Suspects who sexually assaulted French tourists at Turkish bath sentenced to 15 years
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court sentenced two suspects who sexually assaulted two French tourists in a Turkish bath in Istanbul in 2016 to 15 years in jail on June 13, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The court sentenced Cafer A. to six years and three months in jail on charges of “sexual assault” and sentenced the other suspect, Osman C., to eight years and nine months in jail on the same charges.
The incident occurred in a Turkish bath (hamam) in the touristic Karaköy neighborhood’s Tersane Avenue in 2016 when the two French tourists, identified only as Floraine L. and Zelda S., were assaulted. They said they were sexually assaulted and filed complaints against four staff members at the hamam.
Two other suspects, Ahmet K. and İbrahim K., were acquitted on the charges.
The tourists’ lawyers said the hamam staff had abused their positions. “The suspects abused their jobs by taking advantage of the clients’ lack of awareness about Turkish bath culture. There is no justification for them to do this,” one of their lawyers said.
The suspects, however, denied the allegations, saying they had only conducted their normal duties and demanded their acquittals.
Lawyers for the suspects said the tourists complained about their clients only two days after the incident.
“Complaining after two days about the incident points to bad intention. We think that they acted like this to receive money from an insurance firm. Tourists received services within the frame of their consent. Our clients were stuck in a difficult situation due to this kind of judging,” a lawyer for the suspects said.
Following the trial, lawyers for the Solidarity with Women and Struggle against Sexually Violence Association made a statement in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse, saying they deemed the sentences for the two suspects to be acceptable but that they would appeal the two acquittals to another court in Istanbul.