Ankara University Veterinary Medicine Faculty Professor Hasan Bilgili is currently being tried on sexual assault and a number of other charges, for which a total prison sentence of between 5 and 27 years is being sought. Bilgili was arrested in April of 2019 in the sexual assault of Ç.B., a veterinarian employed by Bilgili at an animal hospital he owned. The alleged assault occurred in a room at the animal hospital. Shortly after his arrest, following a prosecutor's order, Bilgili was released pending trial.
Bilgili's first hearing took place in Ankara this week, and among those attendance included Ç.B.'s relatives, women's organizations, labor unions and trade associations as well as a large number of women, according to a report in the daily Evrensel newspaper on Thursday.
Ç.B. testified that Bilgili locked her in his room, verbally and physically harassed her, hit her in the head when she tried to resist, forced to drink alcohol and then sexually assaulted her. She said that she lost consciousness and regained it at around 2 a.m., and noticed that an IV had been inserted to her veins.
Serkan Durmaz, who is being charged in the same case with destruction of evidence, allegedly threatened Ç.B. and her family's life if she called an ambulance. Waking up in the morning, Ç.B. testified that Durmaz again threatened her by saying that he would upload naked photographs of her on pornographic websites.
At that point, the panel of judges asked her questions including “were you not able to struggle?”, “were you conscious?”, “were you not able to hit him anywhere in the face?”, “do you remember the exact time?”, “did you not ask for help?” and “did you not shout?”
Ç.B. testified that she was forcibly brought to a gynecology clinic, where Hüseyin Şenyurt, who is also being charged with destruction of evidence, forcibly performed an examination on her.
In spite of the threats, Ç.B. went to the police, who she said used psychological violence against her. She said they defended Bilgili, and wouldn't properly listen to her statement. Upon meeting with a female prosecutor, Ç.B. said the prosecutor told her “I'm sitting here, I'm a woman and you're a woman. Why I am I not being raped yet you are?”
At the trial, Ç.B's lawyer Aslı Arıhan referenced a 2016 incident in which Bilgili was accused of harassment, and asked him why he has been repeatedly accused of such things.
“It's the punishment for being successful,” Bilgili replied.
The court released all suspects pending a further hearing, which has been scheduled for February 2020.