Domestic violence is never a private issue, and everyone has a duty to stop it. As a society, we have a moral obligation to step up and protect the abused victim from harm when we witness family violence.
Ironically, in Turkey, a cleaning worker who was praised by the internet for helping an abused woman was later questioned by police after the abuser filed a complaint against him.
This incident happened on May 30, 2018. A man, identified as Mehmet T., was caught on CCTV camera assaulting his ex-wife, Nevin T, on the street in Istanbul’s Kağıthane District in broad daylight. The couple was returning from a divorce hearing at the Istanbul Court of Justice, Hurriyet Dailynews reported.
Mehmet repeatedly hit the defenseless Nevin on the head with rolls of papers following an argument. The aggressive man continued beating his ex-wife even after she fell to her knees. All Nevin could do was to beg for mercy, cry, and shout for help.
— LADbible (@ladbible) June 2, 2018
Emre Derebaşı, a cleaning worker, caught sight of the violence while doing his regular duty in Kağıthane District. He immediately sprang to Nevin’s rescue. With an incredible flying headbutt, Derebaşı dived from behind and knocked Mehmet to the ground. A crowd of men soon convened around Mehmet and held him down on the floor to prevent him from running away.
Mehmet then was beaten by Derebaşı and a few others who intervened, according to Dogan News Agency. Mehmet, injured from the scuffle, was later taken away by police who arrived at the scene.
“We went out and the woman was screaming and she was trying to protect herself. It is not acceptable to have such violence during Ramadan,” witness Ayşe Atasoy told Daily Star.
“The woman was crying for help so the citizens helped her. We are all against violence,” another eyewitness, Mehmet Kaya, told Cumhuriyet, according to the Daily Star.
The security camera footage capturing the dramatic incident eventually made its rounds on social media, with many netizens praising Derebaşı for his heroic action.
A man seen beating his ex-wife in the middle of the street gets floored with flying headbutt from a have-a-go-hero https://t.co/K20bcOyDm3
— LBC (@LBC) June 1, 2018
We applaud Derebaşı for jumping in to defend Nevin; however, violence is never a good way to deal with aggressive behavior. This story took a sad twist when Mehmet filed a complaint against Derebaşı for beating him after being released by the police.
Derebaşı was eventually questioned by the police. “The man told police he was not beating his wife and that she had merely put on an act by throwing herself to the ground,” he told Hurriyet Dailynews on June 1, 2018.
“He also filed a complaint against me for beating him. The prosecutor has released him but I have been questioned by police. This is what has offended me the most,” added Derebaşı, a father of two children who first thought Mehmet was hitting his ex-wife with a stick.
— CNN TÜRK (@cnnturk) May 31, 2018
It’s unclear what happened to Derebasi in the end. However, he said, according to TECH2: “I am against violence.” He continued: “I do not regret it.”
Sadly, domestic violence is reportedly a common thing in Turkey. As per Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies, an appalling 86 percent of Turkish women have experienced physical or psychological violence from a partner or family member. In 2015 alone, more than 300 women died as a result of domestic violence. Yet this pervasive social problem is often excused, dismissed, or leniently judged.
“Many countries in the Arab region still see violence against women and deal with it as a private issue and not a public issue,” Mehrinaz Elawady of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) told Middle East Eye.
Everyone has the responsibility to stop family violence. What would you do if you came across domestic abuse in public?
Watch the video:
You may also want to watch this video
Driver forgets to pay the meter, walks off. What this homeless guy does is commendable