Authorities order release pending trial of NCO accused of sexual abuse of 2 minors

A Turkish court ruled yesterday for the release pending trial of a noncommissioned officer who is being prosecuted for allegedly sexually abusing two high school students in southeastern Van province, Turkish media reported.

Talip Korcan was charged with sexually harassing two minors on October 25, 2021. However, the prosecutor ruled that there were no grounds to take legal action against accusations of rape. In his defense, Korcan admitted that he took the girls to his home but claimed he did not abuse them.

Korcan also allegedly served alcohol to the two girls and later threatened them to stay silent about the encounter.

Korcan’s release sparked outrage among activists, who said sexual abuse of minors was a serious crime. Women’s rights group Women’s Assembly (Kadın Meclisleri),  said authorities had released the perpetrator without a thorough investigation into the claims. “We will not allow child abusers to walk freely [among society],” they said on Twitter.

Women’s Defense (Kadın Savunması), another women’s rights group, said on Twitter that the perpetrator was being protected by authorities since he worked for the military. “Musa Orhan was another noncommissioned officer who was released despite being convicted of raping a young Kurdish girl.  We believe there is a pattern of impunity here,” they said.

Orhan was given a suspended sentence of 10 years by the Siirt 1st High Criminal Court on conviction of sexually assaulting İpek Er, an 18-year-old Kurdish woman who later committed suicide.

Since the sentence was suspended, Orhan wasn’t arrested but was instead placed under judicial supervision.

Many activists condemned the Turkish judiciary for letting Orhan walk free.

Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women are killed, raped or beaten every day. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s policies that protect men by granting them impunity is the main cause of the situation, critics say.

Early in 2021 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sparked outrage in Turkey and the international community after he pulled the country out of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies.

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