First hearing in case of brutally murdered girl Özgecan Aslan held in southern Turkey

First hearing in case of brutally murdered girl Özgecan Aslan held in southern Turkey

First hearing in case of brutally murdered girl Özgecan Aslan held in southern Turkey

AA Photo

Defendants indirectly accused each other in the first court hearing on June 12 in the Tarsus district of the Mediterranean province of Mersin in the case into the brutal murder of Özgecan Aslan, the 20-year-old whose body was found in a river bed two days after she was killed by a minibus driver on Feb. 11.

Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, 26, the minibus driver who has confessed to killing Aslan, appeared in court along with his father, Necmettin Altındöken, 50, and his friend Fatih Gökçe, 20, both of whom are charged with being his accomplices. 

Suphi Altındöken is charged with murder and attempted rape, while his father and his friend are charged with helping him cover up the crime and conceal evidence. 

The former gave the court his version of what took place on the day he murdered Aslan, saying she got into the bus next to a shopping mall and hit him in the back after asking him why he had taken a different route than the usual one.

He claimed that Aslan started the fight and provoked him when he tried to take a short cut. He said he then punched and kicked Aslan several times until she had lost consciousness.

He said he then called Gökçe for help, who suggested killing the 20-year-old. 

“This is the first time I’m saying this: I saw Fatih with his trousers unzipped as he got off the minibus,” Suphi Altındöken said, suggesting that his friend might have raped Aslan. 

“I stabbed her after he said we had to kill her ... I asked him whether he had done something to her after he said she was pretty. He told me to keep quiet and threatened to notify the police,” he added. 

Hundreds protested the murder

As many as 1,000 people, including members of several rights groups, protested the brutal killing of Aslan outside the court, demanding a heavy punishment for the three men involved in the killing.

Several non-governmental organizations and rights groups also attended the court session, headed by the Tarsus 1st Court for Serious Crimes, as well as about a thousand attorneys from all over Turkey.

Aslan’s parents, Mehmet Aslan and Söngül Aslan, did not attend the court hearing. The victim’s uncle, Yaşasın Aslan, was present in court on behalf of the Aslan family.

Özgecan Aslan was brutally murdered by Altındöken in Mersin on Feb. 11. Two days after she was reported missing, her burned body was discovered on Feb. 13 in a river bed in the Tarsus district of Mersin. 

Suphi Altındöken confessed during his interrogation at the gendarmerie that he had tried to rape Aslan and then stabbed her to death before burning her body when he failed in his attack.