Tuğba Arıcı, a Turkish social media user, has tweeted that she was subjected to a strip search while in police detention for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media.

“… later I figured it out that it was for insulting the president. They detained me at 3 a.m. in the morning. They strip-searched me. They literally split my legs and shed light onto my anus. They then hauled me in,” Arıcı tweeted.

The woman also said that the incident took place at a police station in İstanbul’s Maltepe district.

According to Turkish legal and preventative search regulations, strip-searches can only be conducted in exceptional cases, such as when there are credible indications that the person has contraband materials on their person. In such cases, the search must be conducted in a manner so as not to humiliate the person and as quickly as possible. When there is a credible suspicion that something is hidden in the person’s body, officers are required to ask the person to remove it himself and inform him that if he disobeys, the removal will be done by the prison doctor.

Dozens of women, including prominent writers and a politician, revealed in December 2020 that police had strip-searched them while in custody.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu brought several reports into the public eye in late 2020.

Some women related their experiences long after the incidents during a Turkish wave of revelations similar to the international #MeToo movement in which women described past sexual harassment.