Ormanici, South-East Turkey. At 5am on the 20 February 1993, Turkish soldiers attack a small village in the mountains of South-East Turkey. Villagers are pulled from their beds at gun point. Houses are burned, livestock killed and families separated. The men, after being forced to lay face down and blindfolded in the snow, are marched for hours through the mountains towards imprisonment and torture.
This is where the story of Losing Agir starts and is based on the facts of a real case, taken many years later by the villagers, to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Ultimately, the villagers won their case and in 2004 were awarded compensation for what happened to them. It is those villagers and my husband who represented them, who inspired me to not only write this story, but to start writing at all.
From the attack on the village, my story moves to the fictional world of Alice, a 15 year old, in care, in the UK. As Alice finds herself placed with new foster parents, she soon realises all is not as it seems in the home. This is even more apparent when a Kurdish boy, Agir, whom she later learns has been smuggled into the UK from Turkey, arrives. As Alice learns Agir’s terrible story, of the loss of his home and family, she becomes determined to save him from the clutches of her foster father and his illegal trade in human misery.
Losing Agir will be released on human rights day, 10th December 2012.