In the Kemal Kurkut trial in Turkey, the defendant police officer Y.Ş. faces a sentence of three to nine years in prison for “deliberately causing death by negligence”. The 12th hearing, where a decision is expected to be made, will be held on 17 November in Diyarbakır (Amed) 7th High Criminal Court.
Kemal Kurkut was a university student who died as a result of bullets that were fired by the police officer Y.Ş. during the 2017 Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır (Amed). A lawsuit was filed against the police officer with the demand for life imprisonment for “deliberate murder”.
Kemal Kurkut lost his life as a result of gunfire by police during the 2017 Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır (Amed). Issuing a statement after his death, the Diyarbakır Governorship had announced that Kurkut was shot “on suspicion that it was a suicide bomber”. The day after the incident, Dihaber published images of the incident. After the images were published by the journalist Abdurrahman Gök from Dihaber, Y. Ş. and O.M – the named police officers – were detained. O.M. was released by the prosecution. It was determined that the bullets that caused Kurkut’s death came from the gun of police officer Y.Ş. He was released by the Criminal Judgeship of Peace “on the condition of judicial control”, to which he was referred with a request for arrest.
Although the prosecutor appealed for the arrest of Y.Ş., who was released, the judge rejected the appeal. Although Y.Ş. was initially suspended within the scope of the administrative investigation launched into Kemal Kurkut’s murder, he was reinstated after three months.
After the incident that led to Kemal Kurkut’s death, the images of the armoured police vehicles at the press and protocol entrance and the security cameras of the surrounding area were collected and examined. The indictment for the murder – committed in front of journalists’ eyes – was prepared only seven months later by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The indictment, demanding that the defendant police officer Y.Ş. be sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of “killing with possible intent”, was accepted by the 7th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır. The first hearing of the case was held on 14 December 2017. Y.Ş. appeared before the judge for the first time nine months after the murder. During the trial, the request for the arrest of Y.Ş. has been rejected every time.