Turkish woman sells eggs in Cyprus despite ban
Ömer Erbil - ISTANBUL/NICOSIA
Dilara K. (left) speaks to Hürriyet reporter Ömer Erbil
Although the practice is banned in Turkey, there are IVF clinics in the Turkish Cyprus that provide the service. It is a lucrative business, as they buy the eggs from young women between ages 18 to 28 years old for 350-700 euros and sell them to couples who want to have a baby for 4,500-6,000 euros.
“As they find my physical features attractive, they pay more for my eggs than they pay for most other girls,” Dilara K. said.
She has been going to Cyprus every two months to sell her eggs, despite the fact that the practice is not legal there either. Hence, clinics make donors sign a “voluntary donation” form even though they pay for their eggs.
All inclusive tour
“Before the donation, they send me to a clinic in Istanbul for medical analysis. Then, they send medication to my home and explain over the phone how I should inject the medication for 10-12 days. If I pass the final check, they send me my flight ticket,” Dilara K. said during our flight.
When we land at Ercan Airport in the Turkish side of Nicosia (Lefkoşa), a private driver met us. We waited for other donors to arrive before going to the hospital in a VIP vehicle.
The next morning we met with Dilara at a cafe, hours after she had the operation to donate her eggs. Still under the effects of anesthesia, she wearily explained her blood samples had been taken at night and she had been anesthetized for the operation, which took about 30 minutes in the morning.
“Then, I sign a non-disclosure agreement in which I vow to never claim any maternity rights after the birth. Finally, they gave me the money in an envelope,” she said.
Serious health risks
Dilara K. knows what she does is illegal and seems careless about the fact that she risks her health and perhaps her life.
“I need money. Of course I would not do it if my personal financial outlook was good,” she said, noting she had abdominal pain, which was downplayed by the clinic.
“Now, I have three children who I do not know. I know I have accepted to just forget them, but I still wonder whether they are boys or girls. If I see them one day, I would embrace them and maybe I would not be able to leave them,” she added.
Under current legislation in Turkey, IVF treatments can only be provided with the couple’s own egg and sperm.