THE SYMBOL OF THE WOMEN HOMICIDE IN TURKEY : AYŞE PAŞALI
Ayşe Paşalı is one of the women in Turkey who is subject to violence from her old husband. She was married with a man, İstikbal Yetkin. She was subject to violence and received death threat many times from her husband both in marriage time and after the divorse. As almost all the examples in Turkey, her husband hide behind the pudicity. At the beginning of their marriage, Ayşe Paşalı was a housewife but after a while she wanted to work and started to work at a law office. This was also “anomalous” in the patriarchal system. After all this violence and threats, Ayşe Paşalı made an allegation to her husband as allegiations of injury, threat and rape in 23rd March 2009. Seven months after the allegination, she filed for divorce in 27th October 2009. When the time is 1st April 2010, Ankara 2nd Court of First Instance condemned Yetkin, because of his crime of death threat and possession of unregistered firearm and punished him with 10 months imprisonment and 400 Turkish Liras fine. But court reprieved the punishment and put an inspection for 5 years. After a while in 2nd June 2010, Ankara 2nd Criminal Court of Peace find Yetkin as guilty for the crime of injury and condemned him with 3.600 Tukish Liras fine. At the 9th June 2010, the case of divorce end up and Ankara 4th Family Court decided to divorcement of them. Yetkin’s violence and threats was continuing after the divorcement and in 12nd October 2010, he kidnaped Ayşe Paşalı with his car. Although she could escape from him, the day after the kidnapping Yetkin came to Paşalı’s house and threath her. Paşalı again made an allegation him as allegiations of “deforcing and threat” but until her death, there were not any progress on this file. She had not life safety because of her husband so she went to court to benefit the protection measure in the 4320 numbered law on the protection of the family per her lawyer but the day after, Ankara 1st Family Court rejected the requisition of protection because of the divorcement and the reason that there is not conjugal community between themself. Almost one month later the rejection, Ayşe Paşalı was killed by her old husband by stabbing in 7th December 2010. Before the homicide, Yetkin showed the knife to his daughters and said that he will kill Ayşe with this knife. Also he said to Ayşe Paşalı that she will suffer on her biggest daughter’s birthday. Ayşe Paşalı’s biggest daughter’s bithday is 7th December when Yetkin killed Ayşe Paşalı. Also Yetkin search “what is the punishment of homicide on Turkish Criminal Law” and“how killed someone by stabbing” on Google before he killed Paşalı, these searching evidences submitted to the court before Paşalı’s death in the last file by her daughters. In 11th May 2011, Ankara 1st High Criminal Court decided according to Turkish Criminal Law’s 82/1st article’s “delibrate murder” crime, punish to Yetkin with aggravated life imprison. There were not any remission to the punishment.
In this case, threatining, injury, abduction, deforce, rape and deliberate killing are the legal issues. All these are accepted as crime because they are harm to the right to life. According to Turkish law, individual’s basic rights under the guarantee of the Constitution. Right to life comes first among these right. Threatining, oppression or any kind of harassment means that attack to these civil liberties. Thus anyone who do these acts, accepted also violeted the laws.
There are several sources in the legal system. These are The Constitution, Statues, International treaties, Decrees with the effect of law, Regulations, By-Laws, and Judicial decisions. This issue is directly related to the Criminal Law. So in this case, Turkish Criminal Code is the main source. Because according to the Article 1 of Turkish Criminal Code, “The object of Criminal Code is to protect the individual rights and freedom, public order and security, state of justice, public health and environment, and communal peace, as well as to discourage commitment of offences. This Law defines the basic principles for criminal responsibility and types of crimes, punishments and security precautions to be taken in this respect.”
Firstly, Article 106/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code says that “Any person who threatens another person by saying that he intents to kill himself or one of his relatives, or to violate corporal or sexual immunity of others, is punished with imprisonment from six months to two years.”. This statute under the title of “offences against freedom / threat”. This statute, shows us Yetkin violated the law. Because during their marriage, many times Yetkin threated to Paşalı. While they were marry, Paşalı already had not life safety. Thus we see that there is an issue that someone’s right to life already started to violate. Secondly, according to Article 86/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code, under the title of felonious injury, “Person intentionally giving harm or pain to another person or executes an act which may lead to deterioration of health or mental power of others, is sentenced to imprisonment from one year to three years.”.And lastly, according to the Article 105/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code, “ If a person is subject to sexual harassment by another person, the person performing such act is sentenced to punishment from three years to two years upon complaint of the victim.”. Yetkin also committed these crimes by using the adventage that living in the same place and being married. Being married someone is not a justifying element of the sexual harassment, in contrast, someone who commit this crime by using the marriage, is also mentioned in the same status of the Code, in Article 105/2 that “ In case of commission of these offenses by undue influence based on hierarchy or public office or by using the advantage of working in the same place with the victim, the punishment to be imposed according to the above subsection is increased by one half. If the victim is obliged to leave the business place for this reason, the punishment to be imposed may not be less than one year.” Paşalı’s allegation which is dated 23rd March 2009, includes all these crimes.
