Supreme Court board finds reduced sentence given to murderer of woman ‘reasonable’

An all-male board of Turkey's Supreme Court has found a reduced sentence handed down to the perpetrator of the murder of a woman "reasonable," saying he killed her "impulsively" and following a "breakdown" he had after she rejected his marriage proposal.

Hatice Kaçmaz, murdered in 2014 by Orhan Munis, worked as an artist for the state broadcaster TRT.

Duvar English

A Supreme Court board has found a ruling given to the murderer of a woman, Hatice Kaçmaz, who stabbed her to death in 2014 “reasonable,” a decision that could set a grim precedence for perpetrators of femicide, according to reporting on March 13 by independent news site T24’s columnist Gökçer Tahincioğlu.

The Supreme Court’s general board of criminal matters said had Kaçmaz accepted Orhan Munis’ proposal to marry him, she wouldn’t have been murdered.

Munis had stabbed Kaçmaz, then 33 and an artist for state broadcaster TRT, on Sept. 13, 2014 to death, stabbing her 15 times, in a park in Ankara.

The Supreme Court board said a reduced sentence given to Munis was “right” because the perpetrator executed the murder “impulsively.”

It reportedly added that Munis used the 19.9-centimeter-long knife to kill her due to a “nervous breakdown” and “rage.”

The controversial decision was made by the 14-member board, all of whose members are men, with 14 voting in favor and five against the decision.

An Ankara court had charged Munis with “murder” rather than “plotting the murder.”

The defendant carried out the murder as a result of “emotions arising from extreme love” and the “fury that impacted his mood,” the court had said in its ruling considered scandalous by rights groups.

The ruling had later been approved by the Supreme Court’s First Penal Chamber, but objected by the Supreme Court’s Chief Prosecutor.

The Supreme Court’s general board of criminal matters said the perpetrator had an emotional breakdown after he was rejected by Kaçmaz, a mother of one child.

Male perpetrators in Turkey oftentimes get their sentences reduced when they appear in court wearing a suit and tie, displaying “appropriate behavior” before judges and prosecutors. Women's rights groups have long decried the impunity given to violent men.