A Turkish court on Wednesday jailed two men for raping and murdering a colleague in a case which became a rallying cry for in the campaign to end violence against women.
Wealthy businessman Cagatay Aksu was sentenced to life for the murder and sexual assault in May 2018 of 23-year-old Sule Cet, state news agency Anadolu reported.
His colleague Berk Akand was sentenced to 18 years and nine months for assisting in the crimes, the agency said.
The case sparked anger across Turkish society after the men claimed the university student committed suicide by throwing herself from the 20th floor of a building in Ankara.
There was also an attempt to suggest Sule was somehow to blame because she drank alcohol, and there was uproar at a hearing earlier this year when the defence lawyers speculated over Sule’s virginity.
At another hearing, Aksu reportedly told Sule’s father: “If only you’d looked after your daughter,” widely seen as criticism of his parenting.
“Femicides” have become a major issue in Turkey, where conservative attitudes still dominate in much of the country, with daily reports of gruesome murders of women, most often at the hands of current or former partners.
The “We Will Stop Femicides Platform”, a rights group, says 39 women were killed by men in November alone. The figure was as high as 53 in September.
While the government acknowledges the issue of violence against women, critics say not enough is being done to provide shelters and to address the broader problem of gender inequality which permeates society.
When women gathered to protest against the violence in Istanbul last month, they were teargassed by police.
Turkey ratified the 2011 Istanbul Convention on preventing domestic violence, but in some cases, defendants are still able to receive reduced sentences if they claim provocation or because of “good behaviour” in custody.