Istanbul’s Sweatshops

I used to roam the back streets of Istanbul whenever I could. They were always more interesting than the main tourist areas. It’s amazing how just a few blocks off from a major street a whole different world can exist. I would end up in a few areas where there would be these sweatshops that they talk about in the video. It was obvious what they were. The sewing machines would be whirring and pulsating at 11pm or 12pm. They were tiny, run down buildings with dim lighting. Everyone knew that they were there, but they are part of the city. There isn’t much that can be done about them because the people are working illegally to begin with and there is no shortage of workers who seek out a meager living in these shops. So the sewing machines continue to pound away into the wee hours of the morning.

Istanbul is hardly the only place in the world where this happens. You can find this almost anywhere. The reality is, there are millions upon millions of people on our planet living in desperate situations who end up being exploited and abused, powerless to do anything about it. Laws only work if they are enforced, or if the authorities are aware of what is happening. Often these workers will not come forward because they fear they won’t have a job or will be arrested themselves.