TWO men accused of throwing a 17-year-old girl from a fifth-floor hotel balcony after brutally raping her have been jailed for life in Turkey.
High school student Gamze Açar was lured to the hotel near the Turkish capital Ankara on December 7, 2020, believing she was interviewing for a timeshare company sales position she saw advertised online.
Instead, she was viciously raped by Riza Doğan, who then hurled her to her death with the help of accomplice Mustafa Emre Demiral.
The three further defendants were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
Riza Doğan will serve a minimum of 30 years in prison for “deliberate killing”, 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 three other defendants: Mehmet Doğan, Emre Eker, and Hüseyin Emre Gürgen were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Ankara West Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said the five defendants had introduced themselves as “timeshare company employees”.
Turkish media reported some of the hotel rooms were on the market as timeshares, although it is unclear if the defendants worked for the company that owned them.
The timeshare company, which has not been named, has denied posting the advertisement.
Dogan had offered Acar cannabis on the night of her murder but she declined, the court heard.
All five defendants drank alcohol the entire night of the incident.
The following morning there was a reported disturbance in the hotel room before the victim screamed as she was thrown from the hotel balcony to her death.
Doğan 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 was told.
Her trousers were also reportedly found unbuttoned at the scene of her death.
Investigators found broken objects and glass scattered around the room, indicating there had been a struggle.
Her uncle Murat Yilmaz said at the time of his niece’s death: “Gamze was found with her trouser buttons opened. This wasn’t suicide, it was murder.
“Gamze 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.”
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.