Sex Workers Demonstrate in Ankara
On 3 March, the International Sex Worker Rights Day, sex workers in Ankara raised their voices against police violence and demanded, "Hands off my body".
Sex workers took the street in Ankara on 3 March, the International Sex Worker Rights Day, with the "Prostitutes Demonstration". The protest started on Saturday (3 March) at 19.00 hrs at the Sakarya Street. With banners featuring the slogans "Police: Our guilt is to be transvestites" and "Sex worker rights are human rights" the protestors walked to the Yüksel Avenue.
There, Seray Tunç read out a press release on behalf of the Pink Life LGBT Association. Tunç said that they came together to protest all sorts of rights violations applied to sex workers very frequently and systematically.
"We protest the institutional violence that targets sex workers. Denying the truth that sex workers are citizens of this country, police officials tell us 'We will clean the streets from you'. Here is our answer: 'We are right here and we are not going anywhere'".
Tunç addressed the government by saying, "Immediate measures have to be taken against arbitrary monetary fines, ill-treatment and torture, raids and closures of homes, tearing down brothels and all kinds of spatial, physical and psychological violence applied by police forces against female and male sex workers".
After the press release, the crowd shouted slogans like "Police, hands off my body" and "Regardless if we are gay, get used to us since we are everywhere".
3 March International Sex Worker Rights Day
3 March has been declared International Sex Worker Rights Day after 25,000 sex workers had gathered in India in 2001 for the sex workers festival. The day is being celebrated in Turkey since 2008. The sex workers demand secure and healthy living and working conditions, equal rights and the recognition of sex work as a profession.