Donald Trump pal Tevfik Arif busted in Turkey for allegedly running hooker ring aboard yacht

BY Brian Kates and Rich Schapiro

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, October 1st 2010, 4:00 AM

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19:  Tevfik Arif, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump at the Trump Soho Launch on September 19, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19: Tevfik Arif, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump at the Trump Soho Launch on September 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)

A New York real estate mogul with ties to Donald Trump is at the center of an international sex scandal – suspected of running a high-priced prostitution ring.

Tevfik Arif, 57, has been detained in Turkey on suspicion of setting up trysts between wealthy businessmen and Eastern European models – some underage – aboard a $60 million yacht once used by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Ataturk.

Arif, whose Bayrock Group co-developed the Trump SoHo and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, was among 10 people rounded up in Tuesday’s raid on suspicion of running a prostitution ring.

Prosecutor Yusuf Hakki Dogan said the Savarona yacht was used twice for sexcapades, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

“This is the man who defiled the Savarona,” read the headline on the cover of the Turkish paper Milliyet, beside a photo of Arif.

Ten models from Russia and Ukraine were detained, but one was released, Bloomberg News reported. Two of the women were underage.

The businessmen reportedly paid $3,000 to $10,000 per night to bed the women aboard the 450-foot yacht.

The luxury vessel, which boasts 16 suites, a 282-foot gold-trimmed grand staircase, a movie theater, Turkish bath and helicopter pad, was used by Ataturk before he died in 1938.

In 1989, Turkish businessman Kahraman Sadikoglu paid the government for the right to operate the yacht, which he reportedly rents out for $30,000 to $40,000 a day.

Russian, Kyrgyz and Kazakh businessmen and top government officials were also among those detained, Bloomberg News reported.

Last night, Arif was being questioned at a police station near the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya.

Antalya provincial spokesman Mahmut Deniz said there’s been no decision on whether to press charges.

Arif is the victim of a “smear campaign” and will “vigorously defend himself in any court of law,” his lawyer, Engin Agyuzlu, said in an email to Bloomberg News.

In addition to the Trump properties in New York and Florida, Arif’s firm developed the Trump International Hotel and Tower Phoenix, the Waterpointe, a residential development in Whitestone, Queens, and the Riverhead Resorts in Suffolk County, L.I.

In an interview in 2007, Arif extolled the benefits of his relationship with The Donald.

“He’s been very helpful to us from the beginning and he’s been very helpful in opening some doors,” Arif told Real Estate Weekly.

Photos from the 2007 launch party for the Trump SoHo Hotel show Trump and Arif palling around together. Arif was also photographed beside Trump and his three kids: Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka.

A spokeswoman for Trump declined to comment on his relationship with Arif.

A source said Trump hasn’t spoken to Arif “in years.”

The Kazakh-born Arif worked for the Ministry of Commerce and Trade in the former Soviet Union for 17 years, serving as the deputy director of its Department of Hotel Management, according to Real Estate Weekly.

After moving to the U.S., Arif’s first project was the redevelopment of a 280,000 square-foot waterfront shopping center in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza was sold in 2008 for a reported $24 million.

Arif founded Bayrock in 2001, which he operates out of an office on Fifth Ave.

“Bayrock knows nothing about the matter,” said a spokeswoman for the firm.

Arif owns a three-story mansion in Port Washington, L.I., worth more than $6 million, records show.

In recent years, Bayrock has been the target of multiple lawsuits.

In suits filed in New York and Delaware, former Bayrock finance director Jody Kriss claims that the firm defrauded the IRS and embezzled millions from its subsidiaries.

In a separate lawsuit filed in August in Manhattan Federal Court, 15 buyers of the Trump SoHo Hotel sued Arif, Trump, his children, and Arif’s partner, Alex Sapir, charging they had inflated sales in their marketing pitches to encourage them to buy into the condo.

rschapiro@nydailynews.com

One Reply to “Donald Trump pal Tevfik Arif busted in Turkey for allegedly running hooker ring aboard yacht”

  1. You forgot to mention that:

    Turkish authorities say a sex trade network was using the yacht, which was leased by the government five years ago to a local businessman. The authorities say participants in the orgies paid between $3,000 and $10,000 for a night on the decks of the yacht.

    Hello!???

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