Two men in Turkey have been jailed for chaining up and raping this beautiful 24-year-old mum-of-one before stabbing her and crushing her skull with a rock.
At the same time, two other suspects who were initially detained and spent two and a half years in pretrial detention were exonerated thanks to DNA evidence and have now been formally acquitted of all charges.
The victim, Pinar Kaynak, 24, was found murdered in a field with her hands bound with chains. She had been stabbed in the chest and her head had been crushed with a rock. Her corpse was found near an old animal shelter in the Ortahisar district in Trabzon Province, in north-eastern Turkey, on 15th August 2017.
The trial held at the Trabzon 1st High Criminal Court took place via video link, with the ‘new’ defendants, Mustafa Gulyuz, attending from the Batman Closed Penal Institution, and Necati Parmak, attending from a prison in Igdir. The pair have now been convicted of the brutal crime.
The verdict was handed on Wednesday 8th March, which was International Women’s Day.
Gulyuz and Parmak were jailed for 30 years apiece for “murder by torture”, “deprivation of liberty” and “theft”.
The two former suspects, named only as NB an AK, were in the courtroom and were acquitted.
Gulyuz reportedly stated that he did not accept the charges against him and demanded that he be acquitted too. And Parmak claimed: “I have nothing to do with the sexual abuse or murder. I took the victim and the other defendant to my vehicle on the evening of the incident. I want the real criminals to be punished.”
The court reportedly reached its ruling based on contradictory statements made by the defendants and based on the fact that sperm belonging to Gulyuz was found on the victim. DNA samples belonging to both of the accused were also found under the victim’s fingernails and on her neck.
The judge ruled that the horrific murder was premeditated and that the victim had been forced into a vehicle before being taken to the scene of her death.
The court also ruled that the victim had resisted being sexually assaulted and concluded that the two defendants should receive aggravated life imprisonment sentences.
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.
The court also sentenced Gulyuz to 12 years in prison for theft, after the defendant stole the victim’s mobile phone, while Parmak was acquitted of one charge of theft.
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, 74 femicides have taken place since the beginning of 2022.
It is unclear if the exonerated defendants plan to sue the state for damages.