Ex-boyfriend sentenced to 15 years in jail for shooting Turkey singing contestant
ISTANBULA court in southeast Turkey on June 9 sentenced a man to 15 years in jail for shooting and seriously wounding his ex-girlfriend, a 19-year-old singing contestant, after she rose to prominence in a nationwide talent show.
Mutlu Kaya was shot while she was at home in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in May 2015 and spent weeks in a coma after the accident. Her shooting rapidly became a symbol of violence against women in the country.
The court in the Ergani district of Diyarbakır found her ex-boyfriend, Veysi Ercan, 26, guilty of intentionally trying to kill Kaya by shooting through the windows of her home.
The defendant did not deny firing the shots, saying he had shot through the windows randomly in anger after being “insulted” by Kaya. He insisted the fact she was struck was an accident.
In his May 20, 2015, testimony, Ercan said he had convinced Kata not to participate in a TV contest titled “O Ses Türkiye” (Turkey’s version of “The Voice”). Kaya, however, later participated in another, less popular TV contest with a similar theme, “Sesi Çok Güzel” (Her Voice Is So Beautiful).
Prosecutors argued that Ercan had been unable to accept Kaya’s success in the talent show and as a result had fired four shots into her home with the aim of hitting her. The young woman had previously received death threats for appearing on the show.
After the shooting Kaya spent a month in a coma and she has been confined to a wheelchair since the incident.
The court sentenced Ercan to 14 years in jail for intentionally trying to kill Kaya and an additional year in prison along with a 600 Turkish Lira fine for possessing an unregistered firearm. No good conduct abatements were applied to Ercan, the court added.
The attack on Kaya came at a time of intensifying anger in Turkey over the extent of violence against women, with hundreds of women killed by their husbands or partners every year.
In 2015 alone, 303 women were killed, with 130 of them for wanting to make independent decisions, according to a report by the Stop Women Homicides Platform. Moreover, 160 of these women were killed by their husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.