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Nesrin and Hatun are cleaning ladies in Istanbul. They are friends, neighbours and Kurds. Nesrin has kicked her husband out. It was only intended as a warning, but now he hasn’t returned, and Nesrin and her young daughter Asmin find themselves in increasingly difficult circumstances. To enjoy proper social benefits, Nesrin would need to find a real job. Hatun, on the other hand, dreams of moving up in the world and building a life in the fashionable district of Moda, where she cleans the apartments of her middle-class clients. Her desire is so strong that she, a Muslim, even prays for it in a Christian church. A sensitive, but thoroughly unsentimental, portrait of a friendship between two women.
It was one of the clearest memories of my childhood. We came to Istanbul to visit our relatives. First stop was my aunt and, one day, she and I made a long journey through the city from her one-roomed flat to a three-roomed one. This was the first time that I became acquainted with the intimate areas of the middle class. As my aunt was cleaning the house, I touched the objects I had never seen before; I was astonished. We were alone; I felt that I was so close to everything, I could even lie on the bed, but there was an imaginary wall which prevented me from doing this. It represented a distance I knew intuitively from my indigent life. Afterwards, when I started working, conversations of my colleagues about their problems with their cleaning ladies reminded me of this feeling again. They hired a cleaning lady because they saw this as a symbol of the class that they wish to belong and these long conversations were the highlights of this mentality. So, where was I? First, I made sentences from its cultural, political, ethical points of view. After all of these, what I reached deep down was shame. I was not ashamed of these women of my family; I was ashamed of the feeling of shame.
Nesra Gürbüz, Cigdem Mater