The Supreme Court of Appeals has sentenced Gültekin Şahin to seven years and six months in prison for shooting and killing university student Şerzan Kurt (21) in 2010. Şahin had been sentenced for “possible deliberate killing” before, and initially faced life in prison, but the verdict has since changed on two occasions, reports the Mesopotamia News Agency.
Şerzan Kurt was taken to İzmir Dokuz Eylül University Medical Faculty Hospital after being seriously injured in a police shooting in 2010. Kurt died seven days later and Gültekin Şahin, the police officer in the Security Branch of the Muğla Police Department, who fired the bullet that caused Kurt’s death, was arrested and a lawsuit was filed against him for “possible deliberate killing”. The case, which was held at the Muğla High Criminal Court, was later transferred to Eskişehir on the grounds of “security”.
Police Şahin was sentenced to life imprisonment at the hearing held on 7 September 2012, at the Eskişehir 1st High Criminal Court. However, he said, “I did my duty as a police officer and I shot in the air with instructions from my chiefs,” and his imprisonment was then reduced to eight years and he was released.
The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the local court by saying “the act was committed deliberately” and “Şahin should be dismissed”.
Şahin was subsequently given life imprisonment for “deliberate killing” on 20 February 2015, but later his sentence was reduced to 16 years.
Although Şahin was arrested and put behind bars, the court’s decision was once more overturned after the objections of his lawyer. At the hearing on 11 September 2019, Kurt’s lawyers demanded that the court’s verdict against the defendant, “the crime of deliberate killing”, should remain.
However, the prosecution demanded that Gültekin Şahin be punished for the crime of “aggravated injury”, which was included in the final reversal decision of the Supreme Court.
The court board sentenced Şahin to 12 years in prison for “aggravated injury”. Şahin was then released since his sentence was reduced to nine years first after the “unjust provocation” decision of the court and then to seven years and six months for “good behaviour”.
The Kurt family applied to the Constitutional Court against the decision of the Supreme Court. Erkan Şenses, the lawyer of the Kurt family and Batman Bar Association President, criticised the decision of the Supreme Court on his social media account.
“Throughout my professional life, I have not seen another case where the Supreme Court has dismissed the previous reversal decision in the same case and ruled again. Our struggle will continue against the unlawfulness. Injustice applied to some people and impunity applied to others,” he said.