Attacker of woman wearing shorts arrested in Turkey

Attacker of woman wearing shorts arrested in Turkey
A man who assaulted a young woman is back in custody - after his initial release sparked widespread anger.
3 min read
20 September, 2016
Aysegul Terzi told Turkey's Show TV she often finds herself crying over the attack
A Turkish man who kicked a young woman in the face because he was outraged at her wearing shorts has been remanded by a Turkish court, after his initial release sparked a furore among activists, reports said on Tuesday. 

Abdullah Cakiroglu was detained and freed at the weekend despite confessing to assaulting nurse Aysegul Terzi on a public bus on September 12. 

Cakiroglu, 35, was arrested following an Istanbul court order on Monday, ahead of trial on charges of "inciting hatred and hostility" and "preventing a person's right to exercise their freedom of belief, thought and opinion".

Terzi, 23, said that during the attack, Cakiroglu told her "because she was wearing shorts, she had no right to live" as she showed the bruises on her chin.

"I am often crying, I often find myself angry, I am often feeling like someone is about to attack me," she told Show TV channel on Friday.

Cakiroglu was quoted by Dogan news agency as saying "Aysegul's clothing was not normal" and that her style of dress "provoked" him on what was the first day of the Muslim religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

A video clip aired by Show TV in the aftermath of the attack appeared to show the beating, as her attacker screamed in fury that "those who wear shorts must die", before kicking the woman in the face, as he shouted that she was "the devil".

The CCTV footage reveals that passengers witnessing the attack remained unresponsive to the assault as the man continued to hit her, with some seeming oblivious to the on-going situation, refusing to turn around to help her.

However, the security guard admitted in a statement what he did "was not right" and told police at the weekend he was suffering from a mental illness, having previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the agency reported.

Turkey lifted a long-standing ban on the wearing of the hijab in state institutions in 2013

Turkish Family and Social Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya - who wears the Islamic headscarf - said she was saddened by the incident "as a human, as a woman and as a minister".

In an interview with Hurriyet daily, Kaya said the attack brought back memories of her own problems as a head-covering woman while a student. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has championed the removal of restrictions on women wearing the Muslim headscarf in the officially secular country.

Turkey lifted a long-standing ban on the wearing of the hijab in state institutions in 2013.

Critics have accused the AKP of presiding over the creeping Islamisation of Turkey and violating private rights, but the party denies this.

A demonstration was held on Sunday in Istanbul with women holding banners saying they would "not stay silent", according to pictures posted by the campaigning organisation, We Will Stop Femicide.

Women also shared photographs of themselves wearing shorts on Twitter with the hashtag #AysegulTerzininSesiOlalim, meaning "Let's be Aysegul Terzi's voice".