İstikbal Yetkin was sentenced to an aggravated life sentence because killing his former wife Ayşe Paşalı by stabbing her eleven times. The Ankara 1st High Criminal Court reached a decision in the final hearing on Thursday (12 May).
Before Paşalı was killed by her divorced husband in the middle of the street, she had received dozens of death threats from him. The court decision is based on Article 82/1(a) of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) on "deliberate killing committed with premeditation".
The court decided for an aggravated life sentence by majority vote because Yetkin killed Paşalı "not out of rage, anger or insanity but with premeditation". No mitigation was applied.
When the defence lawyers were asked for their last statement, they said, "This trial has been turned into a showcase for women murders and domestic violence; it became known among the public. We think that this could influence the opinion of the court board and that this could be the reason for a higher punishment".
Yetkin said, "I loved my wife, I am sorry". Women organizations and the daughters of slain Ayşe Paşalı were scandalized at these words.
Candan Dumrul, lawyer of the Women Solidarity Foundation, appreciated the court decision as "a very positive step for the struggle against women murders".
Referring to Yetkin's last statement that he loved his wife and regretted the murder, Dumrul indicated, "It is very important that the court board did not consider this attitude. We want the decision to be apparent in all women murder files from now on. We know that women are being killed just because they are women and not out of reasons like love, unemployment, rage or honour. There is only one reason for women murders which is the man's insistence on dominating the woman", Dumrul stated.
Beating, threats, rape...
Ayşe Paşalı was 42 years old. She filed five divorce cases against Yetkin before she died. However, she refrained from a divorce when older family members intervened. In 2009, Yetkin beat his wife and raped her. He was sued on charges of "sexual assault". When he told the court "I love my wife very much. I am sorry", he was acquitted.
Paşalı and Yetkin eventually divorced in June 2010.
Two months prior to the murder, Yetkin kidnapped Paşalı and forced her with a knife to agree to their reconciliation, otherwise he would kill her, he told her. A few days later, he violently entered Paşalı's home together with two friends of his and reiterated his threat.
Paşalı lodged a criminal complaint at the prosecution. Yetkin was not taken into police custody but brought to Paşalı's home in a police car.
Paşalı applied to the Family Court and requested a "protection decision" according to Law No. 4320 on the Protection of the Family. The court dismissed the request because there was no bond of marriage any more.
On 7 December, İstikbal Yetkin killed Ayşe Paşalı by stabbing her in eleven different places of her body.
In a statement during one of the hearings, Paşalı's daughters recalled that Yetkin had made a research on the internet who to strike in order to kill a person and also on the punishment stipulated by the TCK for man slaughter.
Selma Aliye Kavaf, Minister for Women and Family Affairs, commented the murder, "Our laws against this incident are not insufficient. The murder was a single case".
Yetkin's lawyer Fethi Öztürk claimed at the last hearing that Paşalı did not die at the scene of the incident but in hospital. He demanded the punishment of his client on charges of "grievous bodily harm".
Yetkin, assuring at the hearing that he loved his wife, his children and his home, claimed, "The lawyers impute a crime on me to earn money, to advertise themselves and to provide a comfortable life to my children. She was my wife for 22 years. I love her very much. I am sorry". (BB/VK)