A man convicted of the murder and attempted rape of a 20-year-old student in a case that sparked outrage in Turkey has been shot and killed in prison.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus says officials have launched an inquiry into Monday's attack in the prison in the southern city of Adana. The inquiry will look at how the gun that shot Suphi Altindoken was smuggled into the prison.

Altindoken, his father and a friend were serving a life sentence for killing Ozgecan Aslan. Altindoken was also convicted of attempted rape.

Aslans body was found burned and mutilated in a river bed in 2015. Her murder led to widespread protests denouncing violence against women.

Altindoken died in hospital following the attack, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. His father was wounded.