High school girl commits suicide over sexual assault
Sertaç Virancık – KAYSERİA high school girl in Turkey’s central Anatolian province of Kayseri committed suicide on Feb. 17 after being sexually assaulted by her teacher.
The 18-year-old Cansel K., who was a 12th grade student in a high-school in Kayseri’s Melikgazi district, lost her life after she was seriously wounded following her attempt to shoot herself in the head with her father’s shotgun two days after being sexually assaulted by her math teacher, Bayram Ö.
“She complained to the school administration but the incident was covered up. All of her friends know about the incident. The teacher is currently in a prison in Kayseri. He pleaded guilty. We’re going to sue the teacher, the school administration and even the Education Ministry for the damages. We will do whatever we can for those responsible to be punished,” said Cansel’s family.
Meanwhile, Kayseri Governor Orhan Düzgün said in a written statement that a legal and executive probe had been launched, as a criminal complaint was filed against the assailant and the school administration. The assailant, Bayram Ö., was arrested and the high school principal identified as E.E. and vice principals M.T.İ and A.E. were suspended along with school councilors Z.A. and K.C., for negligence.
The phone records between Bayram Ö. and Cansel K. were also investigated.
Cansel was buried in the central Anatolian province of Kırşehir after a funeral.
Cansel reportedly told her friends and her teachers about the incident. However, she did not receive any support as the principal of her school reportedly tried to cover up what had happened.
Cansel’s case has been widely echoed in social media with the #canseliçinsusma hashtag, becoming a trending topic on Twitter. Calls are rising for the assailant to receive the severest penalty as many now regard Cansel’s death as a homicide rather than a suicide.
Between 1999 and 2000, the suicide rate among women in the southeastern province of Batman was three times higher than that among men, causing the matter to be brought to Turkish parliament for discussion.
According to a U.N. report penned by Professor Yakın Ertürk, who served as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women, some of the incidents in Batman were cases of “covered homicides,” women who were forced to commit suicide by their families after being raped.