Academic highlights high prostitution figures in Turkey’s $4 billion industry
ANKARA – Doğan News AgencyThe number of people engaged in prostitution in Turkey is estimated to be over 100,000, with an annual market value of around $4 billion, according to Professor Ayşegül Akbay, a public health expert at Ankara University.
Akbay also drew attention to the lack of attention in academic research in the field, which made making such estimates more difficult.
Noting that the number of academic thesis written in Turkey on this field since 1970s did not exceed 10, she put this lack of interest among academics down to the fear of being stigmatized or faced with “moral pressure.”
“This causes the scientific truths about prostitution, especially the human trade across to Europe, to remain hidden,” Akbay said.
She added that questions that should be researched include issues around “approximately how many people in Turkey earn their living from prostitution, what can be done to legalize prostitution away from official state brothels who are the victims of prostitution, and whether violence, sexual violence and rape would decrease if prostitution was completely legalized.”
Akbay stressed that ultimately “nobody’s preferences and freedoms could be imposed.”
“But individuals should not be pushed by force to work in the sex sector. Until today, no law or ban has been able to prevent prostitution activities,” she added.