Turkish woman files criminal complaint against husband after 17 years of brutal torture

Turkish woman files criminal complaint against husband after 17 years of brutal torture

VAN
Turkish woman files criminal complaint against husband after 17 years of brutal torture

A 35-year-old woman in the eastern province of Van, who was subjected to brutal torture at the hands of her husband over 17 years, has filed a criminal complaint against him at the public prosecutor’s office. 

Gülfidan Sepil, who had to have 11 fingers and toes amputated as a result of the torture carried out by her husband, also applied to the women’s organization Yaka-Koop based in Van regarding her case. 

One of the activists at Yaka-Koop, Gülmay Gümüşhan, said she had never seen such a severe case in 15 years of working on cases of violence against women. 

“When I saw Gülfidan, I was lost for words. Can any person be brought to such a state? We, as Yaka-Koop, will keep following Gülfidan’s case, together with voluntary lawyers Helin Özgökçe and Deniz Işık. We demand that this man [the husband] gets the severest punishment,” Gümüşhan said. 

Gülfidan Sepil, from the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, married Tayfur Çeliktop, from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, 17 years ago in an arranged marriage when she was 18 years old. Following their marriage, the couple settled in Ankara’s Dikmen district, where they tried to scratch a living buying, selling and dealing in junk.

Sepil, who had five children over the course of the marriage, started being subjected to her husband’s torture shortly after they married. She complained repeatedly to the police regarding the violence but they reportedly did not take any action. 

“He [the husband] was beating me constantly. Five months ago he tied my fingers and hands, and electrocuted me. He also hit my head with a hard object and I fainted. After that he got scared and called his mother and his family. They brought me to Gaziantep and checked me into a private hospital. Due to the results of the torture I was exposed to, doctors had to amputate 11 of my fingers and toes,” Sepil said. 

After she left hospital, she was subjected to death threats from her husband, who at one point even aimed a gun at her. Threatening her not to inform the authorities of the torture, she went back to Ankara to live with her husband and children.

The beatings continued once she moved back to Ankara, and Sepil was even once tied up in a room for a number of months. After this she managed to escape to return to Van, where she took shelter in her brother’s house. 

“I now want my husband to live a dog’s life. I want him to pay for his crimes. I’ve filed a criminal complaint. If he go to prison, I will look after my children,” Sepil said.