A court in Turkey has ruled that “a penalty is not necessary” for the police officer on trial in the Kemal Kurkut case, who was shot and killed by police in Turkey’s Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Diyarbakır during 2017 Newroz celebrations.
In a previous court regarding the case, the accused police officer Yakup Şenocak was tried and acquitted for deliberately killing Kurkut. Afterwards, as a result of the lawyers’ application, the court of appeal overturned the acquittal with the request to establish a verdict stating that “a penalty is not necessary”.
On Tuesday, the Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Court decided that there was no need to sentence the accused police officer in line with the appeal court’s reversal decision.
According to the Turkish Penal Code, acquittal means being acquitted of a crime, that is, being innocent in the court’s eye. However, the ruling that “a penalty is not necessary” means that the person is accepted as guilty, but not punished.
Tuesday’s ruling on conviction without sentencing is based on the accused policeman carrying out the act with the orders of his superior. Under the police power of attorney law, a police officer cannot be held criminally liable for the fulfilment of an unlawful but binding order.