Two police officers in İstanbul reportedly raped a woman after a traffic stop in October, and their supervisors refused to accept an official complaint by made by the alleged victim, according an indictment drafted by a Turkish prosecutor, the Milliyet daily reported on Sunday.
Traffic police officers Şeref Şık and İsmail Kök stopped a taxi and told passenger I.K. (27), an Uzbek national, to exit the vehicle. After holding her hostage in the police cruiser for four hours, the policemen allegedly raped her and robbed of her 1,400 Turkish lira.
Following the alleged rape, the victim went to the Aksaray Şehit Vedat Ulusoy Police Station. At first, police officer Y.S. said the rapists regretted their actions, have family and children, and refused to accept her complaint. He reportedly promised to punish his colleagues himself. A supervisor named E.S. also vowed to punish the rapists and failed to file the victim’s complaint. Instead, he returned the victim’s 1,400 Turkish lira and advised her to go home and take a shower.
Later, the victim went to another police station along with a friend to follow up on the case. This time, the police officers as well as their supervisors were detained.
Police officer Şık claimed that I.K. had consented to sex with him, while the others denied allegations of negligence.
Şık and Kök were arrested in October while others were released pending trial.
Turkey has been witnessing a major overhaul in its police force particularly since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Tens of thousands of police officers have been fired over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government holds responsible for the coup attempt. In addition, the police academy was shut down by the government, giving rise to fears of nepotism and partisanship in the recruitment of new police officers.