Suspects arrested over brutal murder on Turkey’s ‘Black Monday’
The suspects in the murder of Özgecan Aslan have been arrested as Turkish citizens around the country commemorate the 20-year-old by wearing black. AA Photo.The main suspect in the brutal slaying of 20-year-old woman Özgecan Aslan in southern Turkey was arrested early Feb. 16 with his two accomplices, as Turks showed their mourning and anger by wearing black.
Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, 26, confessed to the murder in testimony to the prosecutor in the Tarsus district of the southern province of Mersin. The court arrested Altındöken for “killing atrociously,” while his 50-year-old father, Necmettin Altındöken, and 20-year-old friend, Fatih Gökçe, were both sent to prison for being his accomplices.
The burned body of Aslan, who had been missing for two days, was discovered Feb. 13 in a riverbed in Tarsus. Altındöken confessed during his interrogation at the gendarmerie that he tried to rape Aslan, who had boarded the minibus he drove, and stabbed her to death before burning the body when he failed in his attack.
Altındöken gave more graphic details in his testimony to the prosecutor. “After I stabbed her, I saw that she was not dead. I hit her head several times with the crowbar in the minibus,” he said, adding that his father and friend helped him to burn and dispose of the body. “I wanted to burn the body, because we had no time to bury it.”
Later in his testimony to the prosecutor, Altındöken said he did not intend to kill Aslan and was “sorry” for the incident.
He also stated that Aslan had initially reacted because he was not following the bus’ normal route, hitting him, digging her nails into the back of his neck, and using a tear gas spray. He also said he then went to the back of the bus, grabbed Aslan by her hair, threw her to the ground and kicked her.
Atındöken said he subsequently called his friend Gökçe, who suggested burning Aslan to leave no evidence, as well as cutting off her hands in order to avoid leaving Altındöken’s DNA under her nails.
He confessed that he cut off Aslan’s hands while she was still alive and put them in an unused toilet at his father’s house. Another friend then brought along gasoline to use in order to burn Aslan.
Altındöken said they burnt Aslan’s body with gasoline, newspaper and matches, before throwing her off a cliff.
In his testimony, Gökçe denied offering to cut off Aslan’s hands, also saying he was drunk when Altındöken called him.
Meanwhile, protests have continued around Turkey in anger at the slaying. While more demonstrations are planned in several provinces, a social media campaign has also taken off. #Özgecaniçinsiyahgiy (Wear Black For Özgecan) hashtag was shared by thousands of social media users on Feb. 16, with people sharing their photos wearing black to raise awareness about the increasing number of murders in which women are victimized.