World Bulletin / News Desk
A judge will be tried over ordering a woman in veil out of his courtroom, as per a ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeals’ Punishment General Council (YCGK) that was made on Wednesday.
The YCGK overturned a lower court ruling that acquitted Judge Ayla Kaya of charges of insulting a veiled woman, Naciye Sönmez, whom Judge Kaya threw out of a courtroom. According to Sönmez’s account, the judge told her to leave the courtroom and called her names, after telling her she could not possibly allow someone wearing a veil in the courtroom.
The hearing in which she was thrown out took place on May 21, 2009. Sönmez was suing her divorced husband for monetary compensation, and Judge Kaya was the presiding judge in the case that was heard at the Fatih 1st Enforcement Criminal Court.
After the eventful court session, Sönmez filed a complaint against Kaya, claiming that she had been insulted publicly by the judge. The Beyoğlu 4th Criminal Court heard the case, and referred the case to the 2nd Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals in October of 2010. The YGCK ruled for the judge’s acquittal, and ruled that it in fact it was the judge who had been subjected to insults. Two of the members of the 2nd Chamber, however, had placed reservations in the acquittal ruling, voting against it, on the grounds that forcing Sönmez to take her veil out constituted a violation of several international rights conventions.
The YGCK on Wednesday overruled the 2nd Chamber’s decision on the grounds that Judge Kaya, who referred to Sönmez as “despicable,” and “immoral,” as she ordered her out, had insulted the plaintiff and should be convicted as such. Judge Kaya will now face trial facing between three months to two years in jail on charges of “insulting a person” under Article 125 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK).
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