A woman in Turkey has married the man who threw acid in her face, leaving her almost blind and disfigured.
A change in the law coupled with COVID rule changes allowed her attacker to leave jail early.
Berfin Ozek, 20, was attacked by her then ex-boyfriend Casim Ozan Celtik, 23, after their relationship ended in 2019.
Just before launching his attack, he told her if he could not have her, nobody could
When she survived and revealed her ex-boyfriend was the attacker, he was arrested. He then reportedly bombarded her with messages of love and apology, begging her to forgive him.
The victim even briefly agreed to withdraw her complaint, writing: ‘I am not comfortable with him being between four walls there. We have written many letters to each other. I have given myself to him. I love him very much, he loves me very much.’
Following a massive social media backlash though, she later said she realised she was wrong and asked her lawyer to reinstate the complaint.
As a result, her ex-boyfriend was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison for the attack by a court in the district of Iskenderun in the Turkish province of Hatay.
But a change in the law meant that he was released on probation, leading many to complain about the lenient amount of time he had to serve, considering Berfin had been left disfigured, in constant pain and with only 30 per cent vision in one of her eyes.
Upon his release, he immediately proposed to her – and she accepted.
A wedding date was set, and the young woman married him earlier this month.
Speaking about the wedding, Berfin’s father, Yasar Ozek, said: ‘She married without our knowing. I’ve fought for her for years, and now all of this has been in vain.’
Lawyer Ramazan Erdogan said: ‘The defendant became a convict with the approval of the verdict.
‘Considering the period of his imprisonment, he was entitled to go to an open prison after completing the time he had to spend in a closed prison. However, due to the pandemic, convicts are considered on leave from open prisons until 31st May, 2022.
‘The defendant’s release has nothing to do with his marriage to Berfin. The decision is final. If it were not for the pandemic, he would have continued to serve his sentence in an open prison.’
The couple has not yet responded to the heavy criticism they have received on social media.
One person wrote: ‘Her forgiveness shouldn’t have prevented him from being punished. It’s a pity, I hope not, but this marriage will end in a month or two, and the poor woman will remain with the brutality she experienced.’