A violent man whose pretty teenage girlfriend died after she fell from the balcony of his blood-spattered fourth-floor flat has been acquitted of murder, despite evidence indicating that he had struck her with a hard object before her fall.
The 8th High Criminal Court acquitted Mehmet Kaplan, 21, of the charges of ‘deliberate murder of a minor’ and ‘repeated sexual abuse’ on Friday, 4th March.
He was found guilty of ‘insult’ and ‘looting’ after the court determined that he had stolen the victim’s mobile phone.
For the former, he was handed a fine of TRY 1,800 (GBP 95), and for the latter, he was given a 10-year suspended sentence, meaning he is now effectively a free man.
Pretty Duygu Delen, 17, was found dead at the bottom of her boyfriend’s apartment block in the south-central Turkish city of Gaziantep on 15th August 2020. Her fall was caught on CCTV and can be seen in this video.
Kaplan was subsequently taken into custody and charged with her murder.
And his effective release has now come as a shock, not least because an autopsy report said that bruising on the victim’s body indicated that she had been struck with a hard object before her fall.
The public prosecutor claimed that the suspect was a drug user and had anger management problems.
The prosecutor also claimed that the suspect had previously assaulted the victim by choking and beating her, allegedly out of jealousy.
Investigators who entered the suspect’s flat in the wake of the crime reportedly found blood in several rooms.
The suspect claimed at the time that he had cut himself while punching a window during a row with his girlfriend and, as such, the blood was his.
Friends also reported that the suspect had previously behaved violently and had sent threatening messages to the teenage girl.
In an apparently ominous text message to the girl’s mother, he had written: “Keep Duygu away from me. I can’t control myself”
During the hearing, the defendant said: “I don’t regret anything. Because I didn’t do anything. My heart is at ease.”
The defendant has always maintained that his girlfriend committed suicide following an argument. And in his statement to the court, he added: “I lost the girl I loved.”
However, the lawyer for the victim’s family, Mehmet Balci, said: “According to the Forensic Medicine report, it is impossible for Duygu to fall by accident. We think that Duygu Delen was beaten and thrown from the balcony after her experiences with the accused. Mehmet Kaplan is a very intelligent defendant. He is the smartest defendant I have ever seen in my 40 years as a lawyer.”
Balci added that the alleged murder was not premeditated but was committed in a fit of jealousy after the defendant saw some images on the victim’s phone.
The victim’s mother, Senel Delen, attended the latest hearing in person with her husband, Bulent Delen.
She said in her unsuccessful plea: “I demand the harshest punishment for the guilty party. This lawsuit will get it right. May justice be served. My baby turned 19 last week, under the ground. The murderer is breathing here. Do not let the murderer go and hurt others. I want justice to be done and I want him to be sentenced to life in the most severe way.”
She reportedly had a nervous breakdown while leaving the courthouse following the verdict.