Melisa Saglam - a university student in Istanbul - was riding the public bus when the man seated behind her decided to get up and slap her in the face ... for wearing shorts during Ramadan. 

The 21-year-old did not stay seated. In a matter of seconds, she got up, chased the man, in an attempt to hit him back. 

The man, who was identified by police as Ercan Kızıltaş, forcefully pushed her to the floor, and ran out of the bus. 

Saglam can be seen with her head outside the bus door, screaming. She then sits on the floor of the bus, sobbing. 

On Wednesday, the video of the incident began making the rounds online. However, the incident itself took place on June 14. 

According to Middle East Eye, Saglam said the man was verbally harassing her throughout the entire trip, telling her that she should not be wearing shorts during the holy month. 

"From the moment I sat down he was making these remarks 'you dress like this during Ramadan? You should feel ashamed to be dressed like that'," said Saglam, according to Middle East Eye

The man - who turned out to already have a prison sentence - was detained, but was let go soon after an interrogation where he claimed he had been "provoked." 

The ruling was based on charges of "provoking people and inciting them to hatred, intentional injury and criminal libel," according to Hürriyet Daily.

The decision sparked outrage among women's rights activists in the country. 

"The release of the attacker is a threat to all women," the women's rights organisation We Will Stop Femicide Platform tweeted.

"We will wear whatever we want outside. We will not give up our freedoms."

Saglam also issued a petition to the prosecutor's office, condemning the ruling. 

"My only wish from the justice system is that an appropriate, dissuasive punishment is given to the assailant. I do not want him to walk around freely because I cannot anymore. I could until now, but since being assaulted I have been unable to go anywhere without my mother. I cannot even get on public transportation," Sağlam told Hürriyet Daily.