Osman Çaklı / DUVAR
A man in the Aegean province of Uşak sexually assaulted and battered a two-year-old toddler, causing the child to be put in intensive care.
Yaşar Ercan, whose criminal record showed previous cases of sexual abuse, robbery and injury, was arrested following the incident amid outrage on social media.
Reports of Ercan's assault first emerged on April 13, as the toddler was admitted to an intensive care unit in Uşak with a brain hemorrhage. Ercan reportedly sexually assaulted and battered the child on April 9.
"The doctors found signs of sexual abuse during a wellness check. We found out about the abuse from the hospital. We learned about the constant abuse from contusions on the child's body," family member Timir Ç. said.
The child was taken off of intensive care soon after and was responsive, while Ercan was arrested as the sole suspect in the case, Women and Children First Association attorneys Ezgi Sağcan and Volkan Berber noted.
"Any information shared with the public will allow for suspects to remove or alter evidence, or to flea," the attorneys said, criticizing a confidentiality order imposed on the case.
Ercan remains the only suspect in the case, and reports of the mother's culpability in the case were false, the attorneys added.
The incident came shortly after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew Turkey from Istanbul Convention, a document protecting the rights of women and children, particularly against domestic abuse.
Ercan was seen to be a supporter of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a common trend among violent men.