9 women rescued from fake 'Big Brother' house

This photo taken on September 4, 2009, shows Buse Kazdal (left) and Beste Dogu, who were held for two months in a villa in Istanbul after being duped with the promise of taking part in a reality television show. AFP

The women were rescued on Monday from the villa in Riva, a summer resort on the outskirts of Istanbul, according to a spokesman for the military police in the region who carried out the raid. He said the women were held captive for around two months, but refused to provide further details. The women were led to believe they were being filmed for a ‘Big Brother’-type television programme, according to the Dogan news agency and other news reports. Instead, their naked images were sold on the internet by their captors.

The women had responded to an ad seeking contestants for a reality show which would be aired on a major Turkish television station, Dogan said. The nine captives, including a teenager, were selected from other applicants following an interview. They were made to sign a contract which stipulated that they could have no contact with their families or the outside world, and would have to pay a fine of 50,000 Turkish lira (£20,000) if they left the show in the first two months, the agency reported.
Dogan and Haber Turk newspaper reported that the women realised they were being duped and asked to leave the villa. According to Dogan, they were told they could not leave unless they paid the fine. Those who insisted were threatened. The women cried for help when the military police arrived at the villa, it was reported. HaberTurk said one of the women managed to contact a family member and ask for help. The newspaper reported that the girls were models from the Mediterranean resort of Antalya and the Aegean port city of Izmir.

“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 said. She said the women were not abused or harassed sexually, but that they were told to fight each other, to wear bikinis and to dance by the villa’s pool.

HaberTurk said the police had detained four people who lived with the women at the villa at all times. They were released from custody pending the outcome of a trial. HaberTurk said the police were still looking for the gang’s leader who, according to the report, sold images of the women on the internet.

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