Turkish femicide suspect released from jail despite overwhelming evidence

A Turkish court has released a murder suspect despite overwhelming evidence against him. Ümitcan Uygun has been enjoying impunity for months and women's rights groups have been calling on authorities to sentence him for killing Aleyna Çakır.

Ümitcan Uygun is seen at a MHP district building.

Duvar English

Ümitcan Uygun, the prime suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Aleyna Çakır, was released from prison, his lawyer said on July 17.

Uygun, an abusive man who enjoyed impunity for months despite sharing videos of himself beating the woman, continued hurling death threats on social media following Çakır's death, but no legal action was taken against him until he shared a video of himself using drugs in January. 

He had been imprisoned for six months on drug charges, but now is free once again, lawyer Hayri Çağatay Cengiz said. 

Uygun last year addressed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for help in the face of the backlash against him. His mother also died suspiciously, with Uygun claiming that it was a suicide. 

Aleyna Çakır's death on June 3 of last year was also ruled a suicide despite her autopsy report revealing male DNA under her fingernails, bruises around her body and her cause of death as asphyxiation with a bathrobe belt.

Soon after Çakır's body was found, video footage that Uygun broadcast on social media showed him assaulting Çakır, who appeared unconscious on the floor.

It was also revealed that Çakır had reported Uygun's abuse to police after this incident, and that police had issued a one-month restraining order against the assailant who deleted the video after giving his testimony to police.

After Çakır's death, neighbors said that they often heard Uygun, a supporter of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), assaulting the young woman and that she could have been killed, but the suspect was once again released from police custody after giving a statement.

Early this year, DNA evidence collected from the body of Çakır matched that of Uygun.