The son of Turkey's former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, who was the first and only woman to serve as prime minister of the country, is under fire for domestic violence and abuse, and his wife has filed for divorce.
Zeynep Çiller sued her husband Mert Çiller for divorce last month, Turkish daily Sözcü reported on Thursday, with claims that he has beaten her to the level of breaking her ribs.
Demanding custody of their two children, Zeynep Çiller also seeks compensation worth of TL 10 million ($1.46 million) alongside a monthly payment of TL 300,000 in child support.
The family court, the daily reported, ordered Mert Çiller to be suspended from the house while banning him from getting close to Zeynep Çiller.
Though the home of the couple, which was originally owned by Tansu Çiller, was initially allocated to Zeynep Çiller by the court, Tansu Çiller filed for a discharge case and removed her daughter-in-law from the house along with her grandchildren.
According to Zeynep Çiller, her husband, who is addicted to alcohol and drugs, has behaved violently toward her for the 11 years of their marriage, while being involved in numerous affairs.
However, an already dire situation reached its nadir on May 5 when Mert Çiller beat her in front of their children, at which point police were called to intervene. As a result of the incident, Zeynep Çiller filed a complaint against her husband and was taken to the hospital in order to report her bruises.
According to the daily, however, Tansu Çiller came to the scene and tried to prevent the security forces from taking action.
Furthermore, Zeynep Çiller also claimed in her divorce case that the former prime minister threatened to prevent her from ever being able to see her children if she filed complaints against her son.
Tansu Çiller, 68, was elected in 1993 as head of the now-defunct True Path Party (DYP). She formed a coalition government with Necmettin Erbakan's Welfare Party (RP) in 1996. During this time, she served as a prime minister, until the coalition government collapsed after a military intervention in 1997. Çiller's political career saw a decline after the coup, and she withdrew from political life after the DYP's defeat in the 2002 elections.
Turkey has been witnessing a series of domestic violence and femicide crimes recently, causing massive public reactions against toxic masculinity.
In one of the most recent incidents, the body of 27-year-old Pınar Gültekin, a university student living in the southwestern province of Muğla, was discovered on Tuesday after she was reported missing on July 16. The murder renewed online protests against women’s murders.
Before the brutal murder of Gültekin, the violent acts of famous Turkish actor Ozan Güven against his then-girlfriend Deniz Bulutsuz made headlines while in the meantime, two deputies of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Mardin Deputy Tuma Çelik and Muş Deputy Mensur Işık, have been accused of rape and domestic violence crimes, respectively.