In this case there is the issue of domestic violence. This issue also a political issue because the place of women both in the house and in the life. If we look at Yetkin’s defence after the death of Paşalı, he said also “ I did it because of my honor”. This is not only a defence sentence. This shows us what is the meaning of a woman in a Turkey : honor. In almost all conservative societies, men accepted as superior than the women and he determine the acts of women. He has right to do whatever he want to a woman. At this point, we can see the State as a third actor. Because in this kind of society and in the conditions of this kind of social order, State has a big role to protect the rights of women. As we say at the beginning, the Turkish Constitution also guaranteed to protect the rights of its citizens but in this case, when the dates show 13rd October 2010, even if Ayşe Paşalı made an allegation him as allegiations of “deforcing and threat” and wanted to benefit the protection measure in the 4320 numbered law on the protection of the family, Ankara 1st Family Court rejected the requisition of protection because of the divorcement and the reason that there is not conjugal community between themself. This process bring to this case to the Paşalı’s death. Although she try all the legal ways to protect and provide to punish her old husband, she could not achieve. At the end of the case, State punished to Yetkin as life sentence according to the Article 81/1 “Any person who unlawfully kills a person is sentenced to life imprisonment”. In this kind of issue, State must protect Paşalı, this is its duty because of both national laws and international agreements. In 2010, there is a status about protect the family and hinderance of the violence against the woman, but it is not enough to protect the woman’s life. Although today there are new status about this issue, still there are a lot of femicide in Turkey, furthermore their numbers getting increase by the time. In this circumstances, we can say that the State could not protect its member despite of the guaranteed rights in the Constitution. Also Turkey is a signatory countries of United Nation’s Treaties on Violence Against Women. For example, on the “Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women”, Article 4/f says that “States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination. States should pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating violence against women and, to this end, should develop, in a comprehensive way, preventive approaches and all those measures of a legal, political, administrative and cultural nature that promote the protection of women against any form of violence, and ensure that the re-victimization of women does not occur because of laws insensitive to gender considerations, enforcement practices or other interventions.” This status give the State an inevitable role.
If I was a lawyer, a judge or a legal academic, I put the protection and safety of the women’s life before the everything else. We know that the aim of the Criminal Law, is “protect the individual rights and freedom , public order and security, state of justice, public health and environment, and communal peace, as well as to discourage commitment of offences” but the Turkish Courts failed many times at the point of “protect the individual rights”. Although Turkey have a civillian law and its system is not judge-made law like common law. But in some circumstances, if I were a judge, a try to fill in the lacks of law. My approach in a kind of issue is that not forget these kinds of violence and femicides are totally political issues. Protection of women against the violence and stop the patriarchal act at the beginning. To do this, the legal procedures are most important channels and the law system of a country is the primary organ that the individuals seek justice.
To conclude, if I have not taken the law course, I could not know the rights and duties or I could not know how is the general system in both Turkey and the other countries. Also the most common approach in contrast to legality, the individual justice. Without a legal system in a country, there is no disincentive rules exist in a society. Without rules, every individual try to and also want to provide their own justice and safety aginst the entire society. The legal rules, which everyone bounded to adapt, regulate the relations between individuals and between an individual and a State or between the States. Before take the law course, I believe that the individual disincentive and protective precautions and acts may be more effective than the legal rules but know I could understand that the legality can achieve the real safety for both individual and the State. Although there are lacks in the legal system, I believe that we also can improve the legal system as an individual. Only with legal rules, we can provide the real justice. As we can see on the Article 5/1 on the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey “The fundamental aims and duties of the state are; to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Turkish Nation, the indivisibility of the country, the Republic and democracy; to ensure the welfare, peace, and happiness of the individual and society; to strive for the removal of political, social and economic obstacles which restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual in a manner incompatible with the principles of justice and of the social state governed by the rule of law; and to provide the conditions required for the development of the individual’s material and spiritual existence.” This shows and guarentees us the only legal because the State’s first reason of existence is this and it indicate on the Constitution.