The final moments of a frantic 18-year-old girl have been captured on CCTV just hours before police found her body dumped at a university hospital.
Aslihan Sinem Cicek, 18, left her home in Bayrakli, Turkey for a job interview on July 26th last year, but when she failed to return home that night, her worried father reported her missing.
According to investigators, Ms Cicek was seen getting into a white vehicle and was driven to a home belonging to a 19-year-old man named as Cem A. Security cameras later captured the 18-year-old sprinting down the road away from the house. Officers found her dead at Ege University Hospital the next day.
Ms Cicek's father, Serdar Cicek, told local media his daughter was "beaten, had blood on her, and had wounds on her mouth and nose" when found. "She also had some bruises on her body," he said, adding the family "demands justice".
Three arrests made, but no murder charges
Local police arrested three men in relation to the crime, including Cem A, who was charged with qualified sexual assault and released on bail with an electronic ankle tag. His cousin, Diyar A, was also arrested and released on bail. At the time of writing, no murder charges have been laid.
Officers seized another suspect, identified as Burak Kaya, after finding him with Ms Cicek's mobile phone. He tested positive for drugs in his blood and urine but denied killing the teenager during questioning. Kaya was taken into custody on suspicion of robbery but was released on bail on October 27. He was later convicted of another crime and sentenced to prison.
Father claims defendants' statements are 'contradictory and false'
A trial is currently being heard with prosecutors charging Cem A with qualified sexual assault and deprivation of liberty and demanding a 19-year prison sentence. They charged Kaya with robbery and are seeking a 15-year prison sentence.
Mr Cicek claims the defendants' statements about his daughter's final moments are "contradictory and blatantly false".
"Our first court hearing was held, statements were taken, and each one was listened to. Defendant Cem A. says he took my daughter around 2pm, but it appears on the camera footage he took her around 4pm," he told local media.
"Additionally, he claims that he left my daughter's house around 7pm, but on the camera footage, it is seen that she ran away from Cem A's street at 9.36pm, not at 7pm. On the other hand, the other defendant, Burak Kaya, says in his statement that he bought water and yoghurt for my daughter and then walked about 10 kilometres in the opposite direction for help. This sounds ridiculous to me."
The grieving dad said he later learned defendants were friends with his daughter. "My daughter running into Burak Kaya on the highway after escaping from Cem A's house at 9.36pm already raises suspicion," he said. "These individuals were banned from leaving the country and are walking free. We demand justice. We will go to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary."
The trial continues.
Femicide is a growing problem
Femicide is a growing problem in Turkey, particularly after the country officially quit the Istanbul Convention in July 2021. According to data from the 'Monument Counter', which is "a digital memorial for women killed by violence" and is updated daily, 393 women were killed by men in 2022, while 76 femicides have taken place in Turkey so far this year.
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