Istanbul man who attacked woman ‘for wearing shorts’ given over three years in jail
An Istanbul court has sentenced a man to three years and four months in jail for attacking a 21-year-old woman “for wearing shorts” on a bus.
Prosecutors had demanded up to 11 years in jail for Ercan Kızılateş on charges of “provoking people to hate and enmity,” “preventing the right to freedom of faith and thought” and “sexual assault,” daily Habertürk reported on March 11.
In its ruling, the court stated that “no individual has the right to intervene in others’ preferences or clothing in a secular and social law state,” taking the impact of the incident on other women’s lifestyles into consideration.
Outrage was stirred in Turkey in June 2017 after video footage emerged of university student Melisa Sağlam being attacked by Kızılateş as he was about to get off a minibus in Istanbul’s Pendik district. “Are you not ashamed to dress this way during Ramadan?” the suspect allegedly asked her before punching her.
Following the incident, Sağlam filed a legal complaint against her assailant, upon which he was detained three days later on June 17.
Kızılateş said he was “provoked” into staging the attack, daily Birgün reported. “Women dressing this way affect one’s sensuality,” he reportedly said during his testimony.
He was released from court pending trial but a prosecutor objected to the ruling. The court then re-issued his arrest warrant and Kızılateş was arrested pending trial in Istanbul.