O'Reilly: Could Turkish 'justice' work in Albany?
Two striking stories of sexual abuse in the news:
One springs from Albany, N.Y. The other is from 5,000 miles away, in Turkey's remote Yalvac district.
Rural Yalvac covers 550 square miles with a population about the size of Levittown or White Plains. So what could have happened in a Yalvac, Turkey that would make international headlines?
A 26-year-old mother of two named Nevin Yildirim beheaded a man for allegedly raping and impregnating her. He threatened to kill the woman's two children, according to news reports, if she told anyone about his repeated attacks.
In Turkey, being sexually assaulted causes a loss of honor -- for the victim. So Yildirim decided to do what she thought would maintain hers. Here is an account of what occurred from the Huffington Post:
On Aug. 28, Yildirim claims, she spotted [35-year-old Nurettin] Gider (the accused) climbing up a wall behind her house and grabbed a rifle that was hanging on the wall.
"I knew he was going to rape me again," Yildirim said at an Aug. 30 preliminary hearing.
Yildirim allegedly shot Gider twice. She claimed in court he was armed at the time.
"He fell on the ground. He started cussing," she said. "I shot his sexual organ this time. He became quiet. I knew he was dead. I then cut his head off."
Witnesses told police they saw Yildirim walk into the village square, carrying Gider's bloody head by his hair.
"Don't talk behind my back, don't play with my honor," Yildirim allegedly told witnesses in the square as she threw Gider's head to the ground. "Here is the head of the man who played with my honor."
Three quick thoughts: 1. I like Nevin Yildirim. 2. I vote for Linda Hamilton to play her in the TV movie. And 3. How very different is this from what happens in Albany?
Of course, I'm not advocating that aggrieved parties go up to the capital and start shooting. Yet the contrast is stark. In Albany, unfortunately, a victim maintains her honor -- her professional honor -- by keeping her mouth shut.
"Politics is a game of secrets," a friend and former Albany political intern explained this week. "Your value is based on how well you can keep quiet. If you blab about some [elected] member hitting on you, they figure you'll blab about anything, and you're done. You'll never be trusted again."
Talk in confidence to any woman who has worked in politics -- on either side of the aisle -- and you will hear essentially the same thing.
It's unsurprising then to learn of the latest sexual harassment coverup coming out of the State Assembly.
In this case, Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) rewarded, with $103,000 in taxpayer money, the silence of female staff members who had accused Brooklyn Assemblyman and Democratic Party chairman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) of sexually groping them. Having accepted the money, the two women seemed obliged not to speak about the incidents.
The State Legislature began requiring sexual harassment training for all of its employees about 10 years back, in the wake of some other sex scandal. The classes are a waste of time if the careers of female staff members can still be tarnished if they report transgressors.
A single visit to the hallways of Albany from Nevin Yildirim would be far more effective.