Man receives aggravated life sentence in femicide case

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The murderer of 20-year-old ballerina Ceren Özdemir was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment in the second hearing of Turkey’s high-profile femicide case.

A psychiatric examination report of the suspect Özgür Arduç, 36, said that his abilities of mental abstraction and evaluating the reality were normal.

Arduç escaped from prison on Dec. 1 and killed Ceren Özdemir, who was a junior in the Department of Music and Performing Arts at Ordu University in the Black Sea province of Ordu, two days later. She was stabbed to death on her way back home from a ballet class in Altınordu district.

In the initial interrogation Arduç said that he had decided to kill someone and Özdemir was a random target.

“I would kill the cops too. I tried to commit suicide. Don’t let me out or I will kill another one. Get me cured,” he said.

In the hearing on Jan. 20, he objected to the psychiatric report given by mental health experts at the state hospital in the eastern province of Elazığ.

“What else should I do to be recognized as insane? I was taken to a mental and neurological hospital. The doctor didn’t understand me, and I didn’t understand him. I have lost my sanity. I want to get another report,” said Arduç.

However, the court denied his request for a new report, sentencing him to aggravated life imprisonment due to “committing a homicide atrociously and intentionally.”

Women rights groups gathered in front of the courthouse, carrying banners demanding justice.

“It is not adequate to throw the book at this violent criminal alone. If the necessary precautions were taken Ceren would be with us today. We want all the institutions and officers to be investigated for sending a violent criminal to an open prison, for not taking measures to prevent his escape from that prison, and for not announce the escape to the public,” said Meryem Külcü, a spokesperson of the Ordu Women’s Platform.

Aşkın Koç from the We Will Stop Femicides Platform said that femicides are on the rise in the country.

“As killings of women continue, we have been struggling to make the protective laws implemented. We will never give up this struggle. We will be following all the cases at the courthouses until justice is brought for Ceren Özdemir and all the women,” she said.

At least 474 women were murdered in Turkey in 2019, according to the platform.

The murder case of Özdemir sparked a public debate as the assailant had been transferred to an open prison, although he had been condemned for murder attempt in 2005.

A bill prepared by the Justice Ministry is expected to be discussed in parliament in the upcoming weeks.

Courts across Turkey have made decisions for judicial protection and precautionary measures in more than 553,000 cases of violence against women in 2019, a spokesperson of the Justice Ministry said on Dec. 10.

Hurriyet Daily News

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