Prosecutors to probe sexual harassment complaint against Turkish envoy

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Thursday it will investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against a senior Turkish envoy based in Taiwan, after it was determined that he does not have diplomatic immunity here.

Halil Ibrahim Dokuyucu, deputy head of the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei, on July 3 allegedly fondled a woman at a bar in Taipei's upscale Daan District, despite her protests, and got into a scuffle with the police who were called in after the incident.

During questioning at a police station later, Dokuyucu claimed that he had diplomatic immunity.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), however, said Thursday it has determined that Dokuyucu does not have that privilege, and the same holds true for Taiwan's representatives in Turkey, under the terms of a bilateral agreement.

That information has been conveyed to the Ministry of Justice, Taiwan's representative office in Turkey, and Turkey's representative office in Taipei, said MOFA spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (???).

Upon receipt of the information, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said it will investigate the allegations against Dokuyucu, which include sexual harassment and obstruction of police officers in the discharge of their duties.

The woman, said to be a single mother who works as a project manager at a technology firm, said she was pressing criminal charges against Dokuyucu and will seek NT$1 million (US$31,526) in damages.

In a newspaper interview Wednesday, she said that if she won the suit she would donate the money to two charitable organizations that assist victims of sexual harassment.

Over the past few weeks, MOFA sought to verify the status of Taiwanese and Turkish diplomats regarding immunity in each other's countries but Turkish authorities have not responded to its inquires on the issue, Wang said.

To date, there have been no comments on the issue from the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei and the local media has been unable to contact Dokuyucu, who reportedly is on vacation.

Source: Focus Taiwan