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-defense, Agence France-Presse reported.
The verdict late Monday in the Mediterranean port city of Antalya delivered a rare victory for women’s rights organizations in Turkey.
It came one month after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provoked international outrage by withdrawing Turkey from a convention aimed at combating gender-based violence and femicide.
Melek İpek was embraced by her two sobbing daughters as she walked out of the courtroom 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 İpek was acting “in self-defense” to protect “her physical and sexual integrity.”
“It’s extraordinary,” İpek said moments after her release. “But I never wanted it to be like this.”
Turkish courts rarely rule in favor of women who act in self-defense against their abusive partners.
The World Health Organization found that 38 percent of 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.