Turkish Singer Kicked Off Reality Show for Sexist Tweet

Twitter - H 2014
AP Images

Twitter - H 2014

His comment that women's "miniskirts" are to blame if they're attacked comes as Turks protest following the brutal murder of a young university student.

A singer has been kicked off the Turkish version of reality show Survivor after suggesting on Twitter that women who wore miniskirts were inviting unwelcome sexual attention from men.

Nihat Dogan's tweet about "girls wearing miniskirts and getting naked" was made just days after the attempted rape and brutal murder of a 20-year-old university student, Ozgecan Aslan.

Aslan was attacked by the driver of a minibus after resisting his advances as she made her way home. The discovery last Friday of her partially burned body, the hands of which had been cut off in a crude attempt to prevent identification, sparked a wave of public demonstrations across Turkey protesting violence against women.

The comment by Dogan provoked a storm of criticism on social media, where Turkish women had begun posting photos of themselves wearing black under a Twitter hashtag #Ozgecanicinsiyahgiy (Wear Black for Ozgecan).

The campaign elicited scores of stories of abuse and violence by men against women in the conservative nation ruled by an Islamist-leaning government that has been criticized for cracking down on public and media freedom in recent years. Last year Twitter and YouTube were briefly blocked by officials.

Many prominent Turkish women shared their experiences under the hashtag #sendeanlat, (Tell Your Story) with actress Beren Saat detailing the abuse she had received from her youth up until she began her acting career.

Dogan's tweet reportedly cost him both his place on the show and his agent, who is said to have refused to continue to represent him.

In a separate development, a lawmaker for Turkey's ruling AK (Justice and Development) party, courted controversy when he blamed Turkish TV soap operas for the rising incidence of rape in the country.

Ismet Ucma, who is a member of the Turkish parliament's commission investigating reasons for violence against women, said the shows had storylines that undermine the basis of Turkish family structures.

"You shoot [a] series and you know no bounds in the relationship between the brother's wife and uncle," Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News quoted him saying. "You set no limits, and then you complain about the increase in rape. What were you expecting? Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind."