According to the victim of the attack, who is the daughter-in-law of an Istanbul district mayor, she was harassed and assaulted by a group of protesters on the first day of the protests, even though she had her baby with her
The protests that broke out and went on for days in Turkey during the summer of 2013, which were called the Gezi Park protests by the public, also drew the attention of the press from around the world. Leftist groups were prominent in the demonstrations organized by opposition to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The vandalism and violent activities that took place during the incidents were covered up with successful and organized public relations work. Turkey's central media outlets that supported the protests called the protesters "flower children," who did not conceal their aims to overthrow the AK Party with a street coup, as they did not manage to defeat the party in elections. However, the Turkish public still continues to discuss the violent assaults against women with headscarves during the protests. Undoubtedly the most dramatic instance among many others is the alleged harassment case that took place in Istanbul's Kabataş neighborhood.According to the victim of the attack, who is the daughter-in-law of an Istanbul district mayor, she was harassed and assaulted by a group of protesters on the first day of the protests, even though she had her baby with her. The cause of this was her manner of dress, which was conforming to Islamic norms. The protesters declared the AK Party as their enemy mostly because of its conservative identity. Consequently, some symbols such as the Islamic dress became their target, since those symbols were associated with the AK Party.
The incident was revealed after the victim, who claimed to have been harassed, spoke to some journalists. The required procedures were completed, including a forensic report on battery and complaints filed to the prosecutor's office. But the offenders could not be identified because dozens of surveillance cameras located around the scene of the incident interestingly did not record it.
After months, a TV channel supporting the Gezi Park protests announced that they had found a video recording of the woman who claimed to have been harassed. However, the recording broadcast by the channel did not display the moment of harassment, but the moments when the woman was walking away from the scene. The arguments suggesting that the woman's claims were false referred to this footage. The ones arguing that the claims of harassment should be investigated without being swept under the rug rightfully ask the questions below:
The scene of the incident in Kabataş is the busiest area of Istanbul and it is monitored by six security cameras. Is it not strange that none of them recorded any moment of the incident? Why could only one camera record only a few minutes after the incident?
Why did police provide this abridged short video to a TV channel months after the claims? Who is hiding the rest of the video or the footage from other cameras? Were the rest of the records seized by police officers affiliated with the Gülen Movement, an anti-government group that some claim triggered the Gezi incidents? It is known that the recording was delivered to the TV channel by police officers affiliated with the movement. Also, the security cameras in that spot are administered by a company that is known to have close relations with the Gülen Movement.
Rather than specific people, a group that could not be identified by the victim is blamed for the harassment. In this case, do the people who are sure that no harassment was made guarantee 35 million Turkish men in the face of a woman? During the Gezi Park protests many harassment, rape and battery cases were brought before judicial authorities. So how can they be sure that no one among nearly 3 million people who poured into streets was involved in the incident?
4) Why are the journalists who reported the claims of the victimized woman blamed for provocation instead of being appreciated due to their reflexes complying with journalistic ethics?
5) Most importantly, while it is predicated on the statements of women in harassment and rape cases in Turkey and the rest of the world, is it only fair to demand visual recordings from the victim herself despite her complaint filed to the prosecutor's office and the forensic report.
But left-wingers and feminists who are universally known to side with women and take a stance against violence have quite interesting representatives in Turkey. For them, women are subjects whose rights can only be demanded if they choose a secular lifestyle.
They are filled with such hatred for the government, which they could not overthrow in elections, that they do not even see a problem in denying their own existence.
They do not even care about the fact that their stance on the Kabataş incident actually means that women are equal in Turkey, but some women are more equal.
As a public sensitive to women's problems in Turkey, how can we keep asking questions without any prejudice? Why don't you demand the release of hidden proof instead of denying the harassment claims of the woman in a certain manner? Or are you afraid of the revelation of some secrets from Kabataş?