Justice minister criticizes court ruling in high-profile femicide case

Justice minister criticizes court ruling in high-profile femicide case

Justice minister criticizes court ruling in high-profile femicide case

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has joined the public anger by criticizing the “unjust provocation discount” a court has given in the case of Cemal Metin Avcı, the murderer of university student Pınar Gültekin.

Speaking at a conference on the law on June 23, Bozdağ highlighted that the issue of “unjust provocation discount” should be discussed.

Gültekin, a 27-year-old student, went missing in the southwestern province of Muğla on July 16, 2020.

Gültekin had disappeared after leaving her home. Five days later, her ex-boyfriend Avcı had confessed that he had strangled her to death before burning her body and dumping it in a forest, after mounting evidence against him.

The report from the Forensic Medicine Institute had revealed that Gültekin was burned alive.

Avcı was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. His sentence was then reduced to 23 years due to “unjust provocation” on June 20, stirring a public debate.

“This is an issue existing in many laws for centuries. It is a matter the High Court should dwell on,” Bozdağ said.

“What is the boundary for the unjust provocation discount?” asked the minister, adding that related court practices “should be determined.”

Making a call to all criminal lawyers across the country to discuss the issue, Bozdağ noted, “As long as the critics are pathfinding and constructive, all law decisions can be criticized.”

After the court ruling, both the prosecutor’s office and the family of Gültekin said they would appeal the ruling in a higher court.

“The ruling of the first court is not a final decision,” the minister expressed.

Leading up to the Gültekin case, Bozdağ underlined, “Like many, my conscience is hurt, too, as a human being, in the last debate.”

After the court ruling, many women’s organizations held demonstrations across the country against femicides.

According to a non-governmental organization, some 280 women were killed in Türkiye in 2021. In this year’s January, 26 femicides happened.

The number of women killed in February was 23 and in March and April was 24 each.

With a rise in May, some 35 women were killed by their spouses or family members.