Erasmus students 'sexually abused' at touristic hamam in Istanbul
"(Sexual) harassment here," some protesters wrote on the wall of the hamam in Istanbul's Karaköy neighborhood when the plaintiffs returned to the facility with police on March 6. DHA photosTurkish police have detained four men after two French women accused them of sexual abuse at a touristic hamam in Istanbul, Doğan News Agency reported March 7.
According to the report, the women went to the hamam in Istanbul's Karaköy neighborhood on March 5 with their boyfriends. The four men presented themselves as traditional masseurs and took the women in a separate room for the massage session.
The French women, who have never had an hamam experience before, were later warned by their friends that what the men did in the room could be deemed as sexual abuse, instead of a traditional massage.
After urging people to join them through social media, the women went back to the hamam on March 6 for a press statement. They were accompanied by some 20 people, mostly tourists, foreign students and expats, as well as police, according to Doğan News Agency.
The 78-year-old owner of the hamam furiously rejected the claims, stating that he has never heard such a complaint since he founded his business 50 years ago.
The women then entered the hamam with police officers and showed four men, claiming that they were the sexual offenders. The police detained the four men, Doğan News Agency reported, but released them conditionally after they testified on March 7.
"We have never seen these people. They were not our customers," the agency quoted the suspects as saying to the police in their testimonies.
Fulya Dağlı, the spokesperson of the group, told the journalists in front of the hamam that the women identified the four men face-to-face.
"What happened here two days ago is neither an individual incident nor an accident. It was part of abuse, rape and violence that has been systematically practiced on foreign women and Erasmus students here," she said.