CHP demands removal of Van deputy governor over murder case
DHA photoThe main opposition has called on the government to relieve Van’s deputy governor of duty for allegedly telling a recently murdered teacher, “At worst you will die,” when she had complained about her ex-boyfriend’s threats.
“Such an action from a high-profile public official who is responsible for protecting threatened people’s lives is unacceptable. In a democratic country, the government who appointed that official should give a reckoning [over what happened],” Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Gülsün Bilgehan, who is also the head of the Socialist Women’s Group of the Council of Europe, said in a written statement yesterday.
Gülşah Aktürk, 27, a primary school teacher working in the eastern province of Van, complained to a court about her ex-boyfriend, identified as 36-year-old Hakan Başar, who had been sending her death threats since they broke up. She fled to her family’s home in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, but Başar allegedly tracked her down and killed her Dec. 6.
The deputy governor of Van, Zafer Coşkun, allegedly told Aktürk, “At worst you will die, you cannot escape from your destiny,” when the teacher demanded a reassignment to another province due to Başar’s alleged threats.
“Coşkun told me, ‘At worst you will die.’ He said I could not escape from death and that death was a fate. ‘You can die or you can resign,’ he said. He continued to demoralize me by saying that it was my mistake to become friends with such ridiculous people,” Aktürk said in her original court petition. Coşkun denies the allegations.
Aktürk declared in her petition that the authorities who neglected the seriousness of her situation would be responsible if she was killed.
Recalling that the Turkish Parliament adopted a landmark bill increasing protection for women at risk of violence in March, Bilgehan said: “The scandal in Van once again reveals that precautions and protections for women at risk of violence stay on paper. ... The government should protect women’s lives instead of dealing with women’s honor on TV serials.”
Van governorship defends itself over teacher's murder
The eastern province of Van's governorship has issued a statement defending itself after a petition was revealed yesterday regarding the murder of teacher Gülşah Aktürk. The petition accused Van Deputy Governor Zafer Coşkun of ignoring Aktürk's complaints about threats to her life from her ex-boyfriend.
The Van governorship expressed its concerns about accusations targeting deputy governor in the media, condemning the coverage that brought Coşkun under suspicion.
"Deputy Governor Zafer Coşkun ordered the officials to take the necessary measures by phone. He gave some advise to the teacher and encouraged her to lodge a complaint at the prosecutor's office," the governorship's statement said. "After this, murder victim Gülşah Aktürk and her mother made a visit to thank the deputy governor."
The governorship also offered its condolences to the family of Aktürk in the statement.
The 27-year-old primary school teacher complained to a court about here ex-boyfriend, identified as 36-year-old Hakan Başar, who had been giving her death threats since they broke up. He then killed her while she was trying to shelter with her family in Konya on Dec. 6.
"Mr. Coşkun told me, 'at worst you will die.' He said I could not escape from death and that death was a right," Aktürk had written in the petition, before she was killed.