Mehmet Orhan Karadeniz, a retired judge who issued verdicts on a number of significant trials before his retirement in 2008, died when a motorcycle driver run him over in southern Turkey. The driver was detained by police for the accident on Saturday night.
The 74-year-old judge was crossing a street in Alanya, a Mediterranean town, when a speeding motorcycle hit him, hurtling Karadeniz into the air before he crashed on the ground. The driver was also injured in the accident. Ramazan Solmaz, chief prosecutor of Antalya province where Alanya is located, told reporters yesterday that an investigation was underway on the accident. We will pursue multiple investigations and inform the press later," he said.
Karadeniz was the head of 11th Heavy Criminal Court in the capital Ankara before he was retired. One of the last cases he handled was assassination of a top court's judges by a gunman in 2006 and a trial of Fetullah Gülen, head of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). In the past, he handled trials ranging from a case involving corrupt bureaucrats in the Ministry of Energy to terror trials against the Hizbullah terrorist group. He also served as a judge in trials over killings of prominent journalists and academics in 1990s.
In an interview to Vatan newspaper in 2008, immediately after his retirement, Karadeniz said that he expected "a tough life in retirement" citing he was the target of "all terrorist groups." At the time he also said "I am not afraid of dying. If I did, I wouldn't do this job."