A Turkish woman who shot and killed her husband after years of violent abuse has been freed by a court that ruled that she was acting in self-defence.
The verdict late Monday in the Mediterranean port city of Antalya delivered a rare victory for women’s rights organisations in Turkey.
It came one month after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan provoked international outraged by withdrawing Turkey from a convention aimed at combating gender-based violence and femicide.
Melek Ipek was mobbed by her two sobbing daughters as she walked out of the court room after a judge ruled that she had the right to protect herself against constant torture.
The 31-year-old was arrested in January with bruises and wounds to her face.
She testified in court that her husband routinely handcuffed her and beat her for hours while threatening to kill her and their children.
The court took similar testimony from the two daughters before ruling that Ipek was acting “in self-defence” to protect “her physical and sexual integrity”.
“It’s extraordinary,” Ipek said moments after her release. “But I never wanted it to be like this.”
Turkish courts rarely rule in favour of women who act in self-defence against their abusive partners.
The World Health Organization found that 38 percent of the women in Turkey reported having been subjected to domestic abuse by their husband or partner.
The rights group, We Will Stop Femicide Platform, says more than 300 women were murdered by their families or partners in Turkey last year.