13/01/2023 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

Ertan Karaca, who left trans woman Çiğdem comatosely in a forestland after attacking her, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. While Çiğdem’s treatment was going on, her house was sealed. Injured woman is also left homeless.

House of trans women injured in hate attack, was also sealed! Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Trans woman Çiğdem was found unconscious in forestland in Gaziemir, İzmir, on February 25 at 9.44 am. She had been severely beaten. She had to stay in intensive care for six days. There were fractures in various parts of her body. Having completed the intensive care unit length, she didn’t remember the incident she had been exposed to.

The police team reached the video footage of the time of the incident and it was revealed that a man named Ertan Karaca had shot her out of car and had left her at the forestland. Ertan Karaca was arrested and taken into custody. It was determined that there were blood trails on the sliding step of the vehicle, at two different parts, and hair residues on the trunk, at the examination made.

Despite the evidences determined within the scope of the examination, Ertan Karaca claimed that he had not beaten Çiğdem and he “just had slapped twice in the face” during the police interrogation. Ertan Karaca was arrested on February 26th and an indictment was filed against him for attempted murder. Young LGBTI+ Association followed the process from the first to last.

Moreover injured trans woman was left homeless

Following the attack, a sealing decision regarding Çiğdem’s house was given by Konak District Governorship on the grounds of the provisions of “Regulation on Combatting Prostitution”. Their justification were minutes written by the police.

Having kept in touch with Att. Mahmut Şeren, officers of Konak District Governorship held the decision off due to Çiğdem’s health problems. In the meantime, Attorney Şeren filed a lawsuit at the administrative court for the annulment of the decision.

İzmir 5th Administrative Court rejected the case on October 20, in 2022. Therewith Çiğdem’s house was sealed while she was receiving a treatment, she was still on healing process. Injured woman was also left homeless.

Att. Şeren, evaluated the verdict of the court to KaosGL.org as follows:

At the beginning of the case, the court had approved Çiğdem’s request for legal assistance since she couldn’t afford the cost of proceedings. However the court disregarded the fact that the client had nowhere to go except her home, she didn’t even have the financial means to cover transportation expenses and her state of health was not good enough due to being exposed to a hate crime, while deciding on the merits of the case. Thus, not only right housing was violated but also right to life was put at risk. We requested appeal against the decision and we are waiting for the verdict of the İzmir Regional Administrative Court. Nevertheless even the verdict is in favor of the client, it will be too late the damage is done, my client moved to her neighbor and has been living with her neighbor for a month.”

The perpetrator was sentenced to 15 years in prison

On the other side, the verdict was announced at the trial heard at İzmir 11th Heavy Penal Court, on December 27, 2022. Çiğdem’s lawyers Sena Yazıbağlı and Mahmut Şeren demanded that the defendant be sentenced for attempted intentional homicide. Emphasizing that Çiğdem had severe fractures for her body and she was left in the forestland by the perpetrator after the attack, the prosecutor evaluated that the perpetrator had attempted intentional homicide in their final opinion.

Att. Sena Yazıbağlı stated that the incident was completely homicidal and added:  

“The defendant ran the risk of dying of the victim exposed to attack by leaving the scene of crime after committed the crime. The fact that she did not die indicates that the crime remained as an attempt. Common defense tactics like ‘She put the mouth on my masculinity, that is why I did it’ should be disregarded. For this reason provisions regarding provocation should not be considered, this is completely a hate crime.”

The court sentenced Ertan Karaca to fifteen years in prison for attempted intentional homicide. The court rejected the requests regarding time off for good behavior and unjust provocation reduction because “the alleged crime was committed against a woman and it caused public indignation”, and the penalty was calculated by taking into account the maximum limit.

Translation: Selma Koçak 

Tags: human rights, women