DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
LGBT activists following the trial closely demand a severe sentence. Hate crimes targeting LGBT individuals are usually brushed under the carpet, with perpetrators getting away with small sentences. DHA photo
A father has confessed to killing his own son, but denied it was due to his sexual orientation, during the latest hearing held May 24, in a landmark homosexual murder case in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
A 17-year-old man, identified only as Roşin Ç., is suspected to have been murdered in cold blood by his father, with the complicity of his two uncles, after being heavily beaten. His body was found dumped on the roadside near a hospital.
However, the father, identified as M.Ç., has argued that the killing was an accident, which took place after his gun accidentally discharged. He said he had gone out to search for his son who had disappeared for 10 days, adding that his only intention was to “cure” him. “I wanted to talk with him in the car. I asked him what his problem was. He started insulting me. He strangled me and punched me. I wanted to cure him. When he attacked me, I hit him with the butt of the gun. That's when the gun fired,” M.Ç. told the court.
The father denied that either the uncles suspected of complicity, or the deceased’s mother, were involved in the incident. “I had a stroke because of it. I hid the facts, fearing that my wife would divorce me. I regret what I did,” he said.
However, M.Ç.’s version of the story was contradicted by Roşin Ç.’s younger brother. “My uncle told me: ‘I will [kill] him, you take the blame. We will dump him on the road.’ I refused. When we were having dinner that night, my uncle told my father: ‘You will blow his brains out today, or I will blow your brains out tomorrow,’” he said during the trial, adding that on the same night both his father and his uncle went to “search” for Roşin Ç.
“Around 1 a.m., I called one of my brother’s friends and asked where he was. Then I told that to my father. I woke up when the police officers came in the morning. I saw the car’s mops. There was a blood stain, they had washed it and put it out to dry,” the brother added.
However, he was interrupted while giving his testimony by his mother, who said he “did not know what he was saying.” During a pause in the hearing, the mother also turned to reporters following the case and said: “If he was a homosexual, I would have killed him with my own hands. You [reporters] have shamed us.”
The prosecutors last month demanded life sentences for all three suspects, which could settle an important precedent for similar hate crimes targeting LGBT individuals, which are usually brushed under the carpet with perpetrators getting away with small sentences.
An LGBT activist lawyer following the trial, Fırat Söyle, demanded a guilty verdict for all suspects in the case. “The motive of the murder is ‘honor.’ The father's confession is contradictory. It is clear that the other suspects are also involved,” Söyle said.