The man who killed a young woman and burned her remains in July 2020 in Turkey was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Monday as the court reduced the sentence on grounds of an ‘unjust provocation’ in his favour, meaning with parole he will be freed after approx 14 years. The ruling sparked widespread protests.
Cemal Metin Avcı, a 32-year-old married man with one child, had confessed after being arrested on suspicion of killing Pınar Gültekin, a 27-year-old university student, in Turkey’s western province of Muğla.
Avcı had made different claims during the course of the trial, saying that he had an affair with the victim and that she had threatened him with telling his wife about their affair. And that the victim had assaulted him with a knife at the time of the incident and he had killed her in self-defence. No knife was recovered during the investigation, and neither was any sign of any physical struggle observed in the forensics analysis.
‘We will stop femicide’, said a leading women’s group struggling against femicide in Turkey, the statement said:
“While women are tortured to death, prison sentences issued by courts are actually like rewards for the perpetrators. We will stop discriminative sentence reductions. We will continue to fight for justice for Pınar Gültekin.”
Başak Demirtaş, wife of Selahattin Demirtaş, jailed former co-chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party, said:
“I visited Selahattin today. He’s physically and emotionally well. He says hi to everyone. We talked about injustices. And then just when I left, I heard news of that prison sentence, like a reward, issued to the murderer of my sister Pınar… I don’t know what to say. I demand justice for Pınar Gültekin.”
Rezan Epözdemir, the lawyer who has represented the family of the victim in court, said that the killer will be released on parole after he has served a term of just 14 years and six months.
Speaking to +Gerçek, Epözdemir said:
“The court’s ruling is disgraceful. It’s a legal anomaly. The killer tries to burn the victim first with wood, then with coal, and finally with gasoline. After he burns her while she’s still alive, he pours concrete on her remains, and then throws the remains in a river. This is in contradiction with all human aspects. This is a murder committed most brutally and savagely. He planned every stage. He split the victim’s mobile phone in four pieces, the SIM card in three pieces, acting like a professional killer. The court rules on unjust provocation in favour of such a man.”