Prosecutors are asking for a jail term up to 13 years and 10 months for singer and actor Halil Sezai Paracıkoğlu for an assault on an elderly neighbor. He was arrested after the incident in Istanbul.
The day after security camera footage of the incident emerged, the 41-year-old crooner was charged with "threat" and "inflicting injury" after he was detained and his testimony taken. In the footage, the singer and his friends are seen attacking and punching 67-year-old Hüseyin Meriç in the man's courtyard in Istanbul. Meriç is one of Paracıkoğlu's neighbors and had reportedly complained of the noise the singer and his friends were making.
The singer had faced a barrage of criticism and calls for his arrest on social media after the footage surfaced, resulting in his concerts being canceled by organizers. In a written statement, he had admitted that he was “an animal” for hitting Meriç and apologized but claimed that the incident was the result of a long-standing dispute. He claimed that Meriç had an argument with his friend Aytaç Ağırlar who shot a Youtube show in his home and repeatedly blocked them from shooting videos there.
The victim’s son, Mesih Meriç, said that his father was devastated after the incident. He claimed Paracıkoğlu and his friends rented two villas neighboring them in Istanbul’s Tuzla district and were “illegally” shooting a program in a common space used by his father and other neighbors. He said they decided to install cameras after Paracıkoğlu had confronted his father on an earlier date over the dispute.