Turkish writer accused of sexual harassment commits suicide

A Turkish writer accused of sexual harassment amid a string of such claims against a number of the country’s literary figures, has died by suicide, Sabah newspaper reported on Friday.

Fifty-one-year-old İbrahim Çolak was found dead in his Ankara home on Thursday night, leaving behind a social media post over his regret in failing to "be a good person.’’

"I had not prepared for such an ending,’’ the owner of İhtiyar Publication House said on Twitter shortly before hanging himself. "My only wish was to be a good person, and I could not succeed at that...At this point, I cannot look my wife, children and friends in the eyes."

Çolak was one of about half a dozen Turkish authors accused of sexual harassment and assault on social media over the past week in what is being called Turkey’s new #MeToo wave.

Turkey’s award-winning novelist Hasan Ali Toptaş is the highest profile literary figure to face harassment and assault accusations.

The writer issued a controversial apology earlier this week for what he called "unintentional acts,’’ which he now realises made him "a patriarchal perpetrator.’’

Half a dozen women, including writer Pelin Buzluk, took to social media to share their accounts of sexual assault at the hands of Toptaş, prompting other women to follow suit.

The detailed personal accounts of incidents involving a number of authors have sent shockwaves through the Turkish literary world.

Other writers accused of sexually harassing or assaulting women include short story writer Bora Abdo and poet and novelist Hüseyin Kiran.

Rates of violence against women remain high in Turkey, where there has also been a serious increase in reported femicides in the past 10 years. 

A total of 295 women have been murdered until Oct. of this year, according to rights group We Will Stop Femicides Platform.