We have been following in fear and discomfort from the media, the inhumane rape incident which took place in Famagusta on August 19th, 2011. Both the government and the society are responsible for this upsetting incident. All governments are obliged to provide security for all individuals within its borders. However, it is clear that our laws are insufficient in terms of protecting women and men against violence, assault and rape. While a person’s most fundamental right, the right to integrity of body is violated, the fact that the offenders will be judged for the offenses of ‘abusing one’s honour’ (‘ırza geçmek’ ‘ırz: honor’) and ‘unnatural sexual relations’ (anal sex) shows that our countries’ laws are far from being people oriented. The fact that such crimes are judged based on societal norms on values of “honor” is evidence of how underdeveloped we are in terms of human rights. The way this unjust treatment will be repaired by the government and society is an issue of concern. The twisted perspective of both the society and the media and their careless attitude forces the rape and assault survivors into a victim mentality. It is unacceptable that some media outlets have presented the incident with a pornographic narrative without taking the survivor’s psychological state into consideration. The media discourse is full of sexist language which encourages rape fantasies. We believe the elements used in the news language are extremely dangerous due to its similarities to the “rape” themed films of 1970s Turkish cinema and the language structure which encourages rape.
We anticipate the end of these shallow and careless news articles which are written without the consideration of gender equality. We expect the administration, editors and journalists to apologize primarily to the victims and then the entire society for the destructive language used in media. We invite the TRNC Parliament to transform the Penal Code into a code in line with contemporary legal structures by urgently revising this law which is disrespectful to integrity and inviolability of body and insufficient in terms of preventing violence, assault and rape. As Initiative Against Homophobia, in order to raise awareness on such issues we would like to state that nobody deserves to be raped and no one has the right to violate another person’s right to integrity of human body.