Rapists and murderers arrested after seven years
We were holding our breath and waiting. In the end, it happened. A seven-year legal battle reached a decisive point. The murderers who brutally killed 16-year-old Sezgi Kırıt in Antalya will be prosecuted accordingly. Submerged in negativity as we are in this country, such results provide some relief for the soul.
Even though the sentencing was belated, we should thank, in the name of all women, those members of the judiciary - and mostly lawyer Sibel Önder - who did not give up on this case for seven years.
For me, Önder is like the teacher Saadet who recently followed up the sexual abuse case of the principal in her school in a village near İzmir. They are courageous woman role models.
As a country, we are very much in need of such non-submissive, questioning and fighting women. In this case, again, all women joined forces.
Three scumbags had raped 16-year-old Sezgi, drugging her and breaking her nose and mouth. The 41-kilogram girl’s tiny body could not endure such cruelty and she died. The group panicked and washed her body to wash traces of sperm away. Then they folded her naked body into a suitcase. They dumped her on a remote plot of land.
Around the same time, a prostitute was also reported lost in the area. When the authorities found Sezgi’s body, they assumed it was hers and so the forensic examination and autopsy were done very superficially. Because the criminal medicine department did not report any rape, the three murderers were not prosecuted.
This is why the lawyer Sibel Önder is so special. For seven years she did not give up on the case. She even befriended the three suspects and corresponded with them under a false name, with the purpose of collecting more evidence and witnesses.
She visited the forensic medicine department numerous times demanding the medical and autopsy report. She asked many questions, continued to ask them, and in the end the department said it could not answer.
The case ended up being taken to the National Criminology Department. There, all kinds of evidence of rape, beatings and drugs were determined. The case was sent to court.
The court accepted that Sezgi’s death was because of rape and torture. This means that the murderers, who had lived free as a bird for seven years, would be prosecuted.
They were finally arrested yesterday, July 13.
By the way, Önder had called the helpline of the Federation of Women Associations of Turkey. I was made aware of her and the case through federation’s president, Canan Göllü. Önder had called the helpline to ask for support.
I am incredibly happy to see the point where the case has reached. I believe Sezgi’s soul will now be at peace.
When I asked Önder how she felt about the arrests, she said it was an indescribable relief.
“I was holding hands with Sezgi’s sister, mother and father in the courthouse. They were trembling. When the arrest decision was read out, her mother cried, her sister said ‘oh,’ and her father said ‘thank God.’ It was a moment I will never forget,” she told me.
After working on the case for seven years, how did she herself feel?
“I said to myself ‘justice has been served.’ I also had tears in my eyes. I was emotionally connected to this case. Sezgi was in my dreams, begging me. I am not a person who believes in dreams or anything like that but I did dream about her many times. I was so focused on the trial that I did not sleep one night in the days before. I did not eat although I have stomach problems. Now I am extremely tired and I feel light. I’m incredibly happy,” she said.