Turkish actress to face jail time for speaking against rape case

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking up to two years and four months in prison for actress Ezgi Mola for insulting a former soldier who stands accused of raping an 18-year-old Kurdish woman, daily BirGün reported on Wednesday.

“Drown in the conscience that made you release this wicked rapist,” Mola had tweeted about Musa Orhan, who was released pending trial after six days behind bars by a court in southeastern Siirt province on August 26, 2020.

Orhan is facing charges for sexually assaulting İpek Er, who accused the former captain in her suicide note of kidnapping and raping her for 20 days. Er lost her life in the hospital in August last year after she shot herself.

Police and forensics reports have since confirmed sexual relations between the suspect and the deceased, without commenting on signs of coercion, daily Hürriyet reported at the time, while in the indictment the prosecutor said requirements of the crime of sexual assault had been met.

During a hearing of the case against Orhan held on Tuesday, he accused Er’s father of not protecting the young woman, Sözcü reported.

“A father’s duty is to protect and educate his daughter, not to drive her to suicide,” Orhan’s lawyer said.

The lawyer, Mehmet Erkan Akkuş, is also the one who pressed charges against Mola, who will face a judge in Ankara as the indictment has been accepted.

Thousands on Twitter were furious to hear the news, and support for the actress poured in under the hashtag #YalsızDeğilsinEzgiMola (“You're not alone, Ezgi Mola”).

In response, Akkuş later pressed charges against 16 celebrities who joined the social media campaign, Sözcü reported.

Among the accused is actress Hazal Kaya, who tweeted, “Ezgi Mola called a wicked rapist a wicked rapist, what’s wrong with that? Musa Orhan is also a murderer who caused the death of the woman he raped, and he walks free.”

 

Mola and the celebrities showing her support have long supported women’s equality causes in the country, especially grassroots campaigns against violence against women, while Turkey has recently withdrawn from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, via presidential order in March.

The withdrawal has been a focal point of contention in Turkey’s dealings with its Western allies, many urging the country to return to the convention.

The need for such a document rose after the case of a murdered Turkish woman was brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled that Turkey had not taken sufficient measures to prevent the violation of her right to life. Turkish legal scholars and activists were also extensively involved in the drafting of the text.