Court denies self-defense plea, sentences ‘abused’ wife for murder of husband

Court denies self-defense plea, sentences ‘abused’ wife for murder of husband

by Joseph Anthony
A woman who killed her husband for allegedly forcing her into prostitution was jailed for 15 years by a court in the southeastern province of Adana on June 8. Çilem Doğan, 24, said that she killed her husband, Hasan Karabulut, out of self-defense.

“I walked in the court’s corridors with bruises on my face to get protection orders. I didn’t have any other options left,” said Doğan in the courtroom during the final hearing of the case on June 8.

Doğan’s lawyers said she shouldn’t receive any jail time as the killing was committed out of self-defense, but the claim was denied by the head of the court, Ogün Madan. Her sentence was decreased from a life sentence to 18 years and then to 15 years due to “good conduct.” 

Doğan was reportedly exposed to violence following her marriage to Karabulut in 2013. She reportedly sought a divorce but gave up after family members tried to stop her and threats from her husband, who said he would kill her family should the divorce take place.


Karabulut arrived in their apartment on July 8, 2015, and told Doğan that they were going to the southern province of Antalya, where he said she would be a prostitute along with three other women, as he also put a gun under a pillow. 

“We are going to Antalya. You will do prostitution with three women and bring me money. Cut your relations with Adana,” Karabulut allegedly said, before beating Doğan after she reacted to his demand. Doğan took the gun from under the pillow and killed Karabulut. 


Doğan said in the court that she was like “a dead person waiting for the reaper to come.” 

“I was so afraid of Hasan. When I heard that he was sought by the police for gang leadership, I cooperated with the police to get rid of him. I told the police everything. I was like a dead person waiting for the reaper to come. I was wondering when he would kill me if he found out that I notified the police,” she said, while adding that he had started forcing her into prostitution after 28 days of marriage.

“I have a child who is two and a half years old. I respect the pain people are suffering from. Their [Karabulut’s parents] child and the father of my child died. If I had place to go, I would. I learned about the women’s shelters here. If the police in the police station directed me to a shelter I would go. I wish the court had a tongue to speak and tell you what I went through while I was getting the protection orders. I had no other options. I was forced to do it, I wish it didn’t happen,” she added. 

Meanwhile, women’s rights groups who gathered to support Doğan weren’t allowed in the courtroom. 

Doğan was detained at her father’s house in Adana and soon confessed to the murder. 

“Will women always die? Let some men die too. I killed him for my honor,” Doğan told police on July 9, 2015.

While walking to the courthouse for a medical exam on the same day, Doğan was photographed wearing a T-shirt reading: “Dear past, thanks for all the lessons. Dear future, I am ready.”

Handcuffed between two police officers, Doğan also gave two “thumbs up” to the reporters following her.

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