Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Erdem Erdem has submitted a parliamentary motion to the Parliament Speaker’s Office concerning the alleged cover up of a rape scandal in Gümüşhane province in which figures close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government were involved.
Turkish media outlets recently reported about the rape incident in Gümüşhane, claiming that a university student, N.A., was raped by N.Ç., the brother of pro-AK Party businessman İ.Ç., in the province after the woman was forcefully given drugs by N.Ç.
İ.Ç. is also reported to be among the executives of the AK Party’s provincial branch in Gümüşhane.
N.A. was reportedly staying at a dormitory owned by N.Ç.’s family.
N.Ç. was arrested in February over charges of rape but he was released on bail although a medical report confirmed that N.Ç. was subjected to rape.
As the investigation into the incident deepened, new evidence has emerged showing that N.A. was not the only victim as N.Ç. also sexually harassed other female university students staying at the dormitory.
N.Ç.’s release from prison despite a medical report showing his involvement in N.A.’s rape led to claims that N.Ç. used his family’s influence to ensure his release from prison and an AK Party deputy interfered to save the man from jail.
In his parliamentary motion meant for Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Erdem raised the following questions. “What is the reason for the emergence of a perception in the society suggesting that your government is ‘protecting rapists and sex offenders?’ Why does not your government take deterrent measures against recently growing number of sex crimes? If it does, why don’t they work? … Has any action been taken against the AK Party Gümüşhane deputy who is claimed to have intervened to cover up the incident [in Gümüşhane]? Has any probe been conducted at the Çimen Women’s Dormitory [where N.A. was staying] to investigate claims? Is it right that some women who were subjected to rape wanted to file criminal complaints against N.Ç. but they were psychically attacked by unanimous people, hence were prevented from filing their complaints? ”
Over the past weeks, Turkey has been shaken by the news of various sex crimes committed across the country some of which include minors.
One of the most scandalous of these incidents took place in Karaman province, which came to public attention last month, and caused a public outrage with many calling on authorities to shed light on the incident. As many as 45 boys are thought to have been abused by a male teacher in houses operated by the pro-government Ensar Foundation in the province.
The defendant Muharrem B., (54), who has been charged with “sexual assault of a minor”, “deprivation of freedom” and “coercing a minor to read and watch obscene material”, was taken into custody on March 4 and later arrested. He now faces up to 600 years in prison.
Statements made by AK Party government officials in defense of the Ensar Foundation rather than a determination to shed light on the incident has attracted widespread criticism to the government.