Turkey, professor killed in Istanbul

Shock over brutal murder of a professor in Turkey

The victim, a professor at a university in Istanbul, was killed by a man who tried to burn her. 382 women were killed in 2020 in Turkey.

The brutal murder of a professor in Turkey has once again shocked the entire country, as women’s rights groups demand more measures from the government after 382 femicides were recorded in 2020, according to data compiled by NGOs that fight against gender-based violence.

The victim, Aylin Sözer, an academic teaching at a private university in Istanbul, was held for two days in a house in the Asian district of Maltepe by a man who has now been arrested; the suspect, Kemal D., murdered her by cutting her throat and subsequently attempted to burn her body, but neighbours alerted the police after they noticed the presence of smoke in the building.

Upon their arrival at the scene together with firefighters, police broke into the house and began a struggle with the alleged murderer, who attacked the policemen who tried to arrest him, even wounding one of them, whom he burned a hand by throwing some of the flammable liquid on him.

During his transfer to a police vehicle to be taken to the police station for interrogation, the policemen also had to intervene to restrain several residents of the neighbourhood who tried to attack the detainee, who apparently had a relationship with the victim, whom he had met by Internet. For now it is not clear if the suspect had previously attacked the victim, and in his first statements he has just said that he committed the crime after an argument.

Government promises maximum penalty for the murderer

The death of Aylin Sözer, much loved by her co-workers, has sparked a wave of outrage across the country and authorities have promised that they will do everything possible to ensure that the killer receives the maximum possible punishment, which could include life imprisonment. “I have no doubt that this cruel assassination will get what it deserves from Turkish justice,” declared Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.

For her part, the Minister of Family, Labor and Social Affairs of Turkey, Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, also referred to the “brutal murder” of this professor as a crime that has shocked and left a deep wound in Turkish society. “We are going to closely follow the judicial process so that the murderer receives the maximum punishment,” said the minister.