Turkish TV Talent Show Contestant Shot in the Head

YouTube screen grab
Mutlu Kaya appearing on 'Sesi Cok Guzel'

Hailing from a deeply conservative province of the country, Mutlu Kaya was critically wounded after receiving death threats for appearing on 'Sesi Cok Guzel.'

A young woman competing on a Turkish television talent show has been shot in the head after receiving death threats warning her against taking part.

Mutlu Kaya, 19, from the deeply conservative Kurdish-dominated region of Diyarbakir in the southeast of the Muslim country, is in critical condition after the attack early Monday, according to Turkish media reports.

The young woman, who can be seen on the YouTube clip below performing in a broadcast last month, had reportedly received death threats after appearing in the show, called Sesi Cok Guzel.

The show -- the title translates as 'the most beautiful voice' or 'sounds so good' -- is broadcast by Fox TV Turkey in a format similar to popular talent shows in the West, such as America's Got Talent.

Turkish news agency Dogan reported that the young woman had been shot at home in the early hours of Monday by an unknown assailant who fired a bullet from the garden through a back window of her home in the Ergani district of Diyarbakir province, according to international news agency Agence France-Presse.

Turkish media reports said she had received unconfirmed death threats from within her family circle for traveling to Istanbul to take part in the contest. The Kurdish region where Kaya, a school canteen assistant, lives is known for its deeply conservative views, with women expected to perform traditional roles.

Sibel Can, one of Turkey's best-known folk singers, who was mentoring the young woman on the show, expressed her dismay in a post on her Instagram account, writing: “My beautiful girl Mutlu, how could they wound you? I am very sad. Her health situation is now critical, I wish for a speedy recovery.”

There is growing anger over violence against women in Turkey, where hundreds of women are killed by their husbands every year. In February, the murder and attempted rape of a 20-year-old female university student, Ozgecan Aslan, sparked protests with calls for tougher punishments. Turkish singer Nihat Dogan, who tweeted derisive remarks about the reaction to the attack, was vilified on social media and kicked off a Turkish reality show he was appearing in.

The video below is from Kaya's last appearance on Seci Cok Guzel