Video leaked by Turkish psychiatrist used for victim-blaming in domestic violence case

A Turkish psychiatrist and publisher has leaked a video of a Turkish pop singer that Turkish media outlets seized on to discredit the singer’s complaint against her boyfriend for domestic violence, Esin Övet, a columnist at the Habertürk news site said on Tuesday.

Sıla Gençoğlu, one of Turkey’s most popular female singers, filed a complaint last month saying she had been beaten on Oct. 29 by her boyfriend Ahmet Kural. 

"I was dragged on the floor, my head was bumped against the walls. While I was trying to escape, Ahmet Kural caught me again and hit my head with an ashtray. I was exposed to intense insults. This attack lasted about 45 minutes,” she told police two days later.

Sıla also got a medical report documenting her injuries after the incident. 

Turkish television channel Kanal D last week broadcast a video of Sıla, showing her singing a song among friends a day after the incident.

Kanal D’s anchorwoman said that they had taken the video from the case file. However, the video had in fact been presented to prosecutors as evidence by Kural’s lawyer after the television channel shared it.

“They added older images, conveyed an impression of ‘Sıla while having fun,’, and said ‘let’s see what will happen in this process now,' and therefore did not do good journalism with an open attempt to shape people’s perceptions,” said Nagehan Alçı, another columnist at Habertürk.

Alçı also shared the unedited version of the video showing bruises on Sıla’s face. 

The video was originally shared by Cem Mumcu, a famous Turkish psychiatrist who is also a publisher. Mumcu shared the video as a story on Instagram on Oct. 30. 

“How can a psychiatrist think of recording a video of the most miserable times of his patient? How can he think of sharing that video,” Övet asked. 

A 17-year-old high school student, who after the event testified as a witness, also filed a complaint against Kural, Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday. 

The student, who is a neighbour of Kural, said in her statement that she had heard screams of a woman on the night of the incident. 

“We heard him [Ahmet Kural] arguing with a woman and sometimes slapping her. But we did not understand she was Sıla. In addition to the beating, we heard him say ‘You are a bitch, I will kill you. You will not go outside, you want to be beaten. See what happens now’,” said the witness. 

The student said that Kural had called her a false witness to discredit her testimony and to put psychological pressure on her.