Man who shot teen ex after she ‘danced with another bloke’ jailed for ‘femicide’

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A jealous bloke who gunned down his teenage ex-girlfriend with a pump-action shotgun and killing a man that she had been dancing with has been handed the longest jail term for murder in Turkey's history.

Muhammet Gursoy has been jailed for 36 years after he killed his ex-girlfriend Merve Kotan, 19, after seeing her dancing with Ekim Turkmen, 32, at a bar in the district of Efeler, in the Turkish province of Aydin, at around 4am on August 15 2019.

Gursoy started arguing with the pair and asked them to meet him to continue the discussion in a park near the bar.

He then produced a shotgun and opened fire on Merve and Ekim as they entered the park, killing them at the scene.

Gursoy fled the area and was later found with the murder weapon and arrested by the police.

During the investigation, prosecutors demanded two aggravated life sentences for the defendant.

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A life sentence in Turkey is 24 years in prison, whereas an aggravated life sentence, introduced to replace the death penalty, sees convicts only eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 30 years, or 36 years if more than one count.

At Aydin 1st High Criminal Court on 6th June 2020, Gursoy was sentenced to two aggravated life sentences for the crime of 'premeditated murder', and an appeal process was promptly launched.

However, the Izmir Regional Court of Justice rejected the appeal on 29th January 2021.

As a result, the defendant's lawyers went to the Supreme Court of Appeals for a last try at having the sentence reduced.

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The Supreme Court of Appeals has now upheld the Izmir Regional Court of Justice's decision, stating that the trial and decision were carried out correctly.

Following the ruling, Merve's father Salih Kotan said: "The highest sentence in the Turkish Penal Code has been given. Of course, this does not relieve our pain. Hopefully, people will think twice before attempting murder."

He added: "We are happy with the decision. From the very beginning, we said we trust in justice. This hope was not in vain."

Prosecutor Sibel Onder said: This decision sets a precedent. The single most important thing that distinguishes the murder of Merve Kotan from other cases is that the court used the articles written in the Turkish Penal Code to the letter and did not give the defendant a reduction for good behaviour.”

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Murders of women are a growing problem in Turkey, particularly after the country officially quit the Istanbul Convention in July last year.

According to the 2021 Annual Data Report announced by the 'We Will Stop Femicide Platform', 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while 217 women were found dead in suspicious circumstances.

According to data from the 'Monument Counter', a digital memorial for the victims of violence against women, 91 women have been murdered in Turkey so far this year.

  • Murder
  • Crime

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