A court in Turkey sentenced Ercan Kızılateş, assaulter who kicked A. Melisa Sağlam for wearing shorts in June 2017, for 3 years and 4 months prison sentence. Kızılateş is to be released on probation after an imprisonment of 1 year and 3 months.
Ercan Kızılateş, the assaulter who kicked A. Melisa Sağlam for wearing shorts in June 2017, appeared before the court on March 11. Although Kızılateş was tried for imprisonment up to 11 years for sexual assault, he is sentenced for 3 years and 4 months imprisonment. The court ruled "no one has the right to interfere with the clothing and decisions of others in a secular constitutional state", adding that this case sets a negative example for interfering with the clothing and lives of other women.
The court also ruled that the defence of the defendant that "I was aroused" should be regarded as a sexual harassment and his act of touching the hair of Melisa Sağlam as an act of sexual assault.
The defendant Kızılateş is to be released on probation after an imprisonment of 1 year and 3 months, setting another example for the release of sexual assaulters by courts in Turkey.
Outrage was stirred in Turkey in June 2017 after video footage emerged of university student Melisa Sağlam being attacked by Kızılateş as he was about to get off a minibus in Istanbul. "Are you not ashamed to dress this way during Ramadan?" the suspect allegedly asked her before punching her.
Following the incident, Sağlam filed a legal complaint against her assailant, upon which he was detained three days later on June 17.
Kızılateş said he was "provoked" into staging the attack. "Women dressing this way affect one’s sensuality," he reportedly said during his testimony.
He was released from court pending trial but a prosecutor objected to the ruling. The court then re-issued his arrest warrant and Kızılateş was arrested pending trial in Istanbul.