Turkey arrests 3 over student's murder as outcry grows

GMT 11:48 2015 Monday ,16 February

Arab Today, arab today Turkey arrests 3 over student's murder as outcry grows

Posters of student's murder
Istanbul - AFP

Anger mounted in Turkey Monday over the murder and attempted rape of a 20-year-old female student by a bus driver, as a court placed three suspects in pre-trial detention over the brutal killing.
The killing of Ozgecan Aslan, 20, has within days become a rallying cause for activists campaigning to end the country's endemic levels of violence against women, with thousands taking to the streets to protest over the weekend.
A government minister said the death penalty should be reinstated for the perpetrators while Turkish women shared their own stories of harassment and violence under the viral Twitter hashtag #sendeanlat (you tell your story).
A court in the city of Tarsus, in the southern Mersin region, remanded in custody pending trial suspected murderer Ahmet Suphi Altindoken and suspected accomplices, his father Necmettin Altindoken and Fatih Gokce, the official Anatolia news agency reported.
For security reasons, they have been sent to different detention centres, it added.
Aslan, who went missing on Wednesday evening in Tarsus, reportedly resisted sexual assault and was subsequently murdered. Her body was then burned to destroy the evidence.
Reports said Aslan had been the only passenger left in a minibus driven by Ahmet Suphi Altindoken, who is alleged to have changed the route of the bus when the other passengers got off and attempted to rape her.
When she tried to resist by using pepper spray she was stabbed and clubbed to death.
The driver then returned to Tarsus to find his father and a friend to help him dispose of the body, according to reports.
They allegedly burned the body in a wooded area in a bid to hide the evidence but the corpse was found by police on Friday.
She was then laid to rest, the coffin borne only by women, on Saturday, February 14, Valentine's Day.
The head of Mersin Bar Association, Alpay Antmen, said that no member of the bar in the region would defend the perpetrators in court, the Sabah newspaper reported.
According to the Hurriyet daily, Altindoken confessed to the murder, saying he had stabbed Aslan and then struck the fatal blows with a crowbar after seeing she was not yet dead.
- 'Bring back death penalty' -
Turkey's Family and Social Minister Aysenur Islam, the only woman in the cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, said after visiting the victim's family that capital punishment should be considered for the perpetrators.
"Not as a minister, but as a mother and woman, I think punishment for such crimes can be the death sentence... We can put it on our agenda," she was quoted as saying by Anatolia.
Turkey in 2004 abolished the death penalty, a key requisite for its membership of the European Union.
EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir added: "If something like this had happened to my daughter I would take a gun and I would punish (the attacker) myself."
"Afterwards I would accept whatever penalty I would be given."
But Bozkir indicated he did not favour reimposing the death penalty, saying it was important to separate personal emotions and actions on a state level.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's two daughters, Sumeyye Erdogan and Esra Albayrak, paid a joint visit to the grieving family of the victim, Anatolia said.
Erdogan and his wife Emine phoned Aslan's family on Saturday and condemned the murder. Davutoglu vowed to start a campaign against violence against women along with his wife Sare.
Turkey is already battling shocking levels of violence against women. According to the Platform to Stop Violence Against Women activist group, 294 women were killed by men in 2014
Critics claim that the situation is not helped by the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdogan, who declared in November that women were not equal to men.

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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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