Turkish court again fails to arrest sergeant accused of raping Kurdish woman

Accused of raping 18-year-old Kurdish woman İpek Er who died by suicide, sergeant Musa Orhan evaded arrest yet again during the fourth hearing of the lawsuit where he faces charges of sexual assault, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Sep. 16.

Duvar English

A Turkish court ruled against the arrest of sergeant Musa Orhan who faces charges of sexually assaulting 18-year-old İpek Er in the southeastern province of Batman, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Sep. 16.

In a suicide note she left on July 16, 2020, Er wrote that she had been kidnapped and raped by Orhan for 20 days. She later lost her life in the hospital in August after she shot herself. 

Orhan was arrested on Aug. 19, 2020 following public outrage over İpek's death, but was released in less than a week on Aug. 25, 2020.

Orhan's release prompted a public outcry, with several people pointing the hypocrisy of the judicial-making processes. Many cited a number of high-profile names who are kept behind bars during ongoing investigations.

The Interior Ministry later announced that Orhan was officially dismissed from his post in the military.

The prosecutor's office called for Orhan's prosecution for sexual assault during the fourth hearing of the trial on Sep. 16, and called for his arrest. 

The court rejected the petition for Orhan's arrest and delayed the hearing to Dec. 3. 

The hearing was held in Er's hometown of Siirt and saw the attendance of her family and their lawyers, the Siirt Bar Association, the Diyarbakır Bar Association, the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), the Human Rights Association (İHD) and officials from pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Intense security measures were implemented surrounding the courthouse for the hearing, and journalists were not allowed into the hall for the proceedings.