Turkish opposition leaders air outrage over sexual abuse cases

Turkish opposition leaders air outrage over sexual abuse cases

Turkish opposition leaders air outrage over sexual abuse cases

DHA photo

A sexual abuse case in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman was on the agenda of both the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leaders as they addressed their respective party deputies in parliament on March 29. 

Both leaders called on the government, which has been criticized for close links to the foundation involved, to take action. 

Parliament decided on March 24 to establish an inquiry commission to conduct an in-depth probe into the alleged sexual abuse of children, after news reports that eight male students had been raped by their teacher at a private foundation in Karaman. Several media reports have since said the abuses at the Ensar Foundation house were even wider. 

A public prosecutor demanded 600 years in prison for the suspected teacher in a foundation house in Karaman. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said March 29 that the CHP sent a team to inspect the case and all public workers in the province feared even naming the foundation that owned the school, “including the governor and the police chief.” 

He also criticized Family Minister Sema Ramazonoğlu for saying in a March 22 statement that “a single incident should not become an excuse to defame an institution that has shined with its services.”  

“She is not thinking of our children but only of the foundation. A prosecutor is already probing the foundation. You will account for taking those children under such conditions. [And the person] who opened these dormitories will also account for it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

He also referred to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s promise to shed light on the incident. “I will be the first to congratulate him if they follow up on this case,” he said, questioning the government’s role in the opening of dormitories such as the one in Karaman.  

He also strictly criticized the Education Ministry for failing to open dormitories for primary school children. 

Meanwhile, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli stressed that the sexual assault on 45 children in Karaman cannot be “downgraded” and the judiciary “must not remain deaf to this.”

In a separate incident, also in Karaman, the vice principal of a high school was dismissed by the Provincial Directorate for National Education over sexual abuse allegations after an investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

The 48-year-old vice principal, identified only by the initials M.Ç., is accused of sexually abusing an 11th grade student, identified by the initials Ş.B. 

The Provincial Directorate for National Education also started an administrative inquiry into the incident on March 28.

Ş.B. told her parents about the alleged sexual abuse on March 24 and her parents reported the abuse to the police. After the complaint, M.Ç. was taken to the police department to give his testimony on the same day. 

“You are in puberty, I can meet your sexual needs,” the vice principal allegedly told the student.  

M.Ç. reportedly accepted the allegations after he was made to listen to a voice recording of the dialogue between himself and the student. 

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old imam, identified only as İ.A., was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old child, identified as E.Y., in the Yıldızeli district of the Central Anatolian province of Sivas. 

The imam, married with two children, has been suspended and the victim has been removed from the school by their parents.

In order for an inspector to be assigned to probe the allegations, the Yıldızeli District Governor’s Office appealed to the Directorate of Religious Affairs.