Sex ring on Turkish government yacht stirs uproar from country loyalists

By Angelica Jimenez–

Eight people were arrested on board of the Savarona, a 446-ft yacht, after a vice ring used the luxurious ride to throw sex parties with underage prostitutes, according to a Guardian report Thursday.  Two of the eight prostitutes from Russia and the Ukraine were underage girls , and all were taken in for health checks.

The government’s finance ministry leased Savarona to businessmen with an apparent predilection towards an age-old vice with roots older than the country’s.  Prostitution is legal in Turkey, and prostitutes are issued identification cards.  But there have been reports for years that Turkey has been one of the largest markets of trafficking women forced into lives of prostitution.

But those in government don’t seem to be as concerned with the sex trafficking itself but rather the fact that it’s occurred on a yacht used by Kemal Atatürk.

Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, spent a few weeks on the yacht before he passed in 1938.  But his mark on transforming the nation post-Ottoman Empire has made him so revered that insults to his legacy are punishable by law.

So, the $3,000 to $10,000 nightly rate for prostitutes or the fact that two of the prostitutes were under the age of consent isn’t enough to bat an eye.  Just as long as these activities don’t go down anywhere near one of Atatürk’s statues or portraits, financiers and government officials could stay in the clear.

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