Turkish court considers wearing tights as ‘provocative’ factor in domestic violence case

Women wearing burial shrouds chanted slogans at a protest organized by the Bodrum Women’s Solidarity Association as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 2013

A local court in the eastern province of Erzurum has reduced the sentence of a husband who attacked his wife after seeing her with another man, arguing that her wearing tights and sitting “slightly leaning to one side” could be described as “provocative” and an extenuating circumstance.

T.K., who seriously injured his wife, D.K., by stabbing her during a row after seeing her in the same car with another man, was eventually handed six years and three months in prison after his sentence was reduced.

Prosecutors had asked for up to 15 years in prison on charges of attempted homicide; the couple admitted that they were seeking a divorce when the incident occurred.

Defense lawyers denigrated D.K., arguing that she provoked the husband’s anger by sitting in the backseat of the car while wearing tights and leaning toward one side. T.K. also said he only intended to scare his wife when he pulled the knife.

But D.K. rejected her husband’s accusations, claiming that the man in the driver’s seat, A.P., was a friend of 14 years and that her husband saw them at a gas station while they were going to pick up her brother and sister.

“I wasn’t wearing anything bawdy, as he claims. He asked me ‘Why did you leave me?’ when he entered in the car and stabbed me. Then he said: ‘I told you I would kill you. Now it will be your family’s turn,’” D.K. told the court.

However, in its ruling, the court lent credence to the husband’s argument that D.K. appeared “very comfortable” inside the car, saying her attitude was “suspicious” and “provocative.”