WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A group of men who hurled a 17-year-old girl from a fifth-floor hotel balcony so she could never tell she had been raped have been jailed for life in Turkey in a heinous crime that has rocked the nation.
High school student Gamze Acar had been lured to a nearby hotel thinking she was being interviewed for a job she had seen online.
But instead, she was brutally raped by Riza Dogan who then hurled her to her death on December 7, 2020, a Turkish court has ruled.
Accomplice Mustafa Emre Demiral was in the room and helped Dogan throw the victim off the balcony.
Three further defendants were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
The Public Prosecutor's Office said the five defendants had introduced themselves as "timeshare company employees", with it reported in Turkish media that some of the hotel rooms were on the market as timeshares.The court heard how Dogan had offered the victim cannabis but she declined and that the five defendants drank alcohol all evening.
The following morning there was a disturbance in the hotel room before the victim screamed as she was thrown from the hotel balcony to her death.
Dogan claimed Gamze had killed herself but investigators could not find any of her fingerprints on the balcony railing.
The 1.08-metre-high railing was too high for her to simply jump over without touching it, the court heard.
Her trousers were also reportedly found unbuttoned at the scene of her death.
Investigators also found broken objects and glass scattered around the room, indicating there had been a struggle.
Gamze's uncle, Murat Yilmaz, had said at the time of his niece's death: “Gamze was found with her trouser buttons opened. This wasn’t suicide, it was murder.
“She was a person full of life. They beat her at night and people heard the screams. Those who heard something have left a statement. The truth will come out.”
Riza Dogan was given an aggravated life sentence – meaning he will serve a minimum of 30 years in prison – for "deliberate killing" and a further 17 years for sexual assault and nine years for deprivation of liberty.
Demiral was also given an aggravated life sentence for deliberate killing and nine years for deprivation of liberty.
The prosecution could not determine if he had participated in the sexual assault.
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 digital memorial for women killed by violence" and is updated daily, 333 femicides have taken place in Turkey so far this year.
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