Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

An indictment has been prepared with the charges of “insulting a public official” against lawyer Cahit Kırkazak, after he criticized police for sexually harassing a woman as they took her into custody during a protest in Ankara last year.

Merve Demirel was apprehended by police during a demonstration staged by the Association of Solidarity with the Families of Prisoners (TAYAD) in the capital, and Kırkazak’s harsh response to the manner in which she was arrested resulted in the lawyer being targeted by prosecutors.

“My reaction in the post was against the barbarian masculine mentality imposed upon the woman’s body. In this photograph, it is impossible to see anything but barbarism, masculinity, abuse and perversion. We know this mentality, it aims to break the will of women and pacify them by attacking their bodies,” Kırkazak said.

“However, women have deciphered the masculine mentality with their resistance. No individual or institution was targeted in my post. This reaction is a perverted masculine mentality,” Kırkazak said.

The unsettling images of Demirel’s arrest prompted a wider public reaction at the time, though Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu defended police officer, identified as S.S., while calling Demirel a “project woman.”

The Ankara Bar Association filed a criminal complaint against S.S., who was later convicted of “misusing the power ensured by his public duties to commit sexual harassment.”