Mas­sage cen­ters to be closed down

The cen­ters a mag­net for pros­ti­tu­tion, unof­fi­cial sources al­lege

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

All mas­sage cen­ters in Sulaimaniya province will be closed down, ex­cept those sit­u­ated at three-star ho­tels and higher.

In a re­cent press con­fer­ence, Su­laimaniyah’s Di­rec­tor of Tourism, Mustafa Hama-Rahim, told Kur­dish me­dia out­lets that in ac­cor­dance with a de­ci­sion that was re­cently is­sued, all the mas­sage cen­ters will be closed down. He added that the only ex­cep­tions will be those con­tained within three­star ho­tels and higher.

Fol­low­ing a string of at­tacks on mas­sage cen­ters and liqueur shops in the Bad­i­nan area two years ago, most of mas­sage cen­ters across the Kur­dish cities closed down their cen­ters for fear of more at­tacks by an­gry mobs. Af­ter th­ese as­saults, some sus­pi­cious peo­ple at­tacked the Is­lamic Union of­fices in Duhok province.

Sub­se­quently, rel­e­vant par­ties at the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) made some new reg­u­la­tions to re­ar­range the busi­ness.

Hama-Rahim stated that all the cen­ters haver been in­formed over the past few months to close down their cen­ters, adding that the di­rec­torate ex­tended the per­mis­sion for sev­eral of them by a few more months as they had spent a lot of money to start the busi­ness.

The di­rec­tor added that there are only three cen­ters work­ing out of the ho­tels in the province. He said that a com­mit­tee has been formed to check the san­i­tary qual­ity of the cen­ters.

“They have the right to work un­til the end of the year 2014, and af­ter that du­ra­tion their of­fi­cial per­mis­sion will be ended and won’t be re­newed for the next coming year.”

Open­ing mas­sage cen­ters in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion goes back to three years ago. The mas­sage treat­ments are sim­i­lar to Chi­nese and Ja­panese forms of mas­sage. Some unof- fi­cial sources and those who had vis­ited the cen­ters ar­gued that the cen­ters had be­come a place for sex with the masseurs. But of­fi­cials and the own­ers of the var­i­ous par­lours re­jected the ru­mors.

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