Traveler learns her name has a different meaning in Istanbul

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Natasha Basley and Alisa Rotenberg spent a semester abroad studying in Prague. When friends planned a spring break trip to Turkey, they tagged along. As Natasha introduced herself to people, her name elicited snickers and giggles.

“In my country, there is a certain type of woman that we call Natasha,” said a carpet store owner.

“Do you mean like a prostitute?” she replied.

She told Press Play, “I guess apparently in the 90s as the situation in  Russia was getting very difficult, a lot of Russian women had made their way down to Turkey to sell, I guess, services. And that certainly had not been in the guidebook before we headed to Turkey. So when I said, ‘So my name means prostitute?,’ he said, ‘Yes, that is the kind of woman we call Natasha here in Turkey.’ ”

So back at the hostel, she started telling people her name was Natalie.

Natasha “Natalie” Basley and Alisa Rotenberg.

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