Turkey shaken by the story of a six-year-old child bride

Turkey shaken by the story of a six-year-old child bride
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The voice recording between H.K.G. and Kadir Istekli, with whom she was married when she was six-year-old shocked Turkey as the problem of “child brides” of the country was brought up once again from political leaders to all segments of the society.

The story of a six-year-old girl who was” married off” by his cult leader father to a 29-year-old preacher of the same cult debilitated Turkey as her story was unfurled by a voice recording of “her husband” that clearly described years of abuse and rape that she suffered right next door to her family.

The news exploded when last week journalist Timur Soykan from Birgun newspaper reported that prosecutors in Istanbul filed a lawsuit against Yusuf Ziya Gumusel, a leader of the influential İsmailaga cult in Turkey who enabled neighbour Kadir Istekli, a preacher from the same cult to rape and abuse her daughter H.K.G when she was six years old, after H.K.G testified and explained in detail the ordeal she has suffered to a court after she divorced him.

Kadir Istekli also faces a jail sentence of over 67 years according to the same indictment.

H.K.G, who is now 24, said at the time she only thought this was a game and said she was cautioned by his “husband” not to tell anyone.

After years of abuse, at the age of 14, a doctor noticed she was violated during a medical examination and prevented the police in 2012 which resulted with an investigation. But when the court requested that her bone age to be determined, the cult members stepped in and tricked a hospital by testing another woman who was 21 years old, thus getting a report saying she could be married legally.

A female doctor she met later told her that what she experienced as a child was rape and abuse. And a woman she met on social media suggested she could sue Istekli.

On Saturday, Gercek News revealed a voice recording taped between H.K.G and Istekli that was filed in the lawsuit.

The transcription of the recording brought out some horrifying details of lament and sorrow of H.KG and reflected the “child brides” problem of Turkey.

Here are some excerpts from the transcription of the recording:


H. K. G. : I wanted to stay next to my mother. I was so little… 7-8-9 years old… 6 years old. How should I say, I wanted to spend time with my siblings

Kadir Istekli: I know. When I saw you happy with me, how could I know, I thought you were happy with me too...


H. K. G.: This is so weird. Because it wasn’t only you. There were a couple other pretenders at the time, when I was six years old?

Kadir İstekli: Yes, sure, many people asked for your hand.

H. K. G.: Why?

Kadir İstekli: So you were attractive.

H. K. G.: For God's sake, don't make me laugh. How can a little girl be attractive?

Kadir İstekli: I don’t know, maybe they wanted to be a groom of our hocaefendi (cult leader Gumusel)

H. K. G: Yes, but I was so small

Kadir İstekli: Questioning the past doesn't mean anything. Okay, you were small, but it was different. I don’t know.


H. K. G.: So when they talked like that, did you say let me be the first to ask her hand?

Kadir İsteki: Nı I didn’t hear that. Later our hocaefendi (Yusuf Ziya Gümüşel) told this to me.


H. K. G.: Why are you angry? Didn't we have sex with you?

Kadir İstekli: Yes we did.

H. K. G.: So?

Kadir İstekli: You define it as rape.

H. K. G. : I’m telling you what the doctors said.

Kadir İstekli: Yes, you’re using their rhetoric. What does it have to do with rape, H.? We were married, we were married. Okay, something happened that shouldn't have happened but… But you're bringing it to rape. You made me a rapist.

H. K. G.: Is it me? Is it me?

Kadir İstekli: Yes you’re saying so. You’re using the doctor’s rhetoric. What does it have to do with..

H. K. G.: So I'm telling you that I an unable to be cured. It is not possible, do you understand? I can not forget the past. Can't you see my condition, teacher? How depressed I am, I can't breathe. I'm hurt.


H. K. G.: My mother would comb my hair and send me to you

Kadir İstekli: Yes I used to comb your hair.

H. K. G.: Yes sometimes you did too.

H. K. G.: Then I had sex when I was six years old. It didn’t make any sense to me. How to say, I was scared, ashamed. It was very difficult. Because we…

Kadir İstekli: I don’t remember either.

H. K. G.: It was like….

Kadir İstekli. All right H. K.

H. K. G.: Why?

Kadir İstekli: I don’t remember, don’t make me remember. I don’t know.

H. K. G.: Let’s talk, why not?.

Kadir İstekli: All right but it breaks one’s psychology.


H. K. G.: But it’s weird, really. Think about it, you have a six year old daughter. A pretender will come up. Would you marry her?

Kadir İstekli: I would look at the person. If he is good looking, if he is praying, I would, why not? I would not let it be like you and me, but I would marry her.



H. K. G.: Then we got married at 14. Ah ah… I cried so much when I got in the car at that wedding, remember?

Kadir Istekli: I don't remember.

H. K. G.: Don't you remember that I cried?

Kadir Istekli: No, why did you cry?

H. K. G.: Why did I cry? I said I was running from this man. At least I was running at night. Now what am I doing in the same house day and night

Kadir Istekli: H. K., were we good when we first got married?

H. K. G.: We were not well. I was trying to be good. By God, look.

Kadir Istekli: We were fine, we were fine, you were smiling, at least you were talking.


Kadir İstekli: You know we had to go to the police station

H. K. G.: Yes I was under age.

Kadir İstekli: That was a problem. Because you can not get married under 18-year-old. That is difficult.

Kadir Istekli: Otherwise, I was going to jail. I would have served for 3 years and 4 years. The state does not forgive. It's over, what we did then.

H. K. G.: How did someone else take my place there?

Kadir Istekli: Someone else entered.

H. K. G.: To the bone test.

Kadir Istekli : You got it.


H. K. G.: For example, didn't my parents love me? They married me off early.


H. K. G.: I really felt excluded. So my parents were having breakfast. Before breakfast was over, they told me, “Go upstairs, H.K” It hurt me so much for them to say that.

Kadir Istekli: But it was me who was upstairs. I'm up there too. Your husband was upstairs.

H. K. G.: But you don't see it that way... You're small, you're only 7 years old. Let me say something, then you need a mother, not a husband.