Turkey: Campaign for the arrest of journalist who reported on organized pedophilia
A Turkish humor magazine's Twitter accounts launched a social media campaign, asking for the arrest of a journalist, Timur Soykan, who disclosed details of an indictment against a father who allegedly "married off" his daughter to a 29-year-old man when she was six, the mother who was involved, and the man who took her as "bride."
A message was posted by the account of Misvak on Thursday, reading:
"Timur Soykan and his mentality who attack Islam in an attempt to trigger the outrage at Fadime Sahin incident should be arrested!"
Intimate images of a religious community's leader and a woman named Fadime Sahin were made public by a series of broadcasts in Turkey in December 1996, leading to the defamation of the leader and the community.
Timur Soykan's report on an organized incident of pedophilia, which according to the victim H.K.G. began when she was six and continued incessantly through her entire childhood in countless episodes of sexual harassment, rape and violence, was likened to Fadime Sahin incident by Misvak.
Three shady figures in black suits, hats and sunglasses were drawn conspiring in a caricature below.
One says: "She has a ceremonial dress on her, we'll say it's a wedding dress..."
The other two:
"We'll cover up our own sexual abuses."
"We'll instigate an uprising and chaos out of this. Meh Heheh [laughing effect].
The account Misvak Caps not only called for Soykan's arrest, but also for the closure of Halk TV, an independent media outlet who further reported on Soykan's findings. It said:
"Timur Soykan who highlighted the 'they married off a six-year-old girl' part in his report and instigated hatred, should be arrested. Halk TV should be closed."
The hashtag "Halk TV Kapatilsin" ("Close Halk TV") quickly became one of the trending topics on Twitter in Turkey.
Misvak Caps has about 249,000 followers on Twitter, while the Instagram account of Misvak is followed by 442,000.
"Something else behind all this"
In a comment on reports by Soykan and Halk TV, the leader of the Islamist Free Cause Party (HUDAPAR) Zekeriya Yapicioglu said that it is possible in many cases that a teenager may have reached the maturity of an adult.
When asked if a girl aged twelve or thirteen is eligible for marriage, He said:
"Some are still children at the age of 20, some are not when they are fifteen, they are already adults. Some may continue to grow up till they are 30, and some reach adulthood at very early ages. One should refrain from making generalizations. And in fact, nobody says anything when they see children having extramarital affairs at early ages, while on the other hand when a marriage is concerned, when a couple is engaged in a marital relationship, under a marriage contract that is totally legitimate for the community and for our faith, some start protesting. Don't you think there is a conflict here? We think there is something else behind all this."
HUDAPAR supported Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 2018 presidential election.