40 children abused in two years at refugee camp in Turkey’s Gaziantep: Court
İsmail Saymaz – GAZİANTEPAt least 40 children were allegedly abused over two years in a refugee camp that was founded by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in the southeastern province of Gaziantep’s Nizip district, according to a Turkish court decision from 2016 that recently came to light.
“Some 23 claims of sexual intercourse with people below the age of consent, three regarding sexual harassment and 14 regarding child abuse were forwarded to law enforcement officials in the last two years,” a Turkish court said in August 2016 even as it refused to accept a Nizip Chief Prosecutor’s Office indictment into alleged abuse.
The cases also matched up with entries in the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP), the court said.
Previously, a 29-year-old janitor identified as Erdal E. was sentenced to 108 years in jail for abusing eight boys at the camp.
However, in testimony recorded on June 1, 2013, Erdal E. claimed that at least 30 other children were abused but that the incidents had been concealed.
Erdal E. also claimed that a driver of a garbage truck had harassed a Syrian girl and that another Syrian man had trafficked two women who were living in the camp.
An investigation was opened against AFAD officials upon Erdal E.’s claims, but the court refused to accept an indictment prepared by the Nizip Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Aug. 25, 2016, due to a lack of concrete evidence while nonetheless acknowledging the 40 cases of abuse between 2014 and 2016.