Outcry over violence against women after Turkish singer beaten by boyfriend

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 02.11.2018 22:57

Public outcry has grown over allegations that Sıla Gençoğlu, a famous pop singer, was beaten by her actor boyfriend Ahmet Kural, known for his comedy films and TV series.

Gençoğlu, who uses the stage name Sıla, filed a complaint on Thursday claiming that Kural assaulted her on Oct. 29.

The couple, who made the headlines with their romance last year, had broken up in January but reunited last month. Kural denied the allegations and claimed that there was only a brief scuffle. However, the account Sıla gave in her complaint and photos showing bruises on her body contradicts Kural's claims.

The criminal complaint, which led to a three-month restraining order on Kural, says that the actor hit Sıla's head against a wall, hit her with an ashtray and dragged her on the ground.

Sıla also claimed that Kural verbally abused her during the assault at the actor's Istanbul home. He also threatened to kill her. Social media in Turkey, where violence against women remains a hot issue, was awash with comments condemning Kural. Yapı Kredi Bank whose commercials starred Kural, announced on Friday that they had "ceased cooperation" with Kural after the news surfaced, citing that his alleged behavior contradicts the ethics of the bank "which advocates gender equality and the empowerment of women." In a written statement, the non-profit Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) said it was concerning that celebrities would resort to violence that "tramples on the honor of humanity." "Violence is violation of human rights and does not differ between genders. Everyone is entitled to the right of life without threat of violence," the statement added.After the complaint, the Istanbul Prosecutor's office summoned the actor to testify. Speaking to reporters Friday as witnesses to the incident testified, Sıla's lawyer Rezan Epözdemir said that the complaint was "a cry for all women exposed to violence." "She is a victim of 45 minutes of physical and psychological violence.

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