Demirtas: This organized evil is emboldened by the mentality in power
Selahattin Demirtas, the imprisoned former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said that what made a recently exposed incident of organized child abuse even more horrible is that it was enabled, and later covered up with the cooperation of a religious community, the family, the government, the judiciary and the police.
It was recently exposed through a journalist's report that a young woman, H.K.G., informed the prosecution two years earlier that she had been placed by her father, a senior member of a major religious community, in the hands of a 29-year-old man when she was six years old, and that she has been subjected to sexual abuse, rape and violence throughout her enforced relationship with him, which first took the form of a religious marriage, then a civil one.
Demirtas's letter from prison was read out in a live broadcast on independent Halk TV on Monday. He said:
"It is difficult even to reflect, let alone comment, on this incident. It makes one's hair stand on end even hearing comments about a young child with words like "marriage," "husband," "rape," "wedding dress," "consent of the parents" used in the same sentence. You find yourself lost in rage, overwhelmed by a profound feeling of shame. It is the year 2022, and we, as the humankind living in Turkey, are not able to protect our babies, our children as much as we can protect chickens or fishes in a tank. We cannot keep our children safe. So there is no point in boasting with our minds, our inventions, with the world of technology we have created. We are ashamed of our humanity."
"What makes this incident even more horrible is that it was enabled, and then covered up with the cooperation of a religious community, the family, the government, the judiciary and the police. This does not only enrage us, but it is also frightening, alarming. This organized evil is emboldened by the mentality that is in power in the country right now, and the situation makes us think, 'None of us are secure.' It spooks us all.
Referring to a statement by the Presidency of Religious Affairs who criticized "identification" of the incident with Islam and Muslims, Demirtas said:
"Nobody is accusing Islam. But some are calling on people to gather up, to fall in, as they insistently claim that 'Islam is faced with an attack.' This is atrocious! Those who react against the incident of rape have nothing against Islam. The people who try to conceal rape, theft and oppression under the cloak of Islam are vile creatures, and this is the problem."