according to Anatolia news agency.
A search of his house in Bursa found a huge amount of pornographic material, including two videotapes recorded by the teacher that depicted naked boys. Retarded boys performing stripteases also were seen on the tapes, Mr. Celik said.
In Bursa, police stepped up security in the school where Mr. Imamoglu worked, while education ministry officials started their own investigation.
"It is a very upsetting incident. We call on parents and students to remain calm. Everything required is being done," Engin Ozbek, the local education director, told reporters in the schoolyard.
An unnamed police chief in Bursa told Anatolia that authorities had identified five students in the pictures, some of whom were retarded.
The children were receiving psychological assistance and their testimonies were being taken with the help of medical experts, he said.
To identify other children, police had asked for help from counterparts in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, where Mr. Imamoglu had worked previously.
The probe began after police established that pornographic material was being sent from Turkey to Britain via the Internet.
Last month, British police revealed that operations against child-porn distributors had been begun in 19 countries: Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.
Turkish police subsequently said that they had detained two Turks since last year as part of the international drive and that another 12 suspects remained at large.
The international campaign against child pornography was based on data from about 1,500 Internet "newsgroups," or public discussion forums, and were aimed at 130 suspects, British police said.
The suspects are believed to have used Internet newsgroups to exchange images of child pornography.

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