Turkish prosecutors file defamation lawsuit against mobbing victim at Presidency

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed a defamation lawsuit against Esra Sarı, a dismissed employee at the Turkish Presidency who had pressed charges against her manager for mobbing and sexism.

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The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has not processed Esra Sarı’s claim that she suffered mobbing and sexism at the hands of her then-manager Abdullah Rıdvan Ağaoğlu, who served as the Vice-President of the Presidency’s Strategy and Budget Department.

Instead, it filed a lawsuit against Sarı on the grounds that she ‘insulted’ and ‘slandered’ Ağaoğlu, Deutsche Welle's Turkish service reported on Jan. 4. 

The Prosecutor’s Office carried out an investigation on Esra Sarı and listed Ağaoğlu as a witness. What is more, it enacted a 20,000 TL fine against Sarı for non-pecuniary damages.

Sarı’s mobbing began when Ağaoğlu appointed her as a cleaning staff after four years working as a clerk at the Presidential Strategy and Budgeting Directorate.

The employee reported mobbing and excessive control about her outfits, Deutsche Welle had reported on Jul. 27, 2021. 

Sarı said that Ağaoğlu had sent the office chief to speak with her, telling her to watch her outfit, to tie her hair up and to stop wearing on makeup, as she was a "very beautiful lady who drew attention on herself."

Sarı obtained a three-month restraining order against Ağaoğlu in May, but her manager was able to reverse the court order a day later on the grounds that this was "a matter that needed to be resolved within the workplace."

Later, on Jul. 26, the Presidential Strategy and Budgeting Directorate terminated Esra Sarı’s employment contract.