ANKARA (Reuters) - Three men convicted of murdering a young Turkish woman after she resisted an attempt to rape her on a minibus were sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday, with no chance of parole.
The murder of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan last February shocked Turkey, drawing public protests and prompting President Tayyip Erdogan to describe violence against women as the nation’s “bleeding wound”.
A lawyer for Aslan’s family, Efkan Bolac, said the ruling should serve as a precedent in a country where courts are often accused by rights groups of being too soft on men who kill women.
“Public pressure has brought this decision. I hope that this sentence will set an example for all similar court cases,” Bolac told reporters outside the courthouse.
Media reports say more than 300 women have been killed in Turkey this year alone, usually by their husbands, boyfriends, or other family members.
The court handed aggravated life sentences to 26-year-old Ahmet Suphi Altindoken, his father Necmettin Altindoken and friend Fatih Gokce. Dogan News Agency said all three were found guilty of murder.
The prosecutor in the case said Aslan was traveling home on a minibus in the southeastern seaside province of Mersin in February when a man tried to rape her.
When she retaliated with pepper spray, Suphi stabbed her and beat her to death with an iron bar before enlisting his father and friend to help dispose of her body by burning it and dumping it in a river. Court documents said her hands were cut off.
Writing by Ece Toksabay, editing by Dasha Afanasieva and Mark Trevelyan