Girl sold by father found in Sivas, reports say

February 03, 2012, Friday/ 15:49:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A 13-year-old girl who was allegedly sold by her father in 2006 to a 54-year-old man in return for TL 5,000 has been found in Sivas, Turkish newspapers reported on Friday.

A number of Turkish newspapers reported that E.Y., who was initially reported to have been 12 years old in 2006 and is now 19, was found this week to be residing in Sivas with her mother and sister. While E.Y. did not speak to reporters, her mother, Gülay Y., was surprised to learn that Yusuf A., the man who had bought her daughter, has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse.

Gülay Y. said her husband Osman Y. and her son İsmail Y. went four months ago to Antalya to work in construction, while she is living with her two daughters in Sivas. Despite reporters' insistence, she refused to give out her husband's contact information. Her neighbors said they did not know much about the family and that they moved into the neighborhood in 2009.

Reports say the Sivas Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Policy appointed two experts to visit the family. The experts were reported to have interviewed the girl for almost an hour and a half and said E.Y. needs psychological help.

A court case against father Osman Y. and Yusuf A. has been under way since 2006. The most recent hearing took place on Wednesday at the Antalya 1st High Criminal Court. While Osman Y., who was released by the court pending trial, did not attend the hearing, Yusuf A. was arrested after testifying. Legal action has reportedly been initiated to bring Osman Y. to the next hearing, scheduled to take place in March.

According to a report published by the Vatan daily, the teacher who revealed the incident after E.Y. told her she had been sold by her father said she went to E.Y.'s house with the deputy principal of the school and talked to her mother about the incident. “The mother said her daughter must have been lying,” the teacher added.

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