Apr 22 2019

Turkish actor sentenced to prison for assaulting popstar girlfriend

An Istanbul court on Monday sentenced actor Ahmet Kural to 16 months in prison for threat and assault charges against then-girlfriend Sıla Gençoğlu, one of Turkey’s most popular female singers, Turkish news site Diken reported.

Last December, Sıla, widely known by her first name, filed a complaint saying she had been beaten by Kural several weeks before. 

"I was dragged on the floor, my head was bumped against the walls. While I was trying to escape, Ahmet Kural caught me again and hit my head with an ashtray. I was exposed to intense insults. This attack lasted about 45 minutes,” she told police in her statement.

Kural's lawyer rejected all the charges and said they would object to the ruling by appealing to a higher court, the news site said. The actor will not go to prison; the court suspended the sentence as it is less than two years, according to Diken. If Kural commits the aforementioned crimes again, the delayed sentence will be added to his next charge.

Sıla, who has nearly 5.75 million followers on Twitter, filed the complaint against Kural thanks to a 2012 change to Turkey’s law on the protection of family and preventing violence against women, which in the past only allowed married women to file complaints about domestic violence.

The case has increased public awareness of domestic violence in Turkey, where it seen as a severe problem by women's organisations. Some 285 women were killed by men in Turkey in 2017. Reports of violence and sexual harassment against women barely make news, especially when the victim is from a modest background.

Speaking after the verdict, Sıla called the sentence "reassuring" for women facing the same situation, according to Diken.