Boyfriend arrested in shooting of singing contestant
DİYARBAKIRThe boyfriend of the 19-year-old woman who was recently shot in the head in southeastern Turkey, allegedly over her decision to join a singing contest on TV, has been arrested by police, though he has claimed innocence.
Mutlu Kaya was shot in her house in the Ergani district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır early May 18 and is currently still in critical condition in a hospital.
On May 20, the Criminal Magistrate of Peace in Ergani ordered the arrest of Veysi Ercan, reported as Kaya’s boyfriend, charging him with shooting the woman.
The magistrate released three other suspects, who were detained alongside Ercan, conditionally for a trial without arrest.
In his testimony, Ercan confessed to his disapproval of Kaya’s participation in the song contest, though he pleaded not guilty to shooting her.
“Her family wanted her to join the competition whereas I didn’t. It is true that we often fought on this subject but I did not shoot her,” he said.
Confrontation with woman’s family
According to his testimony, Ercan had previously convinced her not to participate in the TV contest titled “O Ses Türkiye” (Turkey’s version of “The Voice”). Kaya, however, later participated in another, less popular TV contest with a similar theme, “Sesi Çok Güzel” (Her Voice Is So Beautiful).
Meanwhile, a police investigation revealed Kaya had filed a complaint against Ercan four months ago on charges of intimidation and threatening.
Police had been trying to locate Ercan, as initial investigations revealed his presence at the crime scene at around 3 a.m., which coincides with the time of the attack.
The suspect also confirmed being near the victim’s house at the time of the crime, but claimed that he was not involved in the attack, although he admitted he was drunk.
“I love her, how could I have shot her?” he asked.
The shots went through Kaya’s window at 3:30 a.m. on May 18, after the assailant broke into the garden of her house. Kaya was seriously wounded by a bullet that went through her head.
Police had been unable to apprehend Ercan earlier, as he had turned off his mobile phone and fled town.
Ercan claimed he was not running away but rather avoiding a confrontation with Kaya’s family.
“I turned off my phone and did not go to the hospital because I was worried about her family’s reaction,” he claimed.
Meeting with famous singer
Kaya had recently completed the popular song contest’s pre-selection successfully and caught the attention of Sibel Can, a famous Turkish singer.
Can flew to Diyarbakır on March 30 to visit Kaya at the school canteen where she worked, in order to make sure she joined her team in the competition.
Before taking Kaya to Istanbul, Can assured her mother of future success. “Your daughter now belongs to me. She has great artistic talent. When I first heard Mutlu sing, I said ‘That’s it!’ I will look after her and give her all the support I can,” Can was quoted as saying.
Rising concerns about violence against women
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, there were reports in Turkish media that the incident could be related to an attemptted “honor killing.” The family rejected the idea, stressing they were “proud” of their daughter and accused the boyfriend.
Speaking to Agence France-Presse, the victim’s father, Mehmet Kaya, expressed his sorrow and said he expected support from Can.
“I just want my daughter to be healthy and don’t want anything else,” he was quoted as saying. “I am expecting help from Can; she is like a mother to Mutlu,” he said.
Meanwhile, Can shared a picture of Kaya on her Instagram account.
"My beautiful girl Mutlu, how could they wound you? I am very sad,” she wrote.
There has been rising concern in Turkey about acts of violence against women. In 2014 alone, 294 women were killed, with 47 percent of them for wanting to make independent decisions, according to a report by the Stop Women Homicides Platform.
According to the platform, the death figure has already reached 91 in Turkey since the start of 2015.