As Turkey and Pakistan strengthen their relationship more and more Turkish celebrities are standing up for the social issues that Pakistan is currently facing. Recently, Esra Bilgiç, who played the role of Halime Sultan in the superhit Turkish historical series Diriliş: Ertuğrul spoke against the Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umer Sheikh.
The motorway rape incident left Pakistan in shambles, and people have since been demanding strict action against the culprits. Netizens are divided in their opinion as some fundamentalists are subjecting the sufferer to victim-blaming.
But to have Lahore CCPO, Umer Sheikh, blame the victim on a public platform was a wake-up call for many. He not only questioned the victim for traveling without a male but also asked why she didn’t take a safer route.
I am surprised that a mother of three, a lone driver […] after leaving Defence should have taken the straight route from GT Road — a generally well-populated area.
He also blamed the woman for not checking her car’s fuel tank. Let’s take a look at the video first:
This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us? pic.twitter.com/yoeZc7kBI0
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) September 10, 2020
Following the public outrage demanding the removal of Umer Sheikh from his post, he then issued a statement apologizing for his words. Here’s what he had to say:
I neither had any ill-intention nor did I imply anything wrong. I apologise if my statement has hurt or offended anyone. I apologise to my sister who was subjected to the gang-rape, as well as my sisters, brothers, and all strata of the society.
Although Sheikh apologized, the public did not find his statement to be sincere. Now, Turkish actress, Esra Bilgiç has taken to her Instagram account calling him out for his misogynistic comments. She wrote:
Women can drive alone or with their children, only thing you need to do is provide security.
She further questioned why the CCPO is okay with the fearmongers roaming the city streets freely and wants women to take ‘extra precaution’.
You’re ok with gangs’ presence on your roads as a police officer? You think that if a woman chooses those roads to drive, there is a right to rape and kill them?
The 27-year-old concluded her posts saying:
You’re displaying a shocking ignorance of this matter. Before you advise, you should change your thoughts. It seems impossible.
What a shame on you and people like yourself!
It is heartwarming to see that actresses like Esra Bilgiç are united with the public and speaking up on matters of importance. She highlighted the authorities’ growing misogynistic approach and condemned the CCPO Umer Sheikh’s behavior publicly. Kudos to her!