Turkish social services demands Duchess of York investigation

Türkiye Materials 21 November 2008 09:24 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey's social services board filed an official compliant Thursday against a British television documentary in which the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson bluffed her way into state-run orphanages for disabled children and secretly filmed scenes that she described as horrific, the Anadolu news agency reported.

The official complaint was handed to the Ankara prosecutor's office who will now launch an investigation into whether any crimes were committed by the duchess and British documentary maker Chris Rogers who accompanied her, according to dpa.

The documentary - in which the Duchess visited orphanages in Istanbul and Ankara showed scenes of distressed children tied to chairs with many rocking in a way which is common amongst institutionalized children - was roundly condemned by officials in Turkey with Social Affairs Minister Nimet Cubukcu saying that the Duchess had "bad intentions."

Cubukcu said that to secretly film the disabled children was against Turkish and international law and claimed that the Duchess herself may have tied up the children seen in the documentary.

"It is very clear that Mrs Sarah Ferguson has bad intentions. In the run-up to Turkey's EU Progress Report being announced, due to her being against our EU membership and her calls of 'don't go to Istanbul as a tourist,' she is obviously in a campaign to blacken Turkey's name," Cubukcu told reporters when news of the documentary broke two weeks ago.

Cubukcu said the duchess had tried to create "resentment" by secretly filming inside the orphanages and expressed regret that Turkish media had repeated the claims made in the documentary.