A Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker who faces rape allegations has resigned from the party, at a time when the party is dealing with another lawmaker’s involvement in domestic violence.
Mardin Deputy Tuma Çelik is accused of sexually assaulting a female party member.
According to the victim’s testimony, HDP lawmakers suggested that they work together in the election campaign.
“I told him that I was having some family issues and could not accept his offer, but Çelik asked me over to his place to have coffee and discuss my problems,” the victim, identified with the initials D.K., told authorities in her testimony. She continued by saying that Çelik brought her to the home of the Syriac Associations Federation President E.T. in Midyat.
“He raped me after we had coffee,” she said, adding that he threatened her after she told him that she would file a complaint about him to the party.
“If they hear about this, nothing will happen to me as I am a lawmaker and have parliamentary immunity. In the worst case, my political life would be over, and I’ll just go to Europe and live there,” D.K. quoted Çelik as saying.
“If the community hears about this, they will just say I’m a womanizer, but you, your husband or your children wouldn't be able to go out in public,” Çelik allegedly added.
After a while, the victim approached the Syriac Associations Federation President E.T. and complained about Çelik’s sexual assault, but the former also threatened her.
“I will kill you and won’t let you live in these lands,” E.T. told the woman.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor prepared a summary of proceedings, noting that there is sufficient evidence to launch a criminal file.
Meanwhile, the HDP deputy claimed the incident is a plot against him and that the complaint is based on “slander rather than facts,” even though the victim’s DNA could be found in samples obtained from the couch in E.T.’s home.
In a statement, the party said the incident had been discussed at the disciplinary board on June 30 and launched a probe into allegations and suspended all of his political activities within the party and the Parliament. However, the HDP Women’s Council claimed that the woman did not tell them that she was sexually assaulted at E.T.’s home in Midyat.
The victim noted that she had spoken with HDP lawmakers and sought their support, especially from female deputies. However, female deputies allegedly criticized her for accepting Çelik’s invitation for coffee in the first place.
A summary of proceedings was prepared for Parliament in order to lift Çelik’s immunity so a criminal complaint could officially be filed.
Earlier this week, HDP Muş Deputy Mensur Işık was accused of beating his wife in Ankara. The party has launched a probe to investigate the allegations.