Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Defending children and animals in 21st century.

In every developed country, there are very strict measures to protect children against child abuse. The societies in these countries also take this matter very seriously. But unfortunately there's one developed country that has managed to sidestep these rules and a noticeable part of its society seems to be fine with protecting organizations with some suspected and convicted child molesters: it's Erdogan’s Turkey, no surprise.

This has been happening in Turkey, where in last month, the leaked police and doctor reports revealed more than 50 children were molested or raped by various senior officers working for the pro-government Ensar Foundation.
Erdogan at Ensar Foundation gala dinner

Ensar Foundation earned tax-free status in 2012 and has been receiving major funding from the government as well as continuous endorsement from Erdogan family.

Ensar Foundation president Ismail Dilberoglu
The foundation’s president Ismail Dilberoglu is an AKP provincial assembly member and close friends with President Erdogan’s son Bilal who recently claimed that the person that he spent most of his time after his wife was Ensar Foundation president Ismail Dilberoglu.

The Ensar Foundation teacher who was arrested for raping 45 Male students, posing with children and other Ensar officials and the provincial minister of Education

The first incident that came into public spotlight was, when a teacher working for Ensar Foundation in Karaman who was claimed to rape at least 45 male students, was arrested. Ten of the students, aged between 9 and 10, got doctor reports from the hospital to proving rape.

After the doctor report was first leaked, the Foundation denied any wrongdoing and declared the predator was in fact "just a temporary employee" with no connection to the Foundation. Furthermore, Turkey’s mainstream media, which is entirely ran by government appointed officers, circulated news that the incident was a conspiracy by the foreign powers and the zionists and that predator was in fact a "Gulen movement spy" who infiltrated into the Ensar Foundation to damage AKP's reputation.

AKP's Minister of Family, Sema Ramazanoglu
However the reports proving the predator has been in fact involved with the ruling AKP party and the pro-government Ensar foundation for over a decade were soon revealed prompting the AKP administration’s Minister for Family Ramazonglu to defend the Foundation by infamously telling the public “..Some media outlets talk as if rape is a bad thing. It’s no big deal, it happened only once..Ensar foundation is pure..” at a press conference. At a later press conference Ramazoglu said "We will punish those children who claim to be raped". Yes - you heard right! Whether both sentences were Freudian slips or not, the minister actually said these.

Despite AKP administration's efforts of covering the incident, a large social media campaign supported by celebrities and activists and resulting in the globally trending hashtag #StopChildRapeInTurkey, to spread awareness. As the public interest grew, reports of more child abuse and rape from other Ensar Foundation offices around the country became public knowledge. The AKP administration put a blanket ban on media coverage of the ongoing investigation since March 14 and thus hid many facts involved in the case.

AKP MP's celebrating the rescue of the Minister Ramazanoglu

Furthermore AKP's Minister of Family Ramazanoglu who has been the main figure in advocating the Ensar Foundation defeated the opposition parties impeachment vote thanks to the silent support of ultra-nationalist MHP party. AKP's MPs celebrated the rescue of Family Minister, who, despite her title, had spent most of her time defending child molesters - not children.
AKP vice president Selcuk Ozdag wants leniency for animal molesters

Another news of interest was AKP vice president's defense of the animal molesters at a parliamentary meeting in which a law act on Animal rights were discussed. Selcuk Ozdag, vice president of AKP, and member of the Parliament representing Manisa, asked for leniency for individuals who were convicted of raping animals. Yes – leniency for animal molesters! When, a new animal rights law proposal, including a jail sentence starting from 6 months and a ban on owning animals for 4 years for animal molesters were presented to the Parliament, AKP’s Ozdag strongly objected declaring it was too harsh for animal molesters.

It was expected that Turkish people, due to their predominantly Muslim moral values, would regard family and children with utmost importance. However in this matter AKP’s supporters keep quiet and AKP supporters on social media, following AKP administration's rhetoric, still defend the predators blaming everything on the “foreign powers and zionists” and label the incident as another conspiracy by the “Gulen movement’.

These incidents are a perfect encapsulation of the insane and callous manner in which the AKP administration treated allegations of any wrong doing against their leader, ministers, members and government for last five years. It is also another display of how AKP's sectarian politics divided Turkish society to the point in which ordinary people who share the same air, water and genetics with you and me can defend bribery, corruption, terrorism, public-lynching, sexism, child rape and animal molesters for their political affiliation.