Balinese worker duped into low-paying job in Turkey on her way home

Bali migrant worker Ayu Vira being treated at a hospital in Turkey. Photo: Handout
Bali migrant worker Ayu Vira being treated at a hospital in Turkey. Photo: Handout

The plight of Bali native I Gusti Ayu Vira Wijayantri is coming to an end, as an official has confirmed that she is on her way home after her Turkish employment adventure turned out to be a nightmare.

The 23-year-old will board a direct flight from Ankara to Denpasar today, and is expected to arrive on the Island of Gods this afternoon.

“The government was keen to repatriate her, and the trip home was facilitated and paid for by the Indonesian Embassy in Ankara,” A. A. Gde Indra Hardiawan, who heads the Bali chapter of the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI) agency, said this morning.

Recently, the Bangli native wrote an open letter to President Joko Widodo pleading for his help. She said she had been working as a therapist in several spas in Turkey for more than a year. After months of being overworked and underpaid, she was hospitalized after vomiting blood due to an unspecified lung and stomach condition in July.

Ayu Vira said that she was promised high income in Turkey prior to leaving Bali. However, she received less than she was promised and had inhumane working hours, leaving no leisure time. Because of this, Ayu Vira had great difficulty in affording basic necessities, like food and medication. 

The Indonesian Embassy in Ankara said Ayu Vira was on the mend and that they gave her shelter in the facility while she awaited her trip back home.

Authorities said they would look into whether or not Ayu Vira was a victim of a migrant worker scam, luring victims with false promises of great jobs with high pay abroad. BP2MI, meanwhile, said Ayu Vira’s employment agency in Bali now has the moral obligation to pay what the worker is owed and ensure her physical and mental well-being.

Subscribe to the WTF is Up in Southeast Asia + Hong Kong podcast to get our take on the top trending news and pop culture from the region every Thursday!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on