Decision of Non-prosecution for March 8th Assault: No Evidence Found

On March 8th, 2017, a group of men assaulted the women who opened a stand and organized an event at Bilgi University Santral Campus on the occasion of International Women’s Day. After three years of investigation, a decision of non-prosecution was made against the assailants.

The men, who assaulted the women students with knives while reciting Allahu Akbar, also injured some women students bystanders. However, the 8 male assailants who were taken into custody claimed that the women students harmed them during the incident. It was understood that the detained assailants were not students of Bilgi University, but came from Istanbul Commerce University and Haliç University.

A disciplinary investigation was conducted against the assailants at Istanbul Commerce University and Haliç University. The assailants continued their education as they received a “suspension of execution decision” despite receiving a suspension.

There Was No Evidence That the Act Took Place

According to the report of Seyhan Avşar from Cumhuriyet (newspaper); the investigation, which was completed on November 26th, 2020, was ultimately given a decision of non-prosecution for all 8 male who carried out the assault and 15 women students who complained about. In the relevant decision, it was stated that “there is no evidence that the complainants and the suspects carried out the act that constitutes a crime in a way that hurt each other”.

The moments of the assault were recorded with a cell phone camera and had a wide public repercussion.

What Did the Women Students Say?

İrem Esmer, 4th grade student of the Media and Communication Systems Department, explained the assault as follows: “ We had a March 8th event at Bilgi University. We saw a group of  (20) people. We had a stand. They overturned our table, brought a tekbir and attacked us. I fell to the ground in the turmoil. He got kicked in my face. We opened our stand this year as we do every year on March 8th, we suddenly came across such a thing. The group, which is not our university’s students, jumped from the turnstiles and entered. Their faces were closed. ”