Thousands of social media users have called for justice for a man jailed over killing the abusive boyfriend of a woman when trying to save her from getting beaten.
Kadir Şeker, 20, heard a woman, identified as 35-year-old Ayşe D., crying when he left a library to go home in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on Feb. 5, prompting him to check whether she was fine.
Seeing that she was getting beaten by her abusive boyfriend Özgür Duran, who had 19 criminal records over deliberately injuring, theft, looting and dealing drugs, in a park, Şeker approached the scene to warn the man to stop – only to be met with insults.
“He kept shouting and swearing at me,” daily Hürriyet cited Şeker, who has been studying for the university entrance exam, as saying in his testimony.
“He started running towards me and punched me in my right eye. I remember that he kept hitting my face. He then started to choke me and I couldn’t breathe. I reached to my pocket knife,” Şeker also said, adding that he was trying to get away from Duran.
Duran was stabbed in his heart during the brawl that took place when Şeker was trying to escape.
“I stood up and saw blood on the knife. I put the pocket knife back and went home. I didn’t see his condition,” he said.
Speaking about the incident, Ayşe D., who reportedly went to the park to escape from Duran’s violence, said that Şeker arrived near the couple to help.
“He asked Özgür, ‘Why are you bothering this woman?’ Özgür replied by saying, ‘It’s none of your business.’ Upon shouting, I intervened and said that Özgür is my husband to prevent a brawl from erupting,” Ayşe D. said in her testimony.
“I think that he came to help after hearing me cry and Özgür shout,” she said, while adding that she didn’t see Şeker stabbing Duran.
“They fell to the ground. I thought Özgür fainted, but understood that he was stabbed after seeing blood,” she also said.
When asked about Ayşe D.’s remarks on Şeker having a pocket knife in his hand from the beginning of the incident, Şeker said that it’s a lie.
“The knife was in my pocket. I saw a group chasing a young man with snap blade knives in the park previously, so I’ve been taking the pocket knife with me to protect myself,” Şeker said.
“I approached them with the intention to help the woman. I’m regretful that I caused the death of a person even though I didn’t mean to do it,” Şeker, who was arrested over deliberate killing, also said.
Şeker’s friends described him as a successful student who refrained from fighting.
“Kadir has been saying that being a woman, child and a tree is hard in this country. He was respectful and sensitive towards those three,” İbrahim Kuru, one of Şeker’s friends, told Hürriyet.
Violence against women and femicides are common in Turkey, with 2019 being the year that highest number of women were killed in a decade.
A total of 474 women were killed in 2019, according to figures from We Will Stop Femicides Platform, revealing the severity of the situation.
Thousands of tweets were sent with the hashtags “Justice for Kadir” (#kadiriçinadalet) and “Kadir is innocent” (#kadirsuçsuzdur), in which people pointed to the fact that he saved another woman from getting killed.
While urging him to be freed, social media users also emphasized that Duran had a long list of criminal records and Şeker’s act must be counted as self-defense.