In 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:
- *UPDATE* Turkey: another LGBT rights organization faces closure (December 16, 2009)
- Turkey: Police try to prevent submission of human rights petition by trans protesters (November 2, 2009)
- Turkey: another LGBT rights organization faces closure (October 26, 2009)
- Turkey: Murderer of Melek K sentenced to life imprisonment? (October 18, 2009)
- Turkey: Second hearing in the trial for the murder of Melek K adjourned (October 16, 2009)
- Not-so-easy money (October 1, 2009)
- Easy money (September 29, 2009)
- Turkey: Trans novel banned (August 15, 2009)