18-year-old woman in Istanbul saved after being forced into prostitution by parents
Ayşe Arman - ISTANBULAn 18-year-old woman, who was forced into prostitution in southern Turkey for years by her own parents, has been saved with the help of a women’s rights NGO and the Family and Social Policies Ministry.
The woman, whose identity could not be revealed for security reasons, said the terrifying chain of events started after she first menstruated. She said her parents had created a "festive atmosphere" around it because they had wanted to sell her into prostitution.
“Our home was never a normal one and neither were my parents. They were using drugs and alcohol.
Numbers of unidentified people came in and out of our house. More specifically, our house was like a brothel. I could not finish high school. They made me leave school,” she said.
The young woman said her parents had also forced her aunt into prostitution but her aunt had managed to escape after a year and a half.
“They [my parents] did everything for money. They are people who have been living in a pit. My parents are just a link in a chain. They are directed by more powerful people. They set traps for young girls. These girls can no longer escape from the trap. My aunt and I were in the same situation,” she said.
“We were living in a small district. That small district is dominated by the prostitution ring I had referred to earlier. I had informed the police about the incident a couple of times and told them my mother forced me into prostitution. They placed me in a children’s shelter, but my father came and said he was my guardian. So, he made me come back to the house,” she said.
The woman said her parents had made her accustomed to smoking and using alcohol when she was 12. When her mother discovered she had menstruated for the first time, she was very happy.
“My mother said life was beautiful with various men. She said that sleeping with men was joyful and also profitable,” she added.
The young woman said she did not accept prostitution and escaped from home a number of times. She had even tried to commit suicide but they managed to save her and forced her into prostitution.
“Nothing worked. After that, they sold me to the nephew of the head of the prostitution ring. This man sold me again to another. So, I was sold a number of times by my own parents,” she said.
Following her own efforts, the woman managed to escape from her parents after she found her aunt in a different province.
She said her and her aunt were taken under protection by the cooperation of the Family and Social Policies Ministry and the Federation of Women’s Rights Foundation. However, their darkened addresses and identities were disclosed to her parents after an error by the ministry.
The young woman had been receiving assistance by the ministry but officials from the ministry reached her parents to give them information about them. As a result, their address was accidentally disclosed to the woman’s parents.