Professor kills peer, his wife forced to resign
Fevzi Kızılkoyun KONYA / Hürriyet
The murder had sent the university campus into a state of shock. AA Photo
The husband of a Selçuk University professor who killed a colleague over his “obsession” with a faculty secretary has been arrested, while his wife who works at the same university was controversially forced to resign.
Celalettin Özdemir, associate professor at the environmental engineering department of the university in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, was found dead with a slit throat and stab marks all over his body at his faculty office last week.
Professor Ahmet Gülce, the head of the department of chemistry at the same university, was detained and reportedly confessed to the murder on June 5.
The murder occurred after a quarrel between the two men over their alleged extramarital affairs with faculty secretary Asuman S., 35.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Asuman S. said Gülce “was obsessed with her,” but denied the claims of extramarital affairs. “From time to time, I worked for both professors. Me and my family have been victimized. The media has judged me and my chastity,” she said.
Asuman S., who is also married, said that Gülce had told her that he killed Özdemir, just before the body was found. “He then told me he was joking. I believed him because he joked frequently in the past,” she said.
However, Gülce threatened to “involve her in the murder [as an accomplice]” if she did not pay him 80,000 Turkish Liras, after which she decided to inform the police.
Gülce has been sent to prison and Özdemir’s body has been sent to a morgue. Selçuk University has also controversially fired Asuman S. and requested the resignation of Handan Gülce, on the grounds that she “cannot be an efficient manager with her current psychology.”
The firing of the latter has caused particular concern. “Requesting the dean’s resignation has no legal basis. The crime and punishment are both personal,” said Hasan İşgüzar, a professor from Ankara University’s law department.
“The attitude of Selçuk University’s president is social and psychological pressure on a woman who is experiencing trauma. It is unacceptable to force a woman who had nothing to do with the crime committed by her husband to resign,” Ankara Bar Association Chair Sema Aksoy said.