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Dink’s Murderer Recalled At Istanbul Demonstration Against Ruling in Rape Case

Demonstrators gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Sunday were demanding a just ruling in the case of N.Ç., a 13-year-old girl who was “cajoled into sexual intercourse with 26 individuals in exchange for money”. In their slogans demonstrators mentioned Ogün Samast, the 17-year-old nationalist charged with the 2007 murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist and editor Hrant Dink.

Demonstrators were shouting, “If Ogün Samast was a child, then what is N.Ç.?”

Recall, Samast was tried by Istanbul’s Heavy Juvenile Criminal Court which sentenced him to nearly 23 years in prison, taking into consideration the fact that he was a minor when he committed the crime.

Demonstrators on Sunday were demanding the court amend its earlier verdict in the N.Ç. case. Recall, the 14th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals on Oct. 31 upheld a decision by the Mardin 1st High Criminal Court to give 26 suspects, tried for raping N.Ç, a minor, in the southeastern province of Mardin, sentences ranging from one to six years in a trial earlier this year. The local court had justified its decision based on N.Ç.’s alleged “consent” during sexual intercourse.

N.Ç. went to the Mardin Police Department in 2002 to file a criminal complaint against the men. Some of the accused are civil servants, soldiers, a village head and teachers, and they have claimed they have been slandered and unjustly accused. N.Ç. is now 19.

Last week, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Adana deputy Ömer Çelik harshly criticized the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling on his Twitter feed, defining it as a “crime against humanity” and asked: “What can the judiciary protect, if it is unable to protect a 13-year-old innocent child?”