Backlash in Turkey after publication of children’s storybook justifying rape

News About Turkey - NAT
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WOMEN’S organisations warned of the normalisation of sexual violence in Turkey today after the publication of a sickening children’s book justifying rape between the main animal characters.

Gul ve Dusun was written by Musa Dinc and published by the Ari Sanat Publishing House. The storybook describes the rape of a bear by a fox in retaliation for problems that he has caused.

It includes lines that seek to justify the rape and the fox says the bear will not forget the sexual assault and that honour has been restored.

The storybook was withdrawn from sale following a public outcry. The author took to social media to apologise, but insisted that his behaviour was virtuous.

“Everyone who knows and knows me knows what kind of person I am,” Mr Dinc said today.

The Ministry of Education issued a statement saying that it had not endorsed or approved publication of the book.

But one source told the Star: “The attitude of the government is actually in the book. It is normal to rape someone. To get revenge on someone, you can rape them.”

Derman Gulmez, of the Ankara Women’s Platform, warned that the fact that such a children’s book made it into print in the first place was symptomatic of the state’s attitude to rape and sexual violence.

“In the eyes of children, gender inequality is nurtured and rape is normalised and presented as a piece of humour,” she told the Star explaining this was the fourth edition of the storybook.

Protests swept the country earlier this year after a sickening child rape law was proposed which would see an amnesty granted for paedophiles who married their victims.

Rights groups warned that this could see children as young as 10 forced to marry their rapists.

Child marriage is officially banned in Turkey. But according to official statistics, a total of 482,908 children were married in the past decade.

Around 26 per cent of women in Turkey were married before they turned 18 and 10 per cent also give birth while they were still minors.

A total of 440,000 underage females have given birth since 2002. The number of girls under 15 who gave birth after being exposed to sexual abuse was recorded as 15,937.

The youngest girl to have given birth in Turkey was just nine. She delivered a baby boy by caesarean section in the western city of Ayfon in 1990.

Femicide and sexual violence are on the rise in Turkey, with the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) warning that rape is being used as a “weapon of war.”

Former HDP Ankara executive member Betul Koca told the Star that the book “legitimises sexual abuse in the name of art” and warned that such acts cannot be allowed to continue with impunity.

Ankara HDP co-chair Zeyno Bayramoglu said that its publication showed “why the male-dominated structure of society needs to be dismantled.”

“Rape and violence against women, children and animals are justified every day,” she said.

Last month a man walked free in Ankara after raping a dog that subsequently died.

Mass protests have swept Turkey against rising femicide as the government is considering pulling out of the Istanbul Convention.

Source: Morning Star Online

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