The Diyarbakır 6th Court for Serious Crimes lessened the penalty of İbrahim Yılmaz, a 36-year-old man who stabbed Meryem Yılmaz multiple times, killing the 28-year-old woman in Diyarbakır's Çermik district on Feb. 14, 2015. In the court's reasoning, it was stated that “a positive conviction has been reached that the defendant would not commit the crime in question once again.”
İbrahim Yılmaz was first sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge of “deliberate murder,” but the court lessened his sentence to 24 years on the conviction that the criminal activity was committed under “unfair incitement,” and then to 20 years for the perpetrator's “respectful stance” during the court hearing.
“The defendant stabbed Meryem three times. He stabbed three times although Meryem tried to escape, fearing for her life. This is a crime that was monstrously committed” said Meryem's lawyer, Özden Sanal.
“Even though we asked the court to listen to the testimonies of their children as witnesses who saw what happened, the court rejected [hearing their testimonies]. The ruling violates the law as well as reality” Sanal said, adding that he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The ruling was similar to many previously cases involving violence against women in recent years against women, except for that of 20-year-old college student Özgecan Arslan. In the case concerning the brutal killing of the college girl, which occurred days before Meryem's murder, all three men involved were sentenced to aggravated life setences in prison.
The killing of Aslan after she defended herself from rape on a minibus on Feb. 11, 2015 caused outrage across Turkey and led to widespread protests. Her body was found burned in a forest area three days after she was reported missing by her family in Tarsus, a district in the southern province of Mersin.
At the time of her daughter's case, Aslan's mother urged the passing of a law to ban the lowering of sentences in cases concerning femicide and violence against women.