The “Natasha” Experience: Migrant Sex Workers from the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in Turkey (2002, English)
For women who find themselves having to migrate to different countries across the world, the sex industry remains one of the possible options for work. This paper looks at the case of migrant sex workers from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in Turkey, documenting sex workers’ experiences in Istanbul. The grueling circumstances of the sex industry, combined with the challenges of undocumented immigration status, force migrant women doing sex work into a life of health problems, violence, harassment, police bribery, detention and the constant threat of arbitrary deportation. Though debates around sex work usually get mired in the controversy over whether the work is “forced” or “voluntary”, this paper suggests to move away from this direction and rather focus on practical measures to improve their working conditions – citing, in particular, the necessity to revisit immigration policies and decriminalize undocumented sex work.
Leyla Gülçür, Pınar İlkkaracan
Women′s Studies International Forum Vol.25, No.4, 2002, pp.411-421