Girls are always the topic of political discussion in this country. Are you aware of that? Since the parliament formed that notorious divorce commission in 2015, we have been discussing early marriages and abuse. Statistics have shown an increase in abuse. This is the consequence of a government that has been obsessed with pardoning abusers “despite the general view of the public.” We are witnessing with our own eyes, every day, how politics can legitimize a crime and cover it up. This is the reason why run “You can’t justify abuse” campaigns every day. Do you think this is normal?
By now, we have all learned these lessons: Let’s not talk about what we should be discussing during the pandemic. The incompetence of the government should be hidden. People should not demand their most basic vital rights. The government should make better use of its “opportunities,” and the lack of a social state should be remembered as little as possible. However, it is our civic duty to remember and remind people over and over again about how strange this picture is.
The Dean of the Faculty of Science of Ankara’s Gazi University, professor Orhan Acar, without noticing that the camera was on during a web broadcast, said in reference to female students, “We can see pictures of girls — keep it on the down-low.” Then he laughed. After an immediate and substantial public response, he resigned. However, we know that there are countless men in this country who, like this man, have lost enough of their morals to gawk at female students in such a manner. While they continue to laugh about what they have done, and surely think about it as a very “manly” behavior, we will continue to say that this is harassment and a crime.
Then the “pest” named Fatih Tezcan, who insults the founder of this country every day on Twitter, said something again, writing, “We will collect your wives and daughters. How are you going to protect them?” Now, that statement includes a couple of crimes according to the Turkish Penal Code, including inciting hatred in the public, incitement to commit crimes, issuing threats, incitement to disobey laws, disturbing the peace, and several other crimes. In this country, in which a crime is determined and applied to the person being targeted through the use of secret witnesses, isn’t there a crime for Fatih Tezcan? Well, there are dozens of crimes he commits per day, and they are all real. But nothing is done to that man, just as they do not do anything against the person who referenced a death threat list of 50 people on television. Moreover, the head of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK), Mr. Ebubekir, defined the incident as “unimportant.” This is what passes for justice. (After this article was written and after serious public backlash, the head of RTÜK issued a statement and said the [death threat] declaration made by Sevda Noyan was unacceptable. Obviously, the public forced them to confront their own hypocrisy, but was such a substantial backlash really necessary before a penalty was imposed?)
Then, on the crime machine channel called Akit TV, they invited an academic — I don’t want to call him that, but somehow he has obtained that title — and made him say certain sentences. “Women between the ages of 12 and 17 are superwomen, and this is the most appropriate age to bear a child.” People’s blood stopped. These words, which inspire all kinds of abuse, including article 214 of the Turkish Penal Code about the incitement to commit crimes, gave everyone the shivers. Even though his employer, Aydın University, dismissed the academic who uttered these words, Professor Muttalip Kutluk Özgüven, the prosecutor’s office should have immediately started an investigation. This did not happen. That’s because they are getting ready to soften the impact of the upcoming bill that will give amnesty to abusers. We are aware of that.
Right after, that Kadir Gözoğlu, who happens to be the head of a mosque association and uses the name “Elmeru Baba” on Twitter, announced a rape list. He and his followers discussed sharing women like Nevşin Mengü, Canan Kaftancıoğlu and Berna Laçin among themselves like war booty. Just like the barbarians we would watch in period drama movies who laugh and rape women — well, those men happen to be real, and they’re living right next to us in this country, we have learned. The crimes we listed for that pest Fatih are valid for him as well. But again, nothing was done to address this threat.
We are frequently asked, “Why is violence climbing?” I used to list a couple of reasons before, like the ineffective enforcement of the law, the language of the media, politics, and so on. Now, I have decided to say only one thing: the government’s encouragement to commit crimes. It is those in political power that openly say, “Here you are, do it, don’t even hesitate, we are behind you, God willing,” and pat the back of these disgusting creatures. In legal phrasing, we normally call this the “perception of impunity.” Somehow, they have taken us to such a point that we cannot even use these simple technical terms, due to disgust.
Well, why are they obsessed with little girls? As a matter of fact, it’s the idea of killing two birds with one stone. It is both using the bodies of women and children to create a young population and thus, in their minds, establishing a quantitative platform for economic growth, increasing potential votes, and hoping to continue their rule. At the same time, it’s imprisoning women in the home to sustain the male-dominant order. I did not want to write that with the common expressions used by the government, but what we are witnessing contains so much savagery that no space is left for using refined language.
Well, what do people who defend human rights, believe in justice and democracy, and trust in the conscience of the people — despite everything else — do? They continue to respond, explain, read, observe and think about all these things, one by one, every day. And they are very effective. Their number is not small, and they are growing. Because in this post-truth order, they know that the world will not continue turning based on the manipulative perspective made by populist leaders. Even if it looks as if it is turning, at a time not very far away, what needs to be done will be done. All of this evil is also helping organize good things on the other side. That’s because everything is happening in front of the eyes of people. No matter how much they work to distort reality and bend the truth, the facts are standing at the center like a mountain. We are all looking at them. We are certain that everything will get so much better.