Turkish sex workers sue brothel for firing them for feeding stray cats
Three sex workers in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne have filed a criminal complaint against the owners of a legal brothel for dismissing them for feeding stray cats.
Demirören News Agency reported on Oct. 9 that the three sex workers were feeding more than 30 street animals in the apartment inside the brothel complex that they rented 10 months ago. They also built a hut for stray cats and dogs in the garden of the main building of the brothel.
But the three friends’ love for stray animals was apparently not shared by some of their colleagues, who complained to the owners of the brothel earlier this year.
“They fired us and kicked us out of our apartment because we were looking after those animals. They shot one of our cats, named Kınalı, with a pump-action shotgun. He still lives with 11 pellets in his body,” Mürvet Taşvur, one of the sex workers, told the agency.
The assailants were only issued fines in the lack of effective laws to protect stray animals.
“The people in the brothel and its owners are monsters,” Taşvur said, noting that they recently filed a criminal complaint at the Edirne Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
Adding that she could be able to regularly feed the animals that remained in the brothel in company of local animal rights’ activists, she said: “We will pursue our legal rights till the end.”
Prostitution in officially registered brothels, known as “general houses,” is legal in Turkey.
Under health laws dealing with sexually transmitted infections, the state’s regulatory agencies issue identity cards to sex workers that give them rights to some free medical care and other social services.
Illegal prostitution, on the other hand, is classified as operating a brothel without a license or being a sex worker without having health check-ups or a license, which are punishable with one year in prison.
There are also heavy jail sentences for human trafficking and related crimes.