Deaf News: Turkish Deaf woman prosecuted for alleged involvement in street protests that left her paralysed

Posted on June 30, 2015

A Deaf woman in Turkey is being prosecuted for her alleged involvement in street protests in an incident that left her paralysed.

Şehriban Sertkal is being charged with being a member of a terror organisation and being involved in the protests seemlingly on the basis that she is a woman, and no other women were admitted to hospital in that area that night.

Sertkal was hit by gunfire, and later had to drop out of school.

[Please note: this article unfortunately uses the unacceptable term deaf-mute]


A deaf-mute woman, who was paralyzed during the Kobane street protests in October 2014 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep has became a suspect in the case regarding the protests, on the grounds that she was the only “woman” involved in the unrest.

Şehriban Sertkal, 19, will stand trial accused of being a “member of a terror organization” and being involved in illegal protests, on the grounds that no other woman was involved in the protests. The prosecutor preparing the indictment reached this conclusion as no other women were admitted to hospital in the area on the night of the protests, Oct. 9.

Sertkal, who says she was heading to a friend’s house at the time, was wounded in her shoulder, leg and hip from gunfire shots in Gaziantep’s Şahinbey district.

The deaf-mute woman was paralyzed due to her injuries, and had to drop out of school as she became bedridden.

Tens of people died in street unrest in a number of cities, especially in Turkey’s southeastern provinces, in October 2014, as protesters called on the Turkish government to be more active in preventing Kobane, a Syrian Kurdish town close to the Turkish border, fall to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

According to the indictment accepted by the Gaziantep 2nd Court of Serious Crimes, Sertkal is charged with “being a member of a terror organization, making propaganda of a terror organization, illegally possessing dangerous material and exchanging it, joining an unlawful protest with a gun, not dispersing despite warnings, and resisting an officer.”

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