Istanbul man who attacked woman ‘for wearing shorts’ arrested after release
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court on June 22 ordered the arrest of a man who is facing charges of attacking a 21-year-old woman “for wearing shorts” on a bus, Doğan News Agency has reported. The arrest follows his earlier release from detention pending investigation.
A day earlier, an Istanbul prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Ercan Kızılateş, who was caught on camera on June 14 attacking Melisa Sağlam for “wearing short-shorts during Ramadan.”
Kızılateş was released from court pending trial but a prosecutor objected to the ruling. The court then re-issued his arrest warrant and Kızılateş was arrested at noon on June 22 in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, the arrested assailant’s father, Halil Kızılateş, expressed support for his son, saying that he disapproved the woman’s clothing.
“My son was fasting that day. Normally he is a very kind person. Everyone in our neighborhood likes him. My son slapped her when she swore at him, but the girl was wearing shorts that were too short. Doesn’t this girl have a mother or father? I don’t approve of clothing like that,” said the 61-year-old father.
The assailant’s sister has also filed a legal complaint against Sağlam for “defaming her brother on social media,” prompting an investigation into Sağlam by prosecutors.
On June 22, Kızılateş appeared before the Istanbul 5th Court of Peace and said he was “sorry” for his actions on the bus.
“I just made a comment [to Sağlam on the bus ride] with good intentions. It is the month of Ramadan and because it is the blessed month [of the year] I told her to dress appropriately. She was wearing mini shorts. She told me then not to look [at her]. Then on my way off [of the bus] I lightly hit her face with the back of my hand. The incident occurred in an instant and I am sorry for it. Before hitting her, she insulted me and that offended me. She hurt my pride and I hit her lightly with the back of my hand,” Kızıltaş told the court.
Meanwhile, media outlets recorded Kızıltaş telling cameras in the courthouse that he did “not accept the accusations of assault.”
“In the footage, there is no clear view of any beating. [Sağlam] swore at me. She also attacked me. Haven’t you seen the footage? I am also filing a complaint against her. I have endless respect for a woman who can control herself,” he said.
Sağlam protested her assailants testimony on her Twitter account following the court’s ruling.
“On top of it all, [Kızıltaş] is still talking. How shameless! I have not until now said anything bad about the justice system, as I thought it had a conscience. But such justice is a crying shame!”
A day earlier, media reports said Kızıltaş had previously been jailed for a tax fraud offense. After appearing before court on June 22 in connection to the attack, he was taken back to Istanbul’s Silivri prison to finish his sentence of three years and nine months for the tax offense.