Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A Turkish man who allegedly murdered a bride-to-be with a samurai sword while she was walking down the street because he wanted to kill a woman as “it is easier” has gone on trial.
Can Goktug Boz, 27, also said in his statement to the authorities that he wanted to carry out a murder because he was feeling frustrated and depressed, and wanted to make himself feel better.
The victim, Basak Cengiz, 28, who he had never met before, was an architect in the Turkish capital city of Ankara, but she had travelled to the city of Istanbul, where she ended up being killed, for a work assignment.
She had missed the shuttle bus between her office and hotel, so she decided to walk when she met her attacker and was murdered, with a katana-like sword that has been described as a “samurai sword”, on the street on 9th November.
The attacker told prosecutors: “On the day of the incident, I was feeling frustrated and depressed. I acted in a moment of anger.”
He said that he was convinced that killing someone would make him feel better, and added: “I chose to kill a woman because it is easier to kill a woman. I didn’t know the victim.
“The sword was in the bag, and after I saw the victim, I walked after her, and when I caught up, I took the sword out of my bag and stabbed her four times.
“Then I went home, and my sadness and feelings of depression melted away. I’m not normally that kind of person, so I’m surprised at myself. I regret what I did.”
After the attack, Basak, who was due to be married, collapsed to the ground covered in blood. She was taken to a private hospital in the district of Atasehir in a critical condition. However, despite doctors’ best efforts, she could not be saved.
Police teams who went to the scene identified the suspect after reviewing footage from the apartment block’s security cameras. They then conducted a raid on his residence.
The murder weapon was found in his apartment and there were also phrases on the walls allegedly written by him that caught the cops’ attention, such as “stab them in the stomach”, “set a trap” and “kill those who argue”.
The suspect was arrested by officials from the Atasehir Public Security Bureau and taken into custody. He was later taken to the Gayrettepe Public Security Branch for questioning.
The first hearing of the case was held last week at the Anatolian 4th High Court.
The defendant said in his defence: “I am schizophrenic, the devil is constantly talking to me with the voices in my head. The devil said to me on the day of the crime, ‘Go out and kill people. If you do not commit a crime, I will kill you.’ I regret it, I apologise.”
But the president of the court stated that in the report sent by the Forensic Medicine Institute, it was determined that Boz was in good mental health and was therefore responsible for his actions.
Basak Cengiz’s father Avni Cengiz and her mother Beyhan Cengiz have demanded the most severe punishment for the accused.
Beyhan said: “I know that there are many people with a conscience in Turkey. I appeal to the conscience of the people. He took my daughter’s life. If he is sick, who will they put on the dock? I trust Turkish justice.”
The trial, in which prosecutors have demanded aggravated life imprisonment for Boz, was postponed to a later date, and it was decided that Boz’s detention be continued.
A life sentence in Turkey is 24 years in prison, whereas an aggravated life sentence is what was introduced to replace the death penalty. Prisoners sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment can be paroled after serving at least 30 years, or 36 years if given more than one sentence.
Femicide is a growing problem in Turkey, particularly after the country officially quit the Istanbul Convention in July last year. According to the 2021 Annual Data Report announced by the ‘We Will Stop Femicide Platform’, 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while 217 women were found suspiciously dead.
According to data from the ‘Monument Counter’, which is a monument established on the Internet to keep alive the memory of the women who died due to violence against women in Turkey and which is updated every day, 67 femicides have taken place since the beginning of 2022.