Bus Driver Facing 6 Years For Row Over No Face Mask

Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency:  Newsflash

Cops had to intervene to rescue a woman bus passenger after she was kidnapped by the driver and he refused to let off when she videoed him driving without a face mask.

Tugba Kocer had climbed on the 297 public bus line travelling between the Turkish districts of Mamak and Kızılay in the capital city of Ankara when the kidnapping happened in the afternoon of 22nd June of this year.

Kocer spotted that the bus driver, identified only as Ali Osman T., because of local privacy laws, was not wearing a mask.

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But when she politely asked him to put one on out of respect for the passengers, he had angrily replied: “Mind your own business, do you know who I am dealing with all day?”

The woman decided to take out her phone to “take his photo and file a complaint” and said she was shocked when he violently took her mobile phone from her and injured her slightly in the process.

She said he had then refused to allow her off the bus until she spotted a moment when she could grab the phone back, and although she could not call she was able to use an app called KADES (Women Emergency Assistance Notification System) which instantly notified police that she was in trouble.

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KADES is an application used in Turkey introduced by police in 2018 which helps provide women suffering from domestic abuse or similar cases with faster assistance.

In her statement, Kocer said: “The driver did not let me get off for approximately six to seven stops and I got off the bus only when the police stopped the vehicle.”

The criminal case against Osman for kidnapping has now been filed at the Ankara 10th Criminal Court of First Instance and prosecutors are asking for his imprisonment for up to six years on charges of “deprivation of liberty” and “deliberate injury”.

@tugba.kocer.92/Newsflash

It is unclear when the case is expected to go to trial.

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