18.6 C
Frankfurt am Main

Prime suspect faces 7 aggravated life sentences for murder of Kurdish family in racist attack

Must read

A Turkish prosecutor has demanded seven aggravated life sentences for the prime suspect in the murder of seven members of a Kurdish family who then tried to set the family’s house ablaze in the central province of Konya last year, the Demirören News Agency (DHA) reported on Thursday.

Mehmet Altun, 34, is accused of killing Yaşar Dedeoğulları and his wife İpek along with five other members of the family in their house in Konya’s Meram district on July 30, 2021.

According to DHA, the prosecutor demanded seven aggravated life sentences for Altun on charges of “brutal, premeditated murder” during the sixth hearing of the trial, held at the Konya 4th High Criminal Court on Thursday.

The suspect faces up to an additional 12 years in prison on charges of “damaging property by fire,” “violating the sanctity of a residence” and “contravening Law no. 6136 on firearms and knives and other weapons.”

The prosecutor also demanded seven aggravated life sentences for “incitement” to murder and three more years in prison for “incitement” to property damage for each of nine of the 10 other defendants of the case, DHA said, while requesting the acquittal of Ali Keleş.

The court adjourned the trial until Nov. 17.

According to Altun’s testimony, six people from his family including him, his sister and his sister’s husband were arrested after a quarrel with the Dedeoğulları family, and four of them were later released. On the day of the incident, Altun went to the house of Yaşar Dedeoğulları, presenting himself as a municipal officer, and ordered all family members to gather. When the Dedeoğulları family discovered his real identity, he used his gun to threaten them and wanted them to sign a petition to withdraw their official complaint regarding the quarrel.

Following the attack, government officials had dismissed racist motives as the main factor behind it, saying instead that it was committed because of old hostilities between the two families. Critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on the other hand, argued that the discriminatory and polarizing rhetoric of the AKP was responsible for the increase in violence targeting Kurds in the country.

In one of the latest such incidents, Turkish president and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week urged a new member of his party to have more children since people from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have “five or 10 or 15” each, in comments believed to be an oblique reference to Kurds in general that drew outrage from many.

Erdoğan attracted widespread accusations of racism and of equating Kurds with militants of the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News