Turkey: cis man sentenced to life imprisonment for deliberate homicide and aggravated looting

January 25, 2010

cagla_tunali_eylemi_23_05_09_19In May 2009 I wrote about the murder of Çağla, who was stabbed to death in her home in Ankara.

Now, via Bianet, I read that last Wednesday (20 January 2010), the Ankara 5th High Criminal Court found Murat Olgun G, the cis man accused of Çağla’s murder, guilty of deliberate homicide with the aim of concealing a crime.

[…] the defendant had confessed the murder of his victim Çağla at her home in Ankara on 21 May 2009. He admitted that he had stolen three mobile phones from the apartment and also took TL 400 [less than £170], money he was going to receive for a web site. Murat Olgun G. furthermore said that he cut the cables of the security cameras when he left the building and dropped the murder weapon, a knife, into a trash container at Demetevler.

The prosecution had demanded that the cis man be charged under the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) for “aggravated looting of the victim’s home at night” and “intentional murder to conceal the crime”. The defendant’s council countered with every cis murderer’s excuse of choice, the trans panic defence (known as the clause of “unjust provocation” under the TCK).

Thankfully the court rejected the defence plea and sentenced the cis man to life imprisonment in solitary confinement without parole, on the grounds of deliberate homicide with the aim of concealing a crime. Additionally, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for aggravated looting of Çağla’s home, although the court exercised leniency and reduced this part of the sentence to only 10 years.

Although no prison sentence can ever compensate for the violent murder of any trans woman, it is to be hoped that this generally just and reasonable verdict will send a message to those bigoted cis people who are waging a war against Turkish trans women, that hate crimes like this will not be tolerated by the courts. I also hope that other Turkish courts will take this decision into consideration against transphobic hate crimes in future.

My sympathies go to Çağla’s family and friends.


Previous posts related to the continuing war against trans women in Turkey:

  • Human rights violations against LGBT individuals in Turkey in 2008 (August 9, 2009)
  • Turkey: trials in connection with the murders of two trans women now under way (July 9, 2009)
  • Unsafe haven: LGBT asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey (July 8, 2009)
  • Turkey – new Chief of Police for Istanbul. Will this bring an end to the “undeclared war” against trans women? (June 15, 2009)
  • Turkish policemen on trial for attack on trans woman (May 29, 2009)
  • Turkey: another trans woman stabbed to death – UPDATE (May 29, 2009)
  • Turkey: another trans woman stabbed to death (May 25, 2009)
  • Turkish parliament questioned on trans safety (May 12, 2009)
  • Lambda Istanbul granted permission to continue operating (May 7, 2009)
  • Suspected murderer of trans rights activist arrested in Turkey (April 21, 2009)
  • Every 15 days, another trans person is murdered in Turkey (April 14, 2009)
  • The undeclared war against LGBTT people in Turkey continues (March 29, 2009)
  • Another trans woman murdered in Turkey (March 14, 2009)
  • Trans woman stabbed to death in Istanbul (March 12, 2009)
  • Lambda Istanbul wins appeal against closure (January 28, 2009)
  • Trans rights abuses in Turkey (November 29, 2008)
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    3 Responses to “Turkey: cis man sentenced to life imprisonment for deliberate homicide and aggravated looting”

    1. Julian Says:

      Glad to see that the Turkish courts rejected that defence plea; I wouldn’t have expected them to, in all honesty.

    2. Helen G Says:

      Looking back at some of my previous posts, the courts in Ankara handed down a similar verdict in the case against the murder of Melek K last October, where the accused also tried to use that excuse.

      Unfortunately, as long as there are still hate-mongerers in positions of state-approved authority, it seems unlikely that there will be an end to the murders of our trans siblings in Turkey – and the inevitable trans panic excuse – any time soon…

    3. […] against trans women in Turkey for some time. Her latest post on the subject at bird of paradox is Turkey: cis man sentenced to life imprisonment for deliberate homicide and aggravated looting. Previous posts are linked at the […]

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