Provocation defence for femicide in Turkey: the interplay of legal argumentation and societal norms
Müftüler-Baç, Meltem and Müftüler, Canan (2020) Provocation defence for femicide in Turkey: the interplay of legal argumentation and societal norms. European Journal of Women's Studies . ISSN 1350-5068 (Print) 1461-7420 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350506820916772
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350506820916772
Increasing numbers of women in Turkey are murdered by their relatives, spouses or significant others. The perpetrators plead provocation for their crimes, claiming their actions are provoked by women's initial acts which they deem to violate societal norms. Pleading provocation enables more lenient sentences. This article investigates the interplay of the legal rules and societal norms on 'proper' female behaviour in femicide, based on data drawn from the Journal of Legal Proceedings, which publishes select rulings of the Court of Cassation - the Highest Court in the Turkish legal system - from 2004 to 2018. This article argues that there is a collision between cultural, societal norms and legal rulings in criminal law, and displays linkages between legal processes and social norms which perpetuate patriarchal structures. Accordingly, the article proposes that legal rulings on femicide reflect societal norms and traditional expectations on women's roles in Turkish society through employing provocation defence. Consequently, law becomes complicit in femicide through provocation, and provocation could be seen as the legal system's concession to patriarchy.
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