A specialized sergeant has been caught while attempting to sexually abuse a 13-year-old girl in the southeastern province of Şırnak, Mezopotamya News Agency reported on July 15.
The soldier named A.A., from the First Gendarmerie Commando Brigade, was arrested, the agency said.
The child reportedly told the prosecutor's office that A.A. late on July 14 attacked her at the entrance of the building where is living and was saved after her neighbors heard her screaming. During her initial testimony at the police station, no pedagog was accompanying the child, the agency said
Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Nuran İmir slammed the incident on her Twitter account saying that the party was also closely following the issue. “The eyewitnesses also confirmed the [sexual] abuse incident. The judiciary should do what is necessary urgently,” she wrote.
HDP MP Hüseyin Kaçmaz also wrote on his Twitter account that the party will closely following the sexual abuse incident. “It is time to stay silent when children are sleeping, not when they are being abused. We will pursue [this incident], will not stay silent,” he wrote.
The Şırnak Bar Association similarly announced on July 15 that they were closely following the case and will do everything possible for the the incident to be fully revealed.
Thousands of social media users protested the incident on Twitter with the hashtag #susmaşırnak, which translates as “do not stay silent Şırnak.”
Eyewitnesses: Specialized sergeant pulled a gun on us
Specialized Sergeant A.A., who was assigned to Şırnak in 2017, denied the accusations against him saying that he had taken alcohol prior to the incident.
The soldier also denied having pulled his gun on eyewitnesses who wanted to question him following the sexual abuse incident. “I have absolutely not pulled a gun on anyone; on the contrary, once I rolled down my car's window, they [eyewitnesses] attacked me and took my gun,” he told the police.
The specialized sergeant claimed that he was himself battered by the eyewitnesses, filing a lawsuit against some of them for taking a hold of his gun and the car's key.
Meanwhile, the Şırnak governor's office announced that A.A. was suspended from duty, saying he had previously taken excessive amounts of alcohol.