Istanbul court releases man who attacked woman for ‘wearing mini-shorts’ pending trial
Aziz Özen – ISTANBULAn Istanbul court has released an assailant who faces charges for attacking a 21-year-old woman “for wearing shorts” on a bus in the city.
A day earlier, an Istanbul prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Ercan Kızıltaş, who was caught on camera on June 14 attacking the woman, Melisa Sağlam, for “wearing mini-shorts during Ramadan.”
On June 22, Kızıltaş appeared before the Istanbul 5th Court of Peace and said he was “sorry” for his actions on the bus.
“I just made a comment [to Sağlam on the bus ride] with good intentions. It is the month of Ramadan, and as it is the blessed month [of the year] and ill-gotten, I told her to dress appropriately. She was wearing mini shorts. She told me then not to look [at her]. Then on my way out [of the bus] I lightly hit out toward her face with the back of my hand. The incident occurred in an instant and I am sorry for it. Before smacking her, she insulted me, and that offended me. I did not step in first, but then that hurt my pride, and I hit her lightly with the back of my hand,” Kızıltaş told the court.
Following Kızıltaş’s testimony, the court released him pending trial, indicating that the incident was restricted to “actual bodily harm.” Prosecutor Mehmet Ali Yıldız, however, filed an objection to the decision at a higher court, the 6th Court of Peace.
Meanwhile, media outlets recorded Kızıltaş as telling cameras in the courthouse that he did “not accept the accusations of battering.”
“In the footage, there is no clear view of any beating. I am also involved in the case. She [Sağlam] swore at me. She also attacked me. Didn’t you see the footage? I am also making a complaint about her. My respect for a woman who knows herself is endless,” he said.
Following the court’s ruling, Sağlam protested on her Twitter account, saying: “On top of it, [Kızıltaş] is still talking; how shameless! I have not, until now, said anything bad to justice; I thought it had a conscious.
Such justice is a crying shame!”
A day earlier, media reports said the assailant had previously been jailed for a tax fraud offense. After appearing before court on June 22 in connection to the attack, Kızıltaş was taken back to Istanbul’s Silivri prison to finish his sentence of three years and nine months for the tax offense.