A Turkish parliamentary commission on Wednesday listened to a woman who was allegedly raped by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin deputy Tuma Çelik, who was dismissed from his party over the allegations. The incident marked the first time a victim of domestic violence directly spoke to lawmakers at the Turkish Parliament.
The victim, identified by initials D.K., attended the closed-door meeting led by Ali Özkaya, the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Afyon deputy.
D.K. reportedly told lawmakers about her experience and answered their questions.
She noted that she had informed HDP lawmakers about the incident, but most of them ignored her complaint, while one of them told her that they were busy dealing with mayors replaced by trustees and that they cannot “afford to lose a single lawmaker.”
“He raped me after we had coffee,” D.K. 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 since I am a lawmaker and have parliamentary immunity. In the worst case scenerio, 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.
Çelik’s immunity was removed shortly after the victim filed a criminal complaint.
The public prosecutor prepared a summary of proceedings, noting that there is sufficient evidence to launch a criminal case.
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 the home of the deputy's friend, where the assault allegedly occurred.
Earlier in June, HDP Muş deputy Mensur Işık was accused of beating his wife in Ankara. The party has launched a probe to investigate the allegations.
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