‘No one believed someone masturbated on me on bus,’ says Turkish passenger
ISTANBULThe victim of a sexual assault on an intercity bus in Turkey has spoken out about her ordeal, complaining that no one believed her when she first informed fellow passengers that the bus assistant was masturbating on top of her.
“The oppressive environment against women in society and the fact that crimes against women are left unpunished triggers what we are going through. Because there are no deterrent steps taken, some people are taking advantage of it,” C.D. told daily BirGün, while adding that the reactions against the bus company in question, Metro Turizm, could help to avoid such attacks in the future.
C.D. was traveling from the southwestern province of Muğla to Istanbul when the incident occurred.
Asked about accusations from the honorary chairperson and founder of Metro Holding, Galip Öztürk, that the “parallel structure” of Fethullah Gülen had somehow conducted the incident in an attempt “take on Metro,” the woman said the businessman’s daughter had called her after reports of what happened emerged.
“His daughter called me and told me that what happened was unacceptable. He then made this statement. It’s a weird situation,” she added.
The “parallel structure” is a term used by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who they accuse of attempting to overthrow the government.
“Parallel scum. We know you are traitors and you are trying to take on [Metro Turizm] for the salvation of [the Gülen movement]. I wouldn’t expect anything else from you,” Öztürk said in a tweet, sharing videos and urging his followers to watch them in order to learn about the “parallel plot he had been going through.”
Öztürk did not elaborate as to whether he thought Gülen had personally ordered the assistant to masturbate on top of the sleeping passenger.
The bus assistant, identified only by the initials G.G., reportedly confessed to the assault, while Metro Turizm issued a public apology for the incident.
“I was tempted and I did it,” the bus assistant reportedly told company officials after the latter warned him that the forensic medicine report would reveal the truth.
The confession prompted Metro Turizm board members to admit the incident, which caused huge public outrage in Turkey, and apologize to both the public and the passenger.
“At first, we didn’t think it was possible. It sounded surreal because you cannot imagine something like this happening in a bus full of people,” board member Mustafa Yıldırım told Hürriyet, describing the attack as a “sick incident.”
The company also posted an apology on its website, stressing that the issue was being carefully monitored and ensuring that all necessary measures would be taken to avoid a repetition of the assault.
“We have severed our relationship with the employee in question and the matter has been referred to legal authorities for a thorough investigation,” the company stated.