Three Ankara fire brigade officials suspended over claims of sexually abusing high schoolers

Three Ankara fire brigade officials suspended over claims of sexually abusing high schoolers

Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Three Ankara fire brigade officials suspended over claims of sexually abusing high schoolers

Three officials at Ankara Municipality’s fire brigade have been temporarily suspended from their duties over allegations they sexually abused female high school students.

The move came after a group of high schoolers said they were abused by the department head, station director, and a fire chief on duty at the fire brigade, where the girls were carrying out their internship, a requirement of their vocational high school. 

Upon the claims, the municipality department of inspection board launched an investigation, resulting in the temporary suspension of the three employees from their jobs as of July 23. 

The inspection board initially resorted to the testimonies of the girls, their teachers and friends. The board will reportedly later take the testimonies of the three officials. 

The fire brigade officials were accused of taking the girls out to eat, physically standing close to them, and physically and verbally abusing them. The report said the accusations were not just particular to the officials’ behaviors toward the high schoolers, but in general to women in the office. 

The department head denied the accusations and told daily Hürriyet: “I assure upon my honor that there is no such thing. This is a plot, a rumor. A statement was conveyed to me saying I was suspended [from duty]. But I do not know the content of the investigation. They have not yet taken my defense. I am a department head who does not just sit in office, but is always in contact with my personnel and students. We have a genuine environment.”

Crime, Sexual Abuse, harassment