Criminal complaint filed against top Diyanet official, imam for targeting women

A criminal complaint has been filed against top Diyanet official İdris Bozkurt and imam Halil Konakcı for their comments targeting women through their outfits.

This collage photo shows top Diyanet official İdris Bozkurt (R) and imam Halil Konakcı (L).

Duvar English

A citizen has filed a criminal complaint against İdris Bozkurt, a member of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet)'s High Council, and imam Halil Konakcı after their comments targeting women.

The citizen İsmail Sami Çakmak, a lawyer by profession, said in his petition that the statements of Bozkurt and Konakcı require the prosecutors to launch an official investigation into them, according to reporting by the daily Cumhuriyet.

Çakmak’s complaint said that both Bozkurt and Konakcı are “civil servants of the Turkish Republic which is a secular, social and constitutional state. “They have no privileges. Their implementations, discourses and statements should be in this regard,” the complaint read.

During a program aired on Diyanet TV on Aug. 13, Bozkurt uttered misogynist comments, saying that it was “unacceptable” for women to wear “tight trousers.”

“Let us all accept that the things we call trousers are skintight. And more on women. [Wearing] trousers in the form of tights and going in public with them is unacceptable. It is the violation of religious rules,” he said. 

Bozkurt’s comments came in less than a month after Konakcı, the imam of Melike Hatun Mosque located in Ankara, targeted women walking on the street by comparing them to "meat in butcher shops." 

“The streets are like a butcher shop. We're disgusted by seeing flesh now. Why? Don’t these women have fathers, brothers, husbands? Aren't you jealous at all? Don't you ever have a conscience when your daughter or wife go out on the street like that and share a video?” Konakcı said, in comments implying that they do not wear headscarves and cover their bodies.