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Anya and Katerina

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.

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Katia

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. Katia was trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation from Ukraine to Turkey. She was drugged and beaten and forced to sleep with men against her will on a daily basis.

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Moutassem

There are an estimated 509,000 people living in modern slavery in Turkey (2018). Turkey is a destination and transit country for women, men and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour from Central and South Asian, Eastern Europe, Syria, Indonesia and Morocco. Syrians continue to make up the largest number of those trafficked as Turkey hosts a large refugee population that is increasingly vulnerable to trafficking as they seek safety in Europe. Refugees are trafficked both within Turkey and across Europe by smugglers. Refugees and other children engaged in street begging were also reported to work in agriculture, restaurant, textile factories, markets and shops. Moutassem Yazbek is a Syrian refugee who took a smuggler's ship from Turkey to Italy in December 2014. He currently lives in Germany, where he has volunteered to help other recent arrivals from Syria.

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Salima

There are an estimated 24,000 people living in modern slavery in Kyrgyzstan and 509,000 in Turkey (GSI 2018). Kyrgyzstan remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Women from across the former Soviet Republic often travel to neighbouring countries with the promise of jobs as nannies, domestic workers, work in hotels and in the catering and entertainment sectors. However, upon arrival they find themselves sold to a pimp and forced in to sex work to pay off debt incurred for transportation, accommodation and the opportunity. Salima* was trafficked from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey to work as a sex worker.

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Farida

Born in Armenia, Farida was trafficked to Turkey, where victims also arrive from Ukraine and Moldova. As well as Turkey and the UAE, Armenian women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Russia, Greece, and other European countries. In this narrative, Farida discusses the pressures that led to her seeking out work in another country, and also reveals that fear of the immigration police in Turkey made it harder for her to leave her situation. Like many others who return to their home country after being trafficked abroad, Farida notes that her circumstances are still as precarious as before she left.

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Bahar

Bahar was born in Moldova and trafficked into sex slavery in Turkey. Moldova is a country origin for the trafficking of women and children into European sex slavery. Its economic conditions fuel this trafficking. In 2000, the country’s GDP was 40 percent of its level in 1990. Unemployment remains high, especially among women. People are forced to look outside of the country for work and pimps take advantage: some victims are kidnapped but more often they answer job advertisements promising work and then are forced into sex slavery. Most Moldovan trafficking victims are taken to the Balkan countries, though other destinations include Asia, Turkey, Western Europe and the Middle East.

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Amasya

Born in Armenia but unable to find work there, Amasya was trafficked to Turkey, where victims also arrive from Ukraine and Moldova, and manipulated into a situation of prostitution. As well as Turkey and the UAE, Armenian women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Russia, Greece, and other European countries. It is estimated that 480,000 people are living in slavery in Turkey. The Turkish government significantly increased its law enforcement response in 2007 by convicting and punishing more traffickers. However, there is a lack of secure and consistent government support for trafficking shelters, hindering Turkey’s anti-trafficking efforts.