Jul 07 2018

Former mayor of Ankara’s tweet on rape draws ire

Ankara’s former mayor and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member Melih Gökçek was blasted online for a tweet in which he said wearing mini-skirts and flirting were among the reasons for rape, secular Cumhuriyet daily reported.

Gökçek on Friday, retweeted a photograph of a sign held last week by graduating students at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ÖDTÜ), which listed five ''possible reasons for rape'' - being out late; wearing a mini-skirt; being intoxicated, flirting as well the rapist. Only ‘’the rapist’’ box was checked off on the banner.

‘’If you know the reasons why, then don’t commit the first four actions,’’ Gökçek said in his tweet, which included multiple laughing emojis. ‘’Are the people who do so stupid?’’

His tweet, seen as blaming the victims of rape, became the subject of online anger.

‘’You don’t joke around about rape,’’ one Twitter user said.

‘’If the government is really looking to introduce a law on rape then it must rid itself of the likes of you,’’ another user said.

Gökçek, known for his controversial statements, resigned from his post after serving as mayor of Turkey’s capital for 23 years, in October of 2017, following pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.