Turkish man murders wife in prison with fruit knife

Turkish man murders wife in prison with fruit knife

ISTANBUL - A Turkish man serving a sentence for murder killed his wife when she visited him in prison, slitting her throat with a knife provided with a bowl of fruit, reports said Friday.

Metin Avci, 33, who was already serving a sentence for murder, killed his wife Leyla Avci, 29, when she came to visit him in the prison in the central Anatolian city of Sivas.

Prison officials allowed them, as is customary in Turkey, a private meeting of several hours in a conjugal room set up for such encounters known as the "Pink Room" ("Pembe Oda" in Turkish).

For the meeting, they were also given a bowl of fruit with a knife to mark the occasion.

However the husband used the knife to slit his wife's throat and then attempt to take his own live by slitting his wrists, the Dogan news agency reported.

However he was found alive and hospitalised. Avci, who was serving a 15 year sentence for murdering a relative, now faces new murder charges.

The "pink room" was introduced as a prison reform by the authorities in 2013, with inmates allowed to spend between 2-24 hours with their spouses depending on the circumstances.

Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Turkey by their husbands, in what the authorities acknowledge is a major social problem.

The Platform to Stop Violence Against Women NGO expressed outrage over the prison murder in a statement, saying it showed the need for killers of women to be given automatic aggravated life sentences.

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