Turkish ministers react to release of soldiers in child sex abuse case

Turkish ministers react to release of soldiers in child sex abuse case

BİNGÖL – Doğan News Agency
Reports that sergeants suspected of sexually abusing a minor had been set free have prompted reactions from Turkish ministers.

Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said, “We will not stand silent by the rape case in Bingöl,” using the hashtag #BingöldekiTecavüzeSessizKalma (Do not stand silent against the rape in Bingöl).

“My friends [at the Ministry] are investigating the issue in its all details. If need be we the ministry will be involved in the case,” she wrote on her official Twitter account.

Suspects are forbidden from approaching the minor's school or house for six months and the minor will also be protected against possible threats coming from suspects via phone or internet, Şahin also announced.

Şahin said her ministry’s legal adviser and law experts were in Bingöl and they were with the minor.

EU Minister Egemen Bağış was also quick to react to the hashtag and the incident, writing, “The release of five sergeants who are suspected of sexual abuse is a misery.”

Prosecutors in the southeastern Anatolian province of Bingöl have launched an investigation into the accusations that five sergeants sexually abused a 16-year-old girl, Doğan news agency reported today.

The victim, identified only by the initials E.A., lives in the Solhan district of Bingöl and reportedly filed an official complaint last month in which she stated that five sergeants had repeatedly sexually abused and raped her over the last two years. Four of the five sergeants, who were initially detained as part of the investigation, were later released following an appeal made to the court. The prosecutors also decreed confidentiality on the probe.

Canan Çakabay, the lawyer of the victim, said she had asked the court to grant protection for her client. The case was rigorously investigated by the prosecutors, Çakabay also said, adding that they did not know the precise details due to the confidentiality decree.