Turkish woman ‘exiled’ after sexual abuse complaint at university

Turkish woman ‘exiled’ after sexual abuse complaint at university

Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ANKARA
Turkish woman ‘exiled’ after sexual abuse complaint at university

Executive assistant T.Ö (right) and her manager, H.H.S

A Turkish woman has said she was “exiled” after she filed a sexual abuse complaint against her manager at a state university.

According to the legal file, Selçuk University’s Health and Sports Director, identified only as H.H.S, was accused of sexual abuse against his 28-year-old assistant, identified as T.Ö.

“Do you have a boyfriend? I heard that you passionately make love with other men, would you also do it with me? I want to taste your lipstick,” the director allegedly told the woman in his office.

Konya Chief Prosecutor’s Office, which sought to launch an investigation, applied to Konya Governor’s Office for permission as required by law for all public servants accused of criminal wrongdoing.

However, the Governor’s Office rejected to launch an investigation, arguing that there were “no witnesses or concrete evidence” against the man.

After the woman filed an objection, Turkey’s Council of State ultimately ruled that a criminal investigation must be launched, stressing that “the woman’s psychological condition is enough evidence” at this stage, leading to the ongoing case at Konya 16th Court of First Instance where H.H.S. is on trial over sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, another colleague of T.Ö. came forward and filed a criminal complaint, claiming that she also became a target of sexual harassment by the same director.

The man, who is married with three children, pleaded not guilty, claiming that the women "slandered" him.

He was removed from his office, but later appointed by the university as Mevlana Research Institute Director and then as the director of Agricultural Engineering Farm.

While the man was not even suspended by the university, T.Ö, says that she was “exiled” by the management that appointed her first as a cleaner and then as the only female worker at a public canteen.

“I am the one who was sexually harassed and then punished because of it. My psychology has been ruined. They put pressure on me to make me quit,” she said.

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