Red Light Districts at Home and Abroad: Monitoring the Corruption

They say that behind every successful man is a woman. But in politics, a lot of women, mostly prostitutes, are at the rear end of elected officials.

When there’s politics, there’s sex. These two always go together. In fact, the Women’s News reported that bawdy houses in Turkey produced two election candidates in 2007. There is a big difference with the brothel rates in Turkey than the brothel rates in western countries. This is because a lot of sex workers work underground, and the ratio of registered to unregistered prostitutes is uneven.

Corruption and Sex in Turkey

In 2013, a corruption scandal shook the Turkish government. It involved the ruling Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP), top Turkish government officials, and the son of then Prime Minister Erdogan. Earlier this year, The Independent published an article about Bilal Erdogan’s participation in the money laundering scheme. Reports show that it is connected to the 2013 scandal. There are also claims that he allegedly went to Italy with a huge some of money as part of a “getaway operation.”

The Erdogans are not new to scandals. Years ago, a video surfaced where PM Erdogan and his eldest son were occupied by prostitutes inside the family’s $500 million palace. In response, key opposition figures blasted PM Erdogan. In an interesting turn of events, PM Erdogan is also rumored to siphoning off money from the country’s coffers.

After holding out from a recent military coup, President Erdogan is again in the hot seat for picking up prostitutes in his presidential limousine. According to Civil Unrest Magazine, the Turkish President personally screen these women and bring them back to his mansion. One time, he threw a party booming with western music, overflowing alcohol and lots of women. His soirees would normally continue up until morning. After his private events, the prostitutes are jettisoned at the city’s streets. 

President Erdogan’s penchant for sex workers is a big revelation; considering that his ruling party has shut down dozens of brothels in the country. This caused hundreds of sex workers to be jobless and homeless. While President Erdogan and his top cabinet officials are enjoying “fun nights” with prostitutes, a lot of women are turning to “illegal” sex work in order to sustain oneself.