A man accused of murdering Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, convicted of killing a young girl in a case that shocked Turkey, was sentenced to life by a court in southern Turkey yesterday.
Gültekin Alan was serving time in the same prison as 26-year-old Altındöken when he shot dead the latter in his cell in April 2016. Altındöken was convicted of the murder of 20-year-old university student Özgecan Aslan in the southern Turkish city of Mersin on Feb. 11, 2015. She was stabbed and beaten to death by Altındöken, who was the driver of the passenger minibus she was in, for resisting a rape attempt. Altındöken then called his father Necmettin Altındöken and friend Fatih Gökçe, to help him dispose of the body by burning it and cutting off her hands to destroy any possible DNA left behind. After Aslan's body was found two days later, the incident sparked massive public outrage amid an increased number of cases of violence against women, resulting in nationwide protests.
Alan, jailed for another crime in a prison in the southern city of Adana and armed with a pistol he had snuck into the prison, fired two shots into Altındöken's cell where he was incarcerated with his father, killing the son and injuring the father. In his testimony, Alan said he was angered by the murder of Aslan and decided to "intimidate" Altındöken when he learned that he was transferred to the same prison. He denied the accusations that other convicts and prison guards encouraged him to sneak in the pistol and murder his fellow inmate. He told the court he "found" the gun in the prison bathroom and, in a fit of anger, went to Altındöken's cell. Six other suspects, including prison guards accused of aiding and abetting the murder, were acquitted by the court.