14 Jun 2018

#NastyMan loses online harassment case in Turkey

An old court case has finally been settled in Turkey as the Constitutional Court overturned the conviction of a woman harrassed online over abortion by the former Mayor of Ankara.

Ans Boersma
Ans Boersma NewsMavens, Turkey
#NastyMan loses online harassment case in Turkey - NewsMavens
Melih Gökçek, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

Eyüp Hanoğlu, a Turkish citizen living in Europe, has won her case against Melih Gökçek, the former Mayor of Turkey's capita,l Ankara.

In 2013, then-Prime Minister Recep Erdogan expressed his opinion on abortion and a Turkish woman disagreed with him on her personal Twitter account. Melih Gökçek sent her a private message that read: "Did you have many abortions? Is that why you scream so loud?" The woman posted his message on her timeline. 

Eyüp Hanoğlu retweeted Gökçek's message and it went viral. It soon sparked outrage on social media and the hashtag #edepsizsinmelihgökçek (you are nasty Melih Gökçek) started trending. Melih Gökçek sued her for violating his privacy. She was sentenced for two years and fined 350 lira. Hanoğlu refused to pay and took the case to the Constitutional Court. 

Last week, the Constitutional Court decided in favour of Hanoğlu, citing freedom of expression. Hanoğlu responded on her Instagram account: "I won the final case in the Constitutional Court. This time Gökçek was convicted. Justice has been done. I write it one more time: #edepsizsinmelihgökçek".

Details from the story:

  • The former major of Ankara will have to pay Eyüp Hanoğlu compensation of 4000 lira and the costs of the court cases. 
  • The case has been going on for five years. Hanoğlu always refused to apologise, stating "Gökçek is the one who should apologise."
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the procedure "murder" and wants the practice outlawed. 
  • In 2012, Melih Gökçek supported Erdogan's views while on television by saying that a mother who considers abortion should "kill herself instead and not let the child bear the consequences of her mistake."
  • Abortion has been legal in Turkey since 1983.
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