This woman’s story breaks hearts

This woman’s story breaks hearts

Ceren, a Turkish woman, got married in 2013. She became pregnant three months later. Her husband, the heir of City Tourism, Şakir Sarıal, beat her for the first time when she was pregnant. After the baby was born, the domestic violence resumed. Her husband even beat her when there was a speck of dust in the house or when she forgot to put a dish of dried nuts on the table.  

One night, when the baby was five months old, her husband told Ceren: “Get the child ready. We are going to my parents. My father misses the baby.” When Ceren was trying to explain that it was sleep time for the baby, she was beaten. With bruises all over her, she took the child to her in-laws’ house late at night. Her mother-in-law said, “These things happen.” 

She got her first medical report on June 28, 2015. Her husband had beaten her for three hours, breaking two of her fingers. Her mother-in-law said these things happened in every home and if she wanted to leave she had to leave her child behind. Ceren did not leave, but she secretly went to the state hospital to get a medical report then came back. 

Meanwhile the baby was seven months old. Ceren was not able to lose weight because her husband would not allow her out of the house. He was continuously insulting her for her extra weight. 

Ceren took a walk on July 14, 2015, on Istanbul’s Bakırköy shore. When she came back, her husband raised hell, shouting, “My wife cannot stroll at the shore. Whoever walks at the shore is a prostitute. How cheap are you?” 

While he was about to hit her with a chair, his mother caught the chair in the air. Ceren locked herself in the bathroom and called the center for prevention of domestic violence. The police came. Two plainclothes policemen told her to let it go because they would make peace in two days. Other policemen told her to go to the police station and file a complaint. 

The Osmaniye Police Station told Ceren that this case was domestic violence and she should go to the Yeşilköy Domestic Violence Center. When Ceren was at Yeşilköy, it was almost midnight. By that time, Ceren’s father- and mother-in-law together with her sister-in-law kidnapped the child. 

Ceren applied for custody of the child at the office of the prosecutor. Custody was granted to Ceren, but the child was held by her husband’s family. She filed complaints at the office of the prosecutor six times. Finally a case was opened. Her husband was sentenced to five months for threatening her and a fine of 6,000 Turkish Liras for causing simple injury. He was also sentenced to 10 months in jail for the kidnapping and detention of the child. The sister-in-law, the father-in-law and the mother-in-law were sentenced to five months each for kidnapping and detaining the child. 

However, because none of them had a criminal record, the sentences meant nothing due to the court’s “deferment of the announcement of the verdict.” In other words, they are all free on condition that they do not commit another crime in five years. 

What kind of justice this is if it treats those who are currently committing a crime by detaining a child as if they are innocent? 

The child is nowhere to be found. A prosecutor told Ceren, “I cannot look for your child door-to-door. You go and find your child and then I will send a team.” 

Ceren will appeal the verdict. But on one hand there is a family who has a lot of money and influence and power, and on the other hand there is a lonely woman. 

Ceren is crying, “Who should I go to? Who should I appeal to?”

Really, where should she go next?