A court has arrested a man for sexually harassing former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş on social media, as politicians condemned the incident.
A Twitter user called "Vedat Muti," who is seen to be a supporter of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), threatened to sexually assault Demirtaş, prompting outrage on social media.
Thousands of Twitter users sent messages of support to Demirtaş with the hashtag, "We stand with Başak Demirtaş."
The suspect was detained in the northern province of Sakarya on June 14. Another suspect, identified only as V. Y., was also nabbed on June 15, but was released after his testimony was taken.
Support messages from various parties poured following the threats, with Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül condemning the incident.
"I condemn the ugly post targeting Başak Demirtaş and curse on this immoral act. A person's honor and dignity are above all else. The judiciary will do what's necessary about these improper and provocative remarks," Gül said in a tweet on June 14.
Başak Demirtaş’a yönelik çirkin paylaşımı kınıyor, bu ahlaksız ve tahkir edici eylemi en ağır şekilde lanetliyorum. Bir insanın onuru, iffet ve haysiyeti her şeyin üzerindedir. Hukuk, bu terbiyesiz ve provokatif sözlere karşı gereğini yapacaktır.— Abdulhamit Gül (@abdulhamitgul) June 14, 2020
AKP Group Chair Naci Bostancı also condemned the incident, saying that the assailant will be held accountable.
"Yes to political criticism, but no to immorality," Bostancı said.
Siyasi eleştiriye evet fakat ahlaksızlığa hayır. B. Demirtaş hakkında utanç verici paylaşımlar yapan kişi muhakkak hukuka hesap verecektir.— Naci Bostancı ?? (@nacibostanci) June 14, 2020
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu urged women voting for the AKP to support Demirtaş, as she shared a picture of the perpetrator's Twitter profile that praised President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Kadın dayanışması adına özellikle AKP’li kadınları Başak Demirtaş’a destek vermeye, savcıları ve hakimleri de görevlerini yapmaya davet ediyorum..— Canan Kaftancıoğlu (@Canan_Kaftanci) June 13, 2020
Troll diyoruz ciddiye almıyoruz diyoruz ama bu kadar da bayağılaşmasanız keşke:( pic.twitter.com/eeOcgx2DAP
A green circle emoji was seen on the Vedat Muti's Twitter profile, which is what AKP backers use to reveal the party they support. While it was introduced by the AKP itself, it severely backfired since unethical posts are frequently shared from these accounts.
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel urged the AKP to make a statement on the circle emoji that the assailant used.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's wife Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu called Demirtaş to voice her sadness and support.
The HDP's women branch released a statement on the issue, saying that the assault stems from the AKP's policies that target women.
"The government should know that Başak Demirtaş is not alone," it said.
Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu also condemned the incident, saying that the discourse that polarizes the society has come to this point.
Ahlaksızca, iğrenç ifadelerle sosyal medya üzerinden Başak Demirtaş hanımefendiyi hedef alan saldırıyı kınıyorum. Kutuplaştırıcı dil ve söylemin geldiği nokta ibret vericidir.— Ahmet Davutoğlu (@Ahmet_Davutoglu) June 14, 2020
Siyasi görüş ayrılıklarımız ne olursa olsun
Kadın onuru ve aile kutsalımızdır; dokunulamaz!
Demirtaş thanked all those who voiced support to her "from all around the world."
Sosyal medyada dayanışma paylaşımı yapan, dünyanın her yerinden beni arayan, mesaj gönderen herkese çok teşekkür ediyorum. ?— Başak Demirtaş (@Basak__Demirtas) June 14, 2020