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AYŞE ARMAN >Heavy penalty for the bus rapist

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The other day, a horrible rape incident occurred in Ankara. A 37-year-old mother of two was raped by a damned bus driver. The victim, identified only as S., is an English teacher at a private school. She took a privately-run bus at 11:30 p.m. from outside a shopping mall. This was the only thing she did. Like everyone else, she took public transport to travel from once place to another. 

She told the driver she wanted to get off at about 200 meters further, but the driver said “You will get off when I want you to.” He later locked the doors of the vehicle and pulled the bus to a dark and secluded area, forcefully dragging the woman down the corridor of the bus and choked her with two hands and raped her. 

This atrocity happened in the middle of the capital city of Turkey. I was shocked at how the victim was able to survive. I spoke to her and her lawyer; they said it was out of pure luck. 

The man had strangled her so hard with his two hands that she almost died. He asked if she would recognize him if she saw him in daylight. She answered “no,” while she was struggling to survive. He let her go after he threatened her that he would rape her again and cut her throat if she told anyone. 

He was later caught by the police after she filed a complaint. He, of course, cited all those very well-known lies. “She had consent. She liked me, she wanted me. She told me to pull over to a dark spot. She first said yes then said no. She said she loved me,” some of the words he uttered in his testimony.   

S., a Turkish-Azerbaijani dual national, is in a terrible psychological state. She is suicidal. She is a very beautiful woman. She even started questioning herself and said “I wish I was not beautiful.”  She said she was very ashamed of herself that she would not be able to go out in the public. “I wish he had killed me,” she said “I was not wearing a mini skirt either.” 

She is questioning herself, doubting herself and her acts, whereas, these are our fundamental rights; the right to travel, the right to live, the right to a safe life. She is afraid the rapist would be freed. “He would find me, and this time he would definitely kill me. I wish I had died there,” she said.  

The heaviest penalty should be given to this guy so that other rapists can draw lessons.


Responsibility of state 

Well, how much control do they have?  

The Federation of Women Associations of Turkey (TKDF) has warned the Federation of Chambers of Drivers on many occasions that drivers operating the mass transportation system must undergo psychological tests and must be certified that they are eligible to do the job. 

Nothing has been done regarding this. 

Canan Güllü, the head of TKDF, said the responsibility befell on those who did not ensure people providing services to the public underwent checks. “The guilty ones are the chambers. The guilt belongs to Ankara’s local administration. The guilt belongs to places like the Malatya Municipality, which previously created this perception that women are responsible for their own safety by launching ‘pink’ buses. The fault lies at the mentality that speaks on the state’s official TV channel, with tax payers’ money, saying that it is a sin for pregnant women to wander on the streets. The guilty ones are those who declare that women who wear trousers, which have zips or buttons at the front, are infidels. The guilty ones are those who do not feel shame when reiterating that that they did not believe in gender equality,” she said.  

She is right, because all these encourage violence against women, harassments and rape in this country. 

And then what happens? 

The words: “men raping is usual, women should protect themselves. The state should not have the responsibility to protect women. They should know their second-class status and stay at home,” are later justified. 

Well, we do not accept this and we will not.

January/11/2017

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