Erasmus students* ‘sexually abused’ at touristic Turkish bath in Istanbul

“(Sexual) harassment here,” some protesters wrote on the wall of the hamam [Turkish bath] in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood when the plaintiffs returned to the facility with police on March 6. DHA photos

Turkish police have detained four men after two French women accused them of sexual abuse at a touristic hamam** in Istanbul, Doğan News Agency reported March 7.

According to the report, the women went to the hamam in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood on March 5 with their boyfriends. The four men presented themselves as traditional masseurs and took the women in a separate room for the massage session.

The French women, who have never had an hamam experience before, were later warned by their friends that what the men did in the room could be deemed as sexual abuse, instead of a traditional massage.

After urging people to join them through social media, the women went back to the hamam on March 6 for a press statement. They were accompanied by some 20 people, mostly tourists, foreign students and expats, as well as police, according to Doğan News Agency…

*Erasmus student: The Erasmus Programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. Erasmus+, or Erasmus Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, which was started in January 2014.

*hamam: Turkish bath