There are an estimated 509,000 people living in modern slavery in Turkey (GSI 2018). As a source, transit and destination location for immigration, human trafficking is prevalent in the country. Trafficking victims in Turkey are primarily from Central and South Asia, Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Morocco, and Syria. Women are mainly trafficked to Turkey as sex workers.
Anya and Katerina were trafficked to Turkey by a woman named Olga who offered them a job. She took them to a café where they were taken by men to an apartment. That first night they were told to get dressed for work, taken to a hotel, and forced into prostitution.
She told us to wait for a while. Then she came over and said, “Follow me.” We followed her across the road.
She brought us to some men at a café, and said they were going to drive us to the apartment where we were going to stay.
She talked to them in Turkish, took money from them and counted it. I saw her counting the money. I got scared. She said, “Don’t worry, everything’s fine. Go with those men. They’re good people. Don’t worry.” We guessed that she was selling us, but we hoped we were wrong. We hoped that we had misunderstood.
She destroyed my life. They brought us to an apartment. That night a man woke me up. He told me to get dressed for work. I asked, “Why am I going to work now?” He said, “you’ll see.” He took me to a hotel. It was a nightmare. He simply raped me. I screamed and tried to run away. He was so cruel. I pleaded with him and begged for mercy. He laughed at me and continued what he was doing.
[…] They did whatever they wanted to us.
I never dreamt of being in a situation like that. I still can’t stop thinking about it. Those memories continue to haunt me.
Narrative as told to Documentary Makers for Real Stories. All credit given.
Original narrative can be found here