First hearing of pedophile case moved forward

First hearing of pedophile case moved forward
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The court decided to hear the case on January 30 after the ministry of family applied for the trial date to be held earlier

The first hearing of a trial in the organized pedophile case that caused public indignation in Turkey was brought forward from May to January after opposition lambasted the ministry of justice for none of the defendants in the case are behind the bars.

It recently became public through a journalist's report that a young woman, H.K.G., informed the prosecution two years ago that she was “married off” when she was six years old by her father Yusuf Ziya Gumusel, a leader of an influential religious cult in Turkey with a 29-year-old Kadir Istekli, a preacher in the same cult.

In her testimony, she explained all the the details of the sexual abuse, rape and violence throughout her enforced relationship with him. She also provided the prosecution several photos showing her with the man, and a voice recording in which the man admits that he had sexual relation with her since she was very young.

The prosecutors started an investigation and requested an arrest warrant of both men, which was rejected by the court panel.

The first hearing of the case was set in May 2023 but the ministry of family asked for the trial date to be moved forward. Evaluating the request, the court decided to hold the hearing on January 30, 2023.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of H.K.G demanded once again the arrest of the defendants and requested a confidentiality decision in the file.