Sweat Shop


Last week, undercover reporters from the Daily Male gained access to a sweat shop in south western Turkey. What they discovered and recorded with their secret cameras was shocking!

In one room they found an Old Age Pensioner is being held in conditions of absolute segregation and subjugation – forced to slave over a 1956 Husqvarna sewing machine in temperatures that could fry eggs!

sweat shop worker

Our reporter crept into the sweat shop unnoticed by the security personnel and managed to speak to the terrified worker on condition of anonymity. What she learned was heart-rending!

Q. Ali (not real name), how did you end up here?

A. Well, it was like this; one day I was at work in the UK when my back gave out. When I came to I was in this sweat shop in Okçular where I was forced to take things easy and get involved in projects and things I’ve always wanted to do. I was forced to take up photography and go swimming and walking and building radio-controlled planes and traveling around – it’s been terrible! I even had to drink the odd rakı when they knew that all I craved was good, English bitter beer. It’s been torture, the bastards! Then there’s the wonderful climate and waking up to those bloody birds chirruping in the trees – it’s so hard sometimes, I can’t tell you!

Q. So, what are they making you do now?

sweat shop (2)

A. Well, as you can see, the jeans of the overseer had got a bit tatty and in need of repair so rather than go out and get a new pair like any normal person she forces me to use my long-forgotten skills as a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ to repair them. I tell you, it’s hell!

sweatshop (3)

Q. Do you want to get out of here? I could help.

A. Funny you should ask that because I’ve wondered and thought about that a lot just lately what with the UK election being in the news and the Tories getting a majority and all that. Truth to tell. I’ve been trapped here for so long now that I don’t feel that I belong back there (in UK) any more. So, thanks for the offer, but, no thanks. I’ll stay here and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – or words to that effect. Anyway, my residence permit is valid until 2099 – or will be when the post office delivers it!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

22 thoughts on “Sweat Shop

  1. Oh! what a shame you are being forced to do all them awful thing !!!!!!!!! never mind I still think you are better off staying there and enjoying what you have got, you just wouldn’t like it if they put you some where else. !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yes, you can get used to the slave chain round the neck, can’t you…especially if the alternative is Cameron’s Britain….
    I feel much the same about my captivity in Costa Rica…but no journalist has yet braved the rain forest and the local bus to seek me out.

    1. . . can’t we just! I have long-ago shed my guilt about having no affinity with the UK any more. Great to see family and friends but as for the rest . . . .

  3. I used to be very against sweat shops but now I live in Tory Britain I am not so sure there is much of a difference. I will be visiting your beautiful valley sometime between the 11th and the 16th of June. Would be great to see you if you are about. Best wishes. Mary

  4. A nicely told story, Alan. We had a good chuckle and thought you reflected our own sentiments exactly. As for your sewing skills, looks like you are as meticulous as a tailor as you are in all your other trades. Impressive. Congratulations on the long-term residence permit!

  5. My poor husband would sympathise with you. He is being forced to stay in the countryside with no company but a shaggy dog and twittering birds and a list of chores which take up nearly 3 hours of his day while his wife gads about the Scottish countryside, fishing hailstones from her hood.

  6. Oh, brilliant post, Alan!! And oh, poor you!! If you need a hand with all that “slavery”, give me a shout, how I would love to come and help!! I am useless in sowing but I can cook 🙂 Cok selam ve sevgiler, Ozlem

  7. Nice work on the jeans! Next time Ashley puts his keys through his pockets I can send them to you (instead of being forced to re-pocket them myself). I think you would do a better job on them.

    And it’s a lovely machine you have there.

    Oddly, despite the trials and tribulations of doing stuff I enjoy all day, I never wish myself back in the old dayjob…

    1. that machine was my mothers, bought in Malta in 1956. It does amazing things like embroidery all without electronics – just change the little cogs around. Ashley’s keks? No problem! What’s a day job? My memory isn’t what it was!

  8. Wow — what a nice sewing machine. As I write, I am wearing a pair of jeans with a huge whole in the leg. Maybe I will send them over to that Turkish sweat shop– if the price is good enough. Keep up the hard work!!

    1. Hi Trisha, always happy to ensure a lady and her jeans are well-fitted! 😉 (hope a certain Italian gentleman doesn’t read this drivel)

  9. It seems from reading the comments that you’re not the only one with jeans to mend… myself included (KC, actually). We’re without a sewing machine at the moment, though, and iron-on patches just don’t do the trick when the trouble spot is in the knee. I’ll just have to add mine to your queue…

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