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Turkish Outrage: Supreme Court Says 13-Year-Old Girl ‘Consented’ to Rape

Turkish Outrage: Supreme Court Says 13-Year-Old Girl ‘Consented’ to Rape

A major scandal has hit Turkey over the Supreme Court ruling last week that a 13-year-old girl raped by 26 men over a seven month period had given her consent to her sexual abuse.

They upheld an earlier decision by a local court in Mardin Province, South-Eastern Turkey, to reduce the sentences, and her rapists were either acquitted or given between one to slightly more than four years in jail due to ‘good behavior in the courtroom’ and the judges’ finding that she ‘willingly consented to the abuse.’

Her rapists included muhtars, or village heads, a gendarmerie captain, village guards (individuals armed by the state to fight separatist terrorists in the region) and even the manager in charge of correspondence in the Governor’s Office. She was sold by two individuals for seven months to these 26 men, some of whom came back repeatedly.

Women’s rights activist Leman Yurtsever, who has acted as foster mother to the woman, N.Ç., now 20, said she was planning to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Turkish government’s Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin called the ruling “unacceptable and worrying” but said the court was yet to pronounce its final word.

“The Supreme Court of Appeals is saying that the case is not yet over and that the media have distorted the issue. Let’s wait and see their decision,” Şahin told reporters on Thursday.

Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said the controversy arose from the fact that the case pertained to offenses committed before a penal code reform introduced tougher provisions on rape in 2005.

The Turkish Bar Association, however, said Friday that even the implementation of old provisions could not justify the ruling.

“To consider and accept that N.Ç. willingly allowed herself to be raped is against the realities of life, and also against the letter and spirit of the law that was in effect when the offenses were committed,” the association said in a statement.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül also commented on the scandal, stating that he was “deeply disturbed” by the reduction of sentences.

“As far as I know, the judiciary process isn’t over yet,” Gül Tweeted. “I hope that a decision will be made that would coincide with the public conscience.”

Yurtsever said N.Ç. is learning English and wants to study law “to get back at those who put her through all this torture.”

“For the past nine years, she hasn’t had a single night of peaceful sleep. I told her there were news stories about her; she didn’t even talk about it because she is trying to get away from it all. What she went through is always there somewhere in the back of her mind.”

Yurtsever said the ruling was a serious blow.

“One night when we were watching news of the ruling on television, we just went out and walked the streets until midnight. She has been to hospitals so many times due to the physical effects. She is still having problems.”

N.Ç.’s lawyer, Reyhan Yalçındağ Baydemir, said they had expected the Supreme Court of Appeals to overturn the decision, but its 14th Chamber had upheld the lower court’s ruling.

“The case has been in their hands for 13 months, but now this is the 11th year of the trial. So we have a problem of justice working slowly here. Why are they taking 13 months on a case that has become a major trial both in Turkey and in the world? They are causing the file to be subject to the statute of limitations.”

National Turk newspaper commented that:

“Turkey’s failure to protect its children and women from rapists was inherently connected to patriarchal attitudes, such as the government’s move last year to change the name of the women’s ministry to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy.”

Related stories:

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1 in 10 Women in Norway Has Been Raped

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Photo by Helga Weber

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252 comments

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8:46PM PST on Mar 8, 2014

Remember that Aisa was only six years old when the profit muhammad took her as a wife. He "thighed" which means that he took his penis and rubbed it on her thighs until he ejaculated, and practised this her until she was nine years old and could bear his weight.

The thighing of little girls and even baby girls is endemic in a lot of Islamic countries, because muhammad, considered the "perfect" man was considered the model of excellence. Therefore Turkey, which got rid of its secular government a few years ago after "Operation Sledgehammer" often turns a blind eye to things it used to care about, like little girls.

3:01PM PST on Mar 8, 2014

I thought the majority of Turks were Muslims. Islam gave women rights they didn't have before; long before the west. I would have thought these Turks would know how to treat women and how much respect they should be given if these people were true Muslims. Looks like some people don't know how to follow religion properly, stupid biggots.

3:05AM PST on Nov 27, 2013

Eman M. u r funny.
Tell that to all the woman who are raped and then stoned to death in all the others muslim countries

1:42AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

For all those who think that this girl is oppressed because of being Muslim or because Islam doesn't protect women's rights ; Turkey is totally a secular country and the court is not an Islamic one . According to Islam this is considered as injustice

4:24AM PST on Feb 6, 2012

These atrocities committed against women & girls in the world need to be stopped if we ever want to call ourselves civilized. We cannot stand for this.... ever!

6:12AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Rape by definition precludes consent. She is a victim of lecherous old men who, behind the guise of religion, have chosen to torture her. Their private parts should fall off and they should all rot in Hell for doing this to an innocent child.

5:58AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

This is MURDER! Clear and simple.

10:03AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

One word: SICKENING...

8:58AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

The corrupt courts are not likely to offer her any justice. Muslims believe girls should be married very young. The prophet says they can pleasure themselves with children as young as 6 months. The youngest mother was 5 yrs 7 months when she gave birth. Children are born to 13 yr old mothers surprisingly often. Muslims are allowed as many wives as they can afford. My friends dad had 4 wives my daughter in laws mother's father had 4 wives she has 19 siblings. Polygamy is very common in other nations and most religions condone it including some sects of Christianity. China's court recently ruled that because the father of the 13 yr old sold into prostitution consented to the sale it was legal. Check out those child prostitute laws. Legal does not mean right.

The best thing for this poor girl is to be allowed to forget it and go on with her life. Can you imagine being forced to relive it over and over in court and have the court rule you consented!

Our world is sick.

8:39PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Post traumatic stress will ruin this young woman's life! And those ANAL SPHINCTERS essentially got away with it! Stone-age system.....

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