Turkey Reality TV Scandal – Were The Women Held Hostage?

Hey, if I ever come to you and I’m all, “I’m thinking of going to Turkey to be on a reality show,” you can punch me.

Ok, well don’t literally punch me – just remind me of this story.

Nine women were rescued from the villa in Riva, a summer resort on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey on Monday after the military police raided the place. According to a spokesman, the women had been held captive there for around two months.

Details of exactly what happened are slowly emerging, and of course there are two sides to every story.

On one side are the women and their families, who say the women weren’t abused or assaulted sexually, but they were made to wear bikinis, dance by the villa’s pool and fight each other.

They also claim the women were told they would be fined tens of thousands of dollars if they left the house.

Oh yeah, sexually charged pictures were taken of the women and posted to the show’s website too. Nice.

“We were not after the money but we thought our daughter could have the chance of becoming famous if she took part in the contest,” one captive’s mother is quoted as saying. “But they have duped us all.”

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On the other side of the story is the production company Istanbul Group Electronic Trade Communications and Advertising A.S. whose lawyer released a statement of denial on the company’s website.

Hilmi Tufan Cakir denied reports published in the Turkish and international media, that nine women were trapped against their will in an Istanbul villa, while cameras sold their images on the Internet.

“My client organized a contest with reward money, contracts were signed with the contestant girls,” the lawyer’s statement said. “In accordance with the contracts signed by the nine girls, this contest was to be broadcast on the Internet live.”

The show’s website, by the way, is basically a soft-core porn site.

The disputed Web-site is a page of hot pink graphics and photos of scantily clad young women, accompanied by throbbing dance music and the title, “We Are at Home.”

It shows video of the villa and its pool, and flashes photos of the nine female “contestants” as well as a list of ratings for viewers, who can vote for their favorite lady via cell phone text message. Audience members were also encouraged to send “virtual gifts” to the contestants, like pink panties, beer, chocolate and a pearl necklace.

Each resident of the house had their own introductory video. The women, dressed in mini-skirts and bikinis, pose by the villa’s pool, dance around in revealing outfits, and introduce themselves to the camera.

In one segment, a hostess named Zeynep Karacan, who wears a long dress with a plunging neck line, reads from cue cards, introduces viewers to the house and its residents, who enter one-by-one waving to the camera and carrying luggage.

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