Famous Turkish actress indicted for ‘insulting’ former soldier accused of rape

An indictment drafted by an Ankara prosecutor seeks a prison sentence of up to two years for Ezgi Mola, a popular Turkish actress, on insult charges after she tweeted in August 2020 about the release of a former soldier accused of raping an 18-year-old woman, Turkish Minute reported.

“Drown in the conscience that let you release this rapist low-life,” Mola said in a tweet referring to Musa Orhan, who was released pending trial after six days behind bars by a Siirt court on August 26, 2020, despite a forensics report confirming that he raped İpek Er, according to Turkish media reports.

The 18-year-old Kurdish woman, who died in a hospital on August 18, 2020, 33 days after she tried to take her own life, had left a suicide note accusing Orhan of keeping her at a house for 20 days during which time she was regularly raped by him.

Lawyer Mehmet Erkan Akkuş, who represents Orhan, filed a criminal complaint against Mola for calling Orhan, who faces at least 12 years in prison on rape charges, a “rapist low-life” on social media.

The actress will stand trial at the Ankara 31st Penal Court of First Instance, local reports said.

Thousands on Twitter reacted angrily to the case against Mola, using the hashtag #YalnızDeğilsinEzgiMola (You’re not alone, Ezgi Mola).

“The rebellion of Ezgi Mola is the rebellion of everyone who believes in gender equality and who defends the Istanbul Convention,” Tunç Soyer, mayor of the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 20 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.

“Ezgi Mola referred to a rapist low-life by calling him a ‘rapist low-life,’ what’s wrong with that? Musa Orhan is, at the same time, a murderer who caused a person to die and he’s free. Nobody can guarantee that he won’t take another woman’s life,” well-known Turkish actress Hazal Kaya said.

Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women get 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 behind the situation, critics say.

In late May Minister of Family and Social Services Derya Yanık attracted widespread criticism due to remarks suggesting that the country has experienced “tolerable levels” of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic while speaking to members of a committee investigating violence against women.

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