Members of the Women Solidarity Foundation and the FeministBiz group filed a criminal complaint about Prof. Orhan Çeker, Head of the Department at the Selçuk University Theological Faculty. Çeker stirred up the national media and the academic landscape last week when he said that the clothes, low-cut dresses in particular, of raped and sexually assaulted women provoked their attackers.
Çeker also suggested establishing a commission to decide what women should be wearing.
The women issued a press release in front of the Courthouse of Turkey's capital Ankara. They stated that Prof. Çeker's words encouraged to rape and the "sexual harassment of women. They accused him of "gender discrimination against women, threats to create fear and panic among the people, inciting the public to hatred and hostility, praising criminals and encouragement to commit a crime and disobey the law".
Accordingly, the women demanded Çeker's punishment according to Articles 213, 214, 215, 216 and 217 of the revised Turkish Criminal Law (TCK). They submitted their complaint to the Ankara Public Prosecution.
Sexual harassment and rape not illness but sexual violence
In their press release, the women emphasized that sexual harassment and rape was not to be associated with illness, perversion or the behaviour of women. They stressed that the male domination conveyed by Çeker's words had to be disclosed, saying that according to Çeker, women should be kept at home, covered from top to toe or even kept under the ground.
Rape a pressing issue
The women pointed to the fact that defendants tried on charges of sexual offences are mostly being protected by the judiciary and stand trial "un-detained". As an example, they referred to a mass rape case heard before the Sincan 1st High Criminal Court (west of Ankara). The defendants were released pending trial in October because the report of the Forensic Medicine Institute was being delayed.
The women announced that they were going to observe today's hearing of the trial (22 February).
Data from news in 2010 compiled by bianet revealed that at least 381 women and children were sexually harassed throughout the last year, 207 women and children were raped. Data from the Police and the Gendarmerie suggest that 478 wome were raped in the first seven months of 2010 and 722 women were sexually harassed. (BB/VK)
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