CHP proposes increased penalties in sexual assault cases

CHP proposes increased penalties in sexual assault cases

CHP proposes increased penalties in sexual assault cases

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aytuğ Atıcı has submitted a law proposal to parliament demanding an increase in the penalties for convicts who commit crimes against women.

The law proposal, dubbed the “Özgecan Law” after murdered 19-year-old university student Özgecan Aslan, called on parliament to increase the penalties in sexual assault cases. 

The proposal demanded the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases to be lifted and also sought the removal of a reduction in penalties for a suspect’s good behavior in court. 

Turkey has reported a rising number of cases of violence against women in recent years, as well as courts delivering lessened penalties for those who commit violent acts against women, with the exception of the punishment handed down for the murder of Aslan. 

In the case concerning the brutal killing of the university student, all three men involved, minibus driver Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, his father Necmettin Altındöken and his friend Fatih Gökçe, were sentenced to aggravated life sentences in prison. The case received widespread coverage, triggering protests in many cities around Turkey. However, little has been done legally since then to prevent the reduction of sentences in cases concerning femicides and violent abuse against women.

Aslan was a college student studying psychology when she was killed in February 2015. Her burnt body found in a riverbed in Tarsus in southern Turkey two days after her parents had filed a missing person report with the police. 

As the search for the missing girl continued, gendarmerie forces stopped a suspicious minibus on Feb. 12, discovering blood stains and a hat inside. All three men involved were detained when Aslan’s father recognized the hat and they later confessed to the crime.