Turkish man ‘electrocuted wife’ for giving birth to a girl - while on phone to police

This article is more than 12 months old

A Turkish man has been charged with electrocuting his wife as punishment for giving birth to a girl – while on the phone to police who failed to avert the crime.

The 29-year-old from southeastern Diyarbakir province does not deny murdering his wife by placing a live electric cable under her chin as she slept, a day after their second baby girl was born in January.

The Vatan newspaper published on its front page a transcript of a telephone call he placed to police in which he announced his murderous intent, in real time.

“I killed someone,” the man told the police operator, according to the transcript.

“Who did you kill?” asked the officer on the other end.

“I am killing my wife right now,” said the man.

“Did you kill her or are you killing her?” the officer asked.

“Well, she isn’t dead yet. But I am killing her if the murder is halal (permissible in Islam),” the man replied.

The officer then asked if the suspect had a problem with his wife.

“I am telling you that I killed my wife but you are asking what the problem was,” the man replied.

“I closed her mouth as she is in the throes of death,” he then said.

At which point the police operator snapped into action: “OK, wait. I am sending a unit”.

A defence lawyer told the court at a hearing Wednesday that his client killed his wife because she gave birth to “a girl once again”.

The suspect, a waiter at a local restaurant in the Kurdish-majority region, also has a four-year-old daughter.

A defense lawyer at a court hearing on Wednesday criticised police for failing to talk the suspect out of his crime.

“If a police officer with a high persuasive capacity and training were on the phone, (the woman) would be alive today”.

The case was the latest example of what rights activists say is a failure by EU hopeful Turkey to protect women from domestic violence.

Men killed 214 women and 10 children in Turkey last year, according to a 2014 study by the Ankara-based Hacettepe University.

The same study revealed that 15 percent of women were killed simply because they wanted a divorce.