New #MeToo movement echoes in Turkey’s entertainment world
After Turkish people vented their frustration at the verdict in a child abuse case that occurred in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, many prominent figures in the entertainment industry have taken to social media, recounting harassment and sexual assaults they had been subjected to in the past.
Following social media users speaking out against the release of parents from jail despite accusations from their two children, some actors came out in the open and shared their experiences of having been sexually abused and harassed by their relatives, unleashing a new #MeToo movement in the country.
Melisa Döngel, who took part in popular television series such as “Bizim Hikâye” (Our Story), “Sen Çal Kapımı” (Knock My Door) and “Elif,” was one of the actresses who revealed the abuses she endured.
After actress Hafsanur Sancaktutan confessed to being abused by her grandfather and another promising television star, Seray Kaya, by her friend’s father, Döngel also declared that she was sexually abused by her father when she was young.
Döngel’s father was arrested and sent to prison, while the young actor received psychological treatment for a long time in order to overcome the trauma she had experienced and eventually entered the acting industry to stand on her own feet.
“Actually, I never thought of being an actor. All I wanted was to be a psychologist. Of course, life led me to acting,” she said in an interview, adding that when she got involved, she saw that acting and psychology were not in opposite directions.
“In acting, we can take on many characters and be a mirror to the dead-end situations that the people live in. I hope we can be a bit of a guide,” she noted.
Trying to erase the traces of the incident that happened a few years ago, Döngel now is in bureaucratic trouble with a lawsuit filed by her father, who is currently in prison. The actress wanted to get custody of her 17-year-old sister so that she wouldn’t go through what she went through.
However, the father demanded that the custody of the younger daughter be given to him on the ground that the actor “had a bad life.” The demands include sending the young girl to his ex-wife who is currently living in Russia because he is in prison or that she be taken under state protection.
It later turned out that Döngel’s mother sent the young woman back to Turkey on the ground that she could not look after her.