Prosecutor demands life sentence for Turkish student who killed woman academic

A Turkish prosecutor in Ankara on Friday demanded a life sentence for Hasan İsmail Hikmet, a student who killed academic Ceren Damar Şenel in January, sparking discussion on violence in Turkish universities. 

Damar Şenel, a 23-year-old research assistant working at Çankaya University’s Department of Law, was killed in her office when her student beat, stabbed, and shot her twice after she caught him cheating during an examination. 

Hikmet, who confessed the crime to the police, has been charged with premeditated murder of a public servant.

In the first hearing of the trial in September, Hikmet changed his testimony and said there had been a romantic relationship between the newly-wed Damar Şenel and himself. The prosecutor said on Friday Hikmet’s claims had no basis in fact and aimed to reduce the sentence, Demirören News Agency reported. 

The trial has been one of several widely followed cases of violence against women in Turkey. At least 302 women were killed throughout Turkey between Jan. 1 to Nov. 20 of this year, Turkish news site Bianet reported last week, citing data compiled from local and national newspapers.