Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A woman raped and tortured and left tied up by her violent husband who said he would kill her and their daughters is facing 24 years in jail after Turkish officials decided to put her on trial for murder.
Pictures of the beaten, bruised face of Melek Ipek, 31, were widely circulated by international media when it was revealed she had been arrested and separated from her children after she shot and killed her husband Ramazan Ipek, 36.
She was still tied and bound when he left the room and she managed to get her hands on his gun which she used to try and defend herself. When he attacked her anyway, there was a struggle in which the gun went off and he was shot, according to reports.
He had threatened to kill her and their two daughters aged seven and nine, and when police arrived, she was still tied up.
The incident that took place in the couple’s home in the district of Dosemealti of the southern Turkish city of Antalya on the night of 7th January.
It was just one of many occasions where she was violently beaten and assaulted during their 12-year-marriage, according to local media.
That night, Ramazan took things to the extreme and reportedly brutally beat Melek so severely that she was convinced she would die this time.
He left her handcuffed her in a fetal position, raped her, and cut her several times with a machete, according to local media.
The arrest of the abused and tortured woman after the incident caused international outrage.
She has since said that although she desperately misses her daughters, it’s the first time in ages that she’s managed to go a few days without being beaten.
She said: “I did not want him to die, despite everything, but I had no choice. If he didn’t die then my two daughters and I would have been killed.”
During her testimony, Melek said her abusive husband told her: “A protection order will not save you, I will testify against you, and even if they lock me up, I will kill you and the children when I am released. When I have killed you, I will mince your bodies and feed you to the dogs so that no one even knows you are dead.”
Despite her ordeal, the Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office indicated that they wanted life in prison with no mitigating circumstances at all, saying in the indictment: “Ramazan Ipek went to work as usual in the morning and was killed by his wife when he returned home from the grocery store.
“It is also a fact that in this 45- to 50-minute period, the defendant did not inform any authority, did not ask anyone for help, and acted out of revenge for what her husband had made her go through.
“When he came back to the house, he did not have a gun or knife. On the contrary, he had done his usual job and came home with a bag of bread. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about self-defence in terms of the accused.”
The Antalya 3rd High Criminal Court has accepted the case although ordered prosecutors to include mitigating circumstances which will nevertheless see her jailed for up to 24 years if convicted.
The court said it was right that she should still go on trial but added: “She committed the crime under unjust provocation due to the persecution and ill-treatment she was subjected to.”
A petition organised on Change.org (https://bit.ly/2LBWMV5) to free the defendant so she can continue to care for her traumatised daughters has surpassed the initial target of 50,000 signatures.
It currently has 53,000 signatures and is reaching for the next goal of 75,000.
The case continues.
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