May 23 2019

Turkey’s appeals court upholds life sentence for woman who killed her rapist

An appeals court approved the life sentence for Nevin Yıldırım, who became a symbol for Turkey’s women’s movement after killing her rapist in 2012 in the western province of Isparta, Duvar news site reported on Thursday.

Nevin Yıldırım was sentenced to life imprisonment for having killed N.G., who raped her at gunpoint and made her pregnant with a baby which she was forced to give birth to. After killing her rapist, Yıldırım put his head in a sack and threw the sack to the village square.

Yıldırım was first handed a life imprisonment sentence in 2015 by a district court. The appeals court later recommended a retrial, but the district court upheld its decision in 2018. The Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld Yıldırım’s life sentence by majority vote.

A female judge of the court attached an annotation to the decision which stated reductions over “unjust provocation” should be applied in Yıldırım’s case. 

Yıldırım’s lawyer said they would also apply to the constitutional court, Duvar said.