Women protest sexual assault against university student on busy Istanbul street
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
AA photoThe “We Will Stop Women Murders” platform gathered on Jan. 26 to protest the brutal sexual assault against a 19-year-old female university student on Kadıköy’s central Bağdat Street in Istanbul.
“We will not be silent against hatred towards women and sexual assaults,” proclaimed around 50 platform members in their press statement, while holding a large banner and chanting slogans.
The young woman was sexually assaulted on Bağdat Street by an unidentified attacker armed with a knife. The suspect, who was sent to court, had said during his police testimonial he had “yielded to temptation” during the incident.
The suspected attacker, 34-year-old Cengiz A., who was married with two children, was arrested by the court after he confessed to the crime.
‘Official discourse encourages assaults’
“We, as women, will continue to be sexually assaulted if women are told to only give birth to a lot of children. Those who have made statements cherishing retrogressive thoughts are the ones responsible for this attack against our sister,” said the platform’s Istanbul representative, Fidan Ataselim.
“The Family and Social Policies Ministry along with the Directorate of Religious Affairs [Diyanet] have been giving weight to discourses encouraging hatred against woman and caused the increase of killings, sexual assaults and violence against women,” Ataselim added.
Having stressed that women have been killed on the street while on their way to work or school, Ataselim vowed women will not “keep their hands off.”
The statement also slammed reduced sentences in murder cases against woman, while stating these reductions for reasons including “good conduct abatement” would encourage more assaults. They called on officials to reform laws and punish those attackers “who wander on the streets.”
This protest followed a Progressive Women Association demonstration, where around 20 women blocked one of the lanes on busy Bağdat Street, there the assault occurred.