Man arrested three months after hitting flower seller in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyA man who killed a flower seller with a car in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district has been arrested three months after the deadly crash.
Murathan Öztürk, 19, a law student who hit flower seller Mehmet Emin Kaya with his car on a sidewalk on Kadıköy’s Bağdat Avenue in early July, was arrested in Istanbul on Oct. 6, 87 days after being at large.
Öztürk was charged with “causing one’s death with conscious negligence.”
In his testimony addressed to the prosecutor who headed the investigation at the Anadolu Courthouse in Istanbul’s Kartal district, Öztürk said he was at large because of fear.
Appearing in the Anatolia 7th Criminal Court of Peace, Öztürk said he had never used drugs or alcohol and he had never been into street racing, despite the existence of video footage showing him “drifting” on Bağdat Avenue, a well-known thoroughfare in Kadıköy popular with unauthorized racing activities at night.
“Light rain started showering while I was at a cafe with a friend. We then got out around 3 a.m. [on the day of the crash]. I stopped at a red traffic light. There were cars both on my right and left. I wanted to get on the lane on my left but there was a car. So I suddenly turned the wheel to the right, then to the left, right after I figured there was another car on my right. As I lost control of the wheel, I slid off the road and crashed into the stand of the flower seller getting on the sidewalk on my left,” Öztürk said.
The family of Mehmet Emin Kaya, a street florist who was killed in a tragic traffic accident, complained to police in mid-July, after receiving threats from Öztürk’s family.
After the deadly crash, the Öztürks allegedly proposed to give “blood money” to the Kaya family to hush up the issue. When the Kaya family refused to accept money, Öztürk’s sister allegedly threatened the 13-year-old daughter of the Kaya family. In a post on the social media account apparently used by the sister, she wrote “Murathan drove over Mehmet. Next time he will drive over you.”
Öztürk hit Kaya, 34, a flower seller, with his luxury car in Istanbul’s high-end Bağdat Street on Jul. 11. Eyewitnesses said Öztürk exceeded the speed limit when the accident occurred.