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November 06, 2011, Sunday

When judiciary facilitates rape

We have another embarrassing judicial scandal nowadays. A 13-year-old girl, N.Ç, was forced to have sex with over a hundred men in Mardin 7-8 years ago. Twenty-six of the rapists were identified, and they were put on trial.

Amongst them there were public officials, high-ranking military personnel, high school teachers and so on. The Mardin Court decided that N.Ç was not raped because she had consented to having sex with all these men; and thus gave these people a prison sentence of just a couple of years for having sex with a minor. And the judgment of the first instance court has just been confirmed by our Court of Appeals.

The case is extremely scandalous, disgusting and embarrassing for everyone in Turkey, and it has created a public outrage. The details of the case continue to leak out and with every new detail, the case becomes even more and more embarrassing.

We have just learnt that after all these rapes the girl left Mardin and sought refuge in an orphanage. She had to have four operations to fix her rectum because she was raped this way. We learned that the psychiatrist who gave psychological counseling to N.Ç, herself later on sought psychological counseling because she was so traumatized by this little girls’ story.

And our judiciary decided that this girl had consented to having sex with all these pedophiles. There is not a dissenting opinion in the judgment of our high court; they confirmed the judgment of the first instance court unanimously. She was sold to all these men, and our judiciary presumes that she gave her consent for all these terrible things that happened to her.

There is a very serious collective crime out there. All these men who are “prominent” figures in this city raped a 13-year-old girl, and a court managed to give them the lightest prison sentence possible in this case.

There are so many things to be questioned. How could all these men, some of whom probably have daughters themselves, engage in such an ugly activity and how could all these judges who have daughter themselves handle this case in such a light handed manner?

I was just trying to explain it to a foreign reporter the other day. When it comes to the physical and psychological integrity of a person, Turkish law is terrible. If, for example, you were attacked and were beaten severely, unless you lost an organ or endure a permanent physical handicap, your attacker would just receive a few months prison sentence, and most probably his prison sentence would be postponed.

However, if the same attacker just takes your glasses, or your pen or any other thing you are carrying on you by force, he would receive at least a prison sentence of 15 or 16 years, since in this case, the crime concerned will be qualified as usurp (gasp).

As you see protecting property is much more valuable than protecting the physical integrity of a person in the Turkish legal system.

If these pedophiles had taken this girl’s teddy bear by force, they would have received a 15 year prison sentence. But these men have just received a prison sentence of a few years for stealing her life permanently.

The law is wrong, the mentality is wrong. Everything is wrong here.

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