Russian Girls In Turkey

There is a lot of Russian-speaking personnel in Turkey

There are a lot of Russians in Turkey. Fifteen million tourists visited the country last year, a quarter of them were Russians. Russian people can live even in expensive hotels now, so the Russian language can be heard under palm trees too.

A Russian citizen dos not have to buy a phrase book of the Turkish language, or learn any foreign languages. Turkish people do not bother themselves with studying the Russian language either. English and German is enough for them. They chose a simpler way out: Turkish people invited Russian-speaking personnel to serve Russian guests. Presumably, they are residents of former USSR states, female residents, to be more precise. Russian men probably have a certain employment in Turkey, but it is hard to find any of them there. However, there are a lot of young women from former Soviet republics. Our first encounter with a Russian girl took place in a small leather goods shop in a hotel. When we entered the shop, she was sitting on a stool, reading a book. When she saw us, she stopped reading and offered her help. We have been warned about obtrusive shop assistants in Turkey, but the girl was just perfect: she was polite and not obtrusive at all. She behaved exactly the way a Russian customer would like her to. When we were leaving, we noticed that the girl's book was actually a thick textbook - she was a student.

A salesgirl in another shop was apparently a local woman. She wanted us to buy something badly, she looked us straight into the eyes and said: "If you do not buy this thing, it will be coming to you in your dreams." We hid our wallets and left the place, where a woman had threatened us with nightmares. As we continued our shopping, we went to a big jewelry shop, where we were given a guide - a slim brunette girl named Inga. She was tired of following us in every shop and department in the center, talking to us in a melancholic way. Inga looked like a real oriental girl. It turned out that she came from the republic of Kyrgyzstan, she arrived in Turkey during a tourist season. We did not dare to ask her about her wages and living conditions - she looked too sad.

The happiest Russian-speaking girl that we met in Turkey was Irina, a life-loving Ukrainian. She had a surprising employment in a good hotel - an animator. Irina mastered that profession already in Turkey. An animator is like an entertainer: their task is to attract adults and their children to various sports games, to arrange night shows. We have already seen such shows prior to out acquaintance with Irina - they were basically filled with dirty jokes. Irina told us that she arrived in Turkey in February with a group of other students. They started studying foreign languages, practicing various games. They had 14 variants of the show that were staged one after another every two weeks - tourists usually come for two weeks. Irina lives in a good hotel room, she eats in a restaurant, she likes her job. She goes to swim in the sea every day. She is planning to stay in Turkey until the end of the season - the beginning of November, that is. She hopes to earn enough money to finish her studies in Ukraine. That night we went to see Irina's show. They were staging Beauty And The Beast musical. The Scenery and costumes were perfect.

Another Ukrainian girl Linda works as a masseuse at the same hotel. She was very good at it - while her Turkish colleagues from the massage saloon were drinking tea, she managed to convince three people of our group to take a massage session. Irina made us happy for a while, because she was a sincere and young girl, but Linda seemed too unreal. Her hair color was not real, her name was not real either - most likely she was Oksana or Galina. Linda told us that she had studied at the medical institute of the town of Suma. It was hard to believe her, though. However, the goal of her staying in Turkey was clear - she came from Ukraine to earn money. She will definitely make good money, although it is not known, if she is coming back home to Ukraine.

Models from a leather clothes store looked the unhappiest girls that we saw in Turkey. The store was situated in the suburban area, they took customers there by bus. Before letting customers in, they show them a leather clothes collection. Several girls walk on the catwalk wearing leather jackets, raincoats and winter coats. They have to do that dozens of times during a day, walking on high heels all the time. Of course, it is hard for them to do that, especially when they smell the fresh air of the sea, when they see tourists wearing shorts and T-shirts.  Their pale skin shows that they hardly ever go to the beach.

We have met a lot of Russian-speaking girls in Turkey. We had a guide in the hotel, who asked us, if there was someone from the city of Yaroslavl in our group, there was a dancer in a night show, who was trying her best to look like an oriental beauty. Girls do not work as waitresses in Turkey, they have only waiters there. Russian girls do not work as washerwomen or maids either - this is the profession for Turkish women. Turkish women are very little involved in the tourist business, as well as in the public life on the whole. A Turkish woman allegedly enjoys equal rights with a Turkish man, but the situation has not changed much over the latest hundred years, especially in the rural area. Very few changes have happened for Turkish women - they still bake round breads, as their great grandmothers did centuries ago. Turkish men have found a new occupation - they sell water to tourists. When we were buying water from them, they were smiling to us, but when we attempted to take pictures of their women, they changed their mood immediately and started asking us to leave.

Newspaper articles about Russian girls' lives in Turkey often tell horrible stories about sexual violence, stolen passports, the lawlessness in the Muslim world against women, and so on. Probably, those stories are true, or they used to be true. We may say it for sure that Irina and Linda do not suffer from any humiliation, they feel absolutely fine in Turkey. On the other hand, a lot of foreign girls are afraid of their employers. Yet, it makes sense that they go there to earn some money. Otherwise, we wouldn't have met so many hospitable smiling Russian girls in Turkey.

Marina Shandarova

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Author`s name Olga Savka