- Turkish businessmen have experienced a range of hardships since the outbreak of the crisis with Russia, triggered by the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish F-16's on Nov. 24 - including arrest, transportation to Russian internment camps and deportation.
Two businessmen Barış Alkan and Oktya Gökçen, who attended an agriculture expo in Russia on Nov. 24 and Nov. 27, said they were arrested by Russian police and sent to a camp in Sochi over alleged visa violations.
Alkan said he was interrogated for hours during the detention for illegally trading in Russia when he only had a tourist visa.
“We were jailed and had a trial. The court ruled for deportation along with a 4,000-ruble penalty. It took five hours to travel to the camp in Sochi and they took away our phones. The Sochi camp was very dirty,” he said.
Gökçen, who suffers from claustrophobia, said he had an anxiety attack while in custody and in the camp, adding that he “lost both his health and his money.”
“I had an attack when the door was locked in the camp. My drugs then ran out after I increased their dosage. So the attacks became more frequent out of fear of running out of drugs. When I asked for drugs from the officials, they ridiculed me,” he said.