Because of my sexual orientation. My country is not approve it. If the government know that, they beat you, kill you. And many people are in the prison because of their sexual identity. So that’s why I decide to run away. It was not easy for me to accept my position to my country.
I think, that a long time but there wasn’t any possibility. So, I start first with Iran. I stayed in Iran around two months and after this, we walked in the road, we cross the roads and entered here, in Turkey. I was alone with the strangers, the strangers from Niger, they show me the way.
Yes, and the route they showed me, is the easiest route. […]
No, it’s like, you wake up some day you started to go, you don’t know where you are going. You don’t know exact the way you are going. You just, go go go.
My decision was, go as far as away from my country. And after that, in Iran I met some strangers they told me, they want to come here (Turkey) so we came together.
I was before in Konya. Now I’m in Istanbul. I really don’t know anything about Konya because I was always at home. For the first time I was really afraid so stayed at home. After a while, I started to go out like this.
Of course Istanbul isn’t better, because… Istanbul is really difficult. Many situation is not comfortable, in Istanbul there is no human rights.
They do what they want. Turkey is very difficult. You stay your home and suddenly home owner can come and say “go out!” You didn’t do nothing. Many many things, but for now I don’t have a choice. It was difficult, it was very cold. When I first arrived in Istanbul, it’s very very cold. That’s why I tell you I didn’t know Konya, I was always at home. Istanbul was too much cold, yeah. And also you afraid about police, you don’t know the situation in the country, you see maybe if I go to outside, police can catch me.
Nadège is 34 years old and comes from Cameroon. Two years ago, she fled to Turkey because she was in danger in her home country due to her sexual orientation. In Cameroon, homosexual acts are sanctioned by law, and arrests and convictions are frequent. Sexual identity is largely tabooed by society, and there is also agitation and open violence. In 2013, the Cameroonian journalist and gay activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was murdered.
This interview was conducted in English by Elif Yenigun for the We Refugees Archive in May 2021 in Istanbul.