No Zimbabweans “enslaved” in Turkey: Govt
Harare (New Ziana) – The government on Thursday denied claims that there were Zimbabweans who had fallen victim to human trafficking and were allegedly being forced to work as sex slaves in Turkey.
A local private daily, NewsDay, claimed that “dozens” of Zimbabweans had been wooed to Turkey on the false promise of lucrative English language teaching jobs.
In a statement, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Turkey Alfred Mutiwazuka said the article was a malicious attempt to damage the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.
“For the record, the Embassy of the Republic (of Zimbabwe) in Ankara Turkey was established in October 2019, eight years after the Embassy of Turkey had opened in Harare. Since its opening, the Embassy has never received any report of a Zimbabwean resident in Turkey or in transit who has been ill treated by the authorities in Turkey or ‘lives like a modern slave in Turkey.
“To the contrary, Zimbabweans working in Turkey are grateful for the warm and friendly relationships which they have cultivated with the local people and authorities. The Embassy has also witnessed marriages and unions between Zimbabweans and Turkish people which is a clear indication of acceptance to both sides,” he said.
“There is no doubt that the virulent and hyperbolic falsification of the correct facts on our brotherly relations with Turkey is intentionally deceptive and inaccurate and could have been better served by the author verifying with this Embassy before publication. The article’s intended desire to detract our diplomatic efforts to engage and re-engage as directed by H.E President E D Mnangagwa will fall out of relevancy as we continue to put the nation’s interests and that of our diaspora community first.”
Mutiwazuka said the current population of Zimbabweans in Turkey was approximately 250.
He said the excellent business to business relations and at government level between the two countries had also resulted in increased trade.
Zimbabwe and Turkey recently marked the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Harare and Ankara.
He said trade between Zimbabwe and Turkey increased from USD19 million in 2019 to USD24million in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
“There is glaring energy and enthusiasm by both Government and business people in both countries to widen and deepen mutually beneficial economic cooperation,” he said.