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Image: The villa where nine captive women were rescued
Ibrahim Usta  /  AP
Nine women who were rescued from this villa said they had believed they were being filmed for a television show like "Big Brother."
updated 9/11/2009 1:10:21 PM ET 2009-09-11T17:10:21

Nine women have been rescued after being tricked into believing they were reality show contestants, Turkish military police said Thursday.

The women were freed on Monday from a villa in Riva, a summer resort on the outskirts of Istanbul, a spokesman for the military police in the region who carried out the raid told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give details of the raid to the media. He said the women were held captive for around two months but refused to provide further details.

The women were made to believe they were being filmed for a Big Brother-type television show, the private Dogan news agency and other news reports said, without citing sources. Instead, their naked images were sold on the Internet, the reports said.

The women had responded to an ad searching for contestants for a reality show that would be aired on a major Turkish television station, Dogan said. The nine, including a teenager, were selected among several applicants following an interview, it said.

They were made to sign a contract that stipulated that they could have no contact with their families or the outside world and would have to pay a 50,000 Turkish Lira fine ($33,000) if they left the show before two months, the agency reported.

Dogan and HaberTurk said the women soon realized they were being duped and asked to leave the villa.

The women were told they could not leave unless they paid the fine and those who insisted were threatened, Dogan said.

There were conflicting reports as to how the raid occurred. The Dogan agency said police stormed the villa after some family members complained to police that they were being prevented from contacting the women. The women cried for help when the military police arrived at the villa, it said.

HaberTurk newspaper said one of the women managed to contact a family member and asked for help. The paper did not give a source for the report.

There were also conflicting reports concerning the age of the teenager. Dogan said she was 16 while HaberTurk newspaper gave her age as 15.

'They have duped us all'
HaberTurk said the girls were models from in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya and the Aegean port city of Izmir.

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"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," the newspaper quoted one of the women's mother as saying. The paper identified her only by her first name, Remziye. "But they have duped us all."

She said the women were not abused or harassed sexually.

They were told however, to fight each other, to wear bikinis and dance by villa's pool, the paper quoted the mother as saying.

HaberTurk said police 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, the report said. Their identities were not released and it was not know what the charges were.

It is not unusual for Turkish courts to release suspects from custody if the charges brought don't carry long prison sentences, and the suspects are not likely to escape or tamper with evidence.

HaberTurk said police were still looking for the gang's leader who sold images of the women on the Internet, according to the report.

Police refused to comment on the suspects or the charges brought.

The "Big Brother" TV show, which is called "Someone is Watching Us" in Turkish, confines a group of people to a house under the constant gaze of cameras. Contestants are evicted one by one from the house.

More on: Turkey   |   reality TV

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Women rescued


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