Police officer faces 61 years in jail for shooting dead Syrian child
Burcu Purtul Uçar – ISTANBULIstanbul prosecutors on Nov. 9 sought up to 61 years in jail for a police officer who shot dead a seven-year-old Syrian girl, allegedly in self-defense, during a street fight in the Bağcılar district of Istanbul.
Arrested police officer Arif Arslan faces jail on four counts after bullets fired from his gun during a fight hit Syrian child Zeliha Cumo in the chest on May 18.
Arslan says he was attacked by the husband and brother of a “woman he looked at” in the district and used his weapon to try to disperse the assailants. A shot he fired hit Cumo, who was walking on a nearby sidewalk with her parents, as well as eight-year-old Göksu Şancı, who was wounded in the hand and in the knee by the gunfire.
Arslan was arrested after surrendering to police following the incident.
The indictment prepared by the Istanbul Bakırköy Prosecutor’s Office charges Arslan with “killing potentially with intent,” “injuring potentially with intent,” “deliberately attempting to kill,” and “firing a weapon in a way that may cause fear, concern or panic.”
His attackers, meanwhile, are also being tried, and face jail terms of up to a year on charges of “injuring with intent.”