The Court of Appeals upheld a 13-year prison term for Emrah Serbes, a renowned writer accused of causing the deaths of three people in a car crash.
Serbes turned himself in to police days after the car crash that left a couple and their 16-year-old daughter dead in İzmir in September 2017. His friend Kenan Doğru surrendered to police earlier claiming it was him driving the car that rear-ended the victims' car on a highway. While police were investigating security camera footage, Serbes, the creator of popular novel character Behzat Ç., a police officer who failed to gain promotion due to his honesty in a corrupt version of present-day Turkey, turned himself in. "My name is Emrah Serbes, without a T at the end [Serbest means ‘free' in Turkish]. I don't have an end either. Damn Emrah Serbes. I wish I died in that accident. I will live with this guilt," he famously told reporters as gendarme troops escorted him to jail in September 2017.
Police found an empty whiskey bottle and beer cans in the car and Serbes was accused of drunk driving. Prosecutors charged him with involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison in July 2018.
Before the verdict, Serbes apologized to the relatives of the Özçelik family killed in the crash but denied he was drunk while behind the wheel. He insisted that the accident happened due to slippery road conditions. The court issued a one-year prison term for Kenan Doğru who was released after Serbes confessed it was him driving the car. The court also ordered a two-year ban on Serbes' driving license.