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Student harassed by police says shame should be on police officer

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Merve Demirel, a university student in Ankara whose apparent harassment by a police officer during a protest on Saturday was captured on camera, said on Sunday that it is a shame for the police officer, not her, and that she refused to hide her identity in Turkey’s male-dominated society.

Speaking to the Artı Gerçek news website, the student said she was sexually harassed by a police officer during a protest demanding the release of lawyers under arrest in Turkey.

The 21-year old student said harassment is a form of torture and that she would file a complaint about the officer who harassed her during the protest.

She also said that unlike what a lawyer recommended, she would not hide her identity as in Turkish society the shame of harassment is usually put on women, not the perpetrator.

“We, as women, should never be ashamed of harassment. It is not us but the perpetrators who should be humiliated,” the college student also stated.

The incident, which was captured by a bystander’s camera, drew criticism on social media after the photos were posted by an activist on Twitter.

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