Justice for a female victim even after death
Sezgi was a 15-year-old daughter of a family from the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
She left home one day to go to the shop and after that there were no news from her.
It became clear later that a vicious creature she came to know via Facebook had kidnaped her. He had two more friends with him. The three of them locked her in a house. They injected heroin into her arm, made her drink alcohol and raped her until the morning.
There is no limit to this atrocity. They broke her jaw and nose. She weighed only 41 kilograms. Her body could not resist so much pain. She died there. Yet these three perverts were so consumed by drugs that they did not realize it. The sister of one of them came home and found the body. The three then washed Sezgi’s body in order to not leave any evidence. Then they put her in a suitcase. They took it outside of the city and left her naked body in a field.
Their explanation was, “We were stoned that night.” These guys are not human. They should be punished with the heaviest sentences. They should perish in jail.
What happens from that point on is worse. A female body was found, but at first they didn’t realize it was Sezgi’s body. During that time a prostitute had been missing too. They thought it was her body. As prostitutes have no value in this country, no one cared. In the superficial study of the forensics they found semen from three different men on Sezgi. Still they thought it was the body of the missing prostitute.
They ended up saying “the cause of death is not known.” “There are no drugs or alcohol,” they wrote. The broken bones were not even mentioned in the report. They thought it was not worth spending too much time and energy on a prostitute who had the semen of more than one man on her.
But in the meantime Sezgi’s sister, Sevgi, did not give up. She found a courageous lawyer, Sibel Önder. She gave her soul to this case. She swore to have justice for Sezgi even if she was no longer alive.
If you are wondering how the rapists were found, here is the rest of story.
A tire track from the field where Sezgi’s body was left was analyzed. Then the car was traced through security camera footage. As it was rented, they were able to trace the rapists. In the meantime they discovered their correspondence on Facebook. And then they confessed. “We used alcohol and drugs the whole night. We made her take [drugs and alcohol] as well. We injected heroin into her arm and she died. So we tried to get rid of her,” they said.
But can you believe it? No legal case was opened due to a lack of evidence. All because of the forensics. Because the report did not talk about the rape. Because the cause of death was not written. And these disgusting guys went around free.
Önder has worked on this case for seven years. She found additional evidence. She found new witnesses. Actually, she even befriended one of the men on Facebook and got him to talk about the details of the incident. During that time the prosecutors have changed, seven times at least. It took a year and a half for a new report from forensics. If she was not raped, why was her nose broken? Why was there blood in her mouth? Why was there semen from three different men on her body? You said there were no drugs, but the men said they made her take drugs.
In the end the case was referred to Turkey’s National Criminology and the result came months later. The findings of the lawyer were correct, they ruled. “Forced death and rape.”
If she was to live, Sezgi would have been 22 years old.
But these disgusting men killed her by torturing her. The case will be seen today. Justice will hopefully be met today. It will be at the Antalya Courthouse. We will be waiting for the decision. As usual, it is the work of courageous women. Turkey’s Federation of Women Associations gave its full support, as well as other NGOs.
Well done Sibel Önder.