Turkish writer and publisher İbrahim Çolak has committed suicide after being confronted with allegations that he sexually harassed women.
“I had not prepared myself for such an ending. My only wish was to be a good person, and I could not succeed in that. I could write for hours, days but this would not bring back anything. After this hour, I cannot look at the face of my wife, children and friends,” Çolak said in his suicide note.
Çolak also wrote that he was “sorry” for not keeping his own principle of “let's behave in a way that suits us.”
Kendimi böyle bir sona hazırlamamıştım. İyi bir insan olmaktı dileğim, başaramadım.— İbrahim Çolak (@ihtiyarkitabevi) December 10, 2020
Saatlerce, günlerce yazabilirim ancak bu hiçbir şeyi geri getirmez.
Ben, şu saatten sonra eşimin, evlatlarımın, dostlarımın yüzüne bakamam.
Yeni Şafak columnist confirmed Çolak's suicide on his Twitter account, saying: “I do not know what to say, write. All I know is that suicide is not the solution and is not the appropriate ending under any circumstance...I am very sorry.”
The allegations of sexual harassment against Çolak surfaced after a #MeToo movement was unleased in Turkey's literature world.
Several women have recently come out against writer Hasan Ali Toptaş, accusing him of sexual abuse. The author apologized after being exposed, saying that he wasn't aware of his attacks as he hadn't understood what it meant "to be a patriarchal perpetrator."
Women also exposed authors Bora Abdo and Hüseyin Kıran and accused them of similar sexual assaults.
One of the women with the username of “LeylaSalinger” asked Çolak on Twitter if he was similarly planning to apologize for his actions. In response, Çolak wrote: “Of course there are people who I have saddened, hurt and from whom I would like to ask for forgiveness.”
The Twitter user “LeylaSalinger” slammed Çolak's remarks saying he had “traumatized young women by sending them erotic massages.” The user later deleted her Tweet and closed her account.
Meanwhile, Çolak's suicide led to a discussion on social media, with some people saying that they were worried about the “lynching culture” on Twitter, whereas others said that Çolak had committed suicide not because he was “embarrassed” of his actions, but because he was “exposed” to the world.
“İbrahim Çolak has not committed suicide because allegations are baseless or because he has been unjustly defamed, but because they [alleagtions] are true. This would not lead to any victimization of male perpetrators, do not push there,” journalist Melip Alphan wrote.
Aydın Ünal, a former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker, on the other hand expressed his desire for the incident “to be regarded as a murder” by the judiciary and for the “necessary steps to be taken.”