Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR
The trial of Fedai Varan, who is facing life imprisonment for the brutal murder of his ex-wife Emine Bulut, began on Wednesday in the province of Kırıkkale.
Varan is alleged to have stabbed Bulut to death in front of their 10-year-old daughter. Prior to the hearing, women's groups including the We Will Stop Femicide platform assembled outside the courthouse holding signs and banners. Due to the large number of people in attendance and the small size of the courtroom, another courtroom was opened so that attendees could observe the hearing.
Among those in attendance was the father of Ceren Damar, a university teacher who was killed by one of her students after she caught him cheating on an exam. Damar was shot and stabbed repeatedly by student Hasan Ismail Hikmet. The brutal murders of Damar and Bulut are among the most high-profile femicides that have occurred in Turkey this year, creating outrage regarding the surge of violence against women in Turkey.
Varan's lawyer said that his client would be reserving his right to remain silent, claiming that the defense had not been able to receive and view the images pertaining to the attack, and thus were not able to prepare a defense.
Bulut's lawyer Turgay Özcan said that, as indicated on the indictment, Bulut's murder was planned, adding that Varan sent a message to his ex-wife's family after killing her saying, “She was a whore, I killed her,” which Özcan said showed that the killer had no remorse.
“My sister separated from him because he was being violent to her. He was constantly gambling and drinking alcohol. A short time after she gave birth they reconciled. At that time I was also was always around my sister. He would come home drunk. During that time their child had bone tuberculosis. Later they separated again,” said Bulut's brother Mikail Bulut.
“I paid their electric bill. Did he even buy a litre of milk for his child? Until my granddaughter was nine years old he was nowhere to be found. The suspect was disturbed by the fact that my daughter remarried. As soon as I heard news of what happened I got my granddaughter and went to the hospital. At that point Fedai called me and cursed at me and said 'I killed your daughter.'”
Following the hearing, Bulut's lawyer Özcan alongside women's rights organizations made a press statement outside the courthouse. Özcan said that Varan knowingly committed the murder and by exercising his right to remain silent showed that he had nothing to say, adding that he should be sentenced with the most harsh punishment possible.