Life in Prison in Roşin Çiçek Case

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Roşin Çiçek Davasında Müebbet Cezası,” (“Life in Prison in Roşin Çiçek Case,”) Kaos GL, 10 February 2014, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=15785

LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex) and human rights activists were attacked by family members of Roşin Çiçek who was killed by his father and two uncles because of his sexual orientation in July 2012 in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, Turkey. The police claimed that they could not provide security. The tribunal pushed LGBTI activists out of the courtroom and rejected their requests to join the pending case as joint plaintiffs. The uncles were sentenced to life in prison and the father was sentenced to aggravated life in prison.

The 9th hearing of the Roşin Çiçek  [killed by his father and uncles because of his sexual orientation] case took place today in the Diyarbakır Third Criminal Court for Aggravated Crimes. The family attacked human rights activists. The uncles were sentenced to life in prison and the father was sentenced to aggravated life in prison.

Many LGBTI organizations including Keskesor LGBT and Hevi LGBTI as well as women’s organizations from Diyarbakır such as Kardelen, DÖKH, SELIS, Ceren, EPIDEM and KADEM were present at court to support the case. Co-President of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Meral Danış Beştaş and members of parliament from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Melda Onur and Mahmut Tanal were at the court for Roşin Çiçek. Lawyer Müzeyyen Nergiz from Kaos GL’s Lawyers’ Network was among the followers of the case.

Joint plaintiff request denied

The tribunal rejected SPoD and Lambdaistanbul LGBTI’s as well as member of parliament Mahmut Tanal’s requests to join the pending case as joint plaintiffs on the basis that they were “not affected by the crime.”

Lambdaistanbul lawyer Fırat Söyle stated on behalf of LGBTI organizations that the crime was committed with the motivation of hate. The lawyer for the Çiçek family blamed the activists who gathered to demand justice for Roşin Çiçek. Their lawyer claimed that the family cannot be homophobic because it is a “modern and bourgeois” family and also put forth that the father and uncles were the victims.

The father, Metin Çiçek, confessed to the crime and said, “I wanted to scare my son. Should he have turned into a terrorist? We fought, I shot him.”

“Family” attacked LGBTI activists!

During the hearing, members of the Çiçek family attacked LGBTI and human rights activists. “Family” members insulted activists in the hallways of the courthouse and threatened them by saying, “If anyone gets convicted in this case, we will kill everyone who is here, the lawyers, and the members of parliament.”

During the attack, Zilan from Kardelen Women’s Association, Efe Songun from SPoD LGBT, and Caner from Diyarbakır were wounded. The members of the family also attacked the press for trying to document the events.

The police claimed that they cannot secure the safety of LGBTI activists. They pushed LGBTI activists out of the courtroom by establishing barricades. Furthermore, Hevi LGBTI documented that two LGBTI persons from Diyarbakır were also attacked.

“Hate is everywhere!”

Lawyer Harika Günay Karataş talked about the attitudes of the court and the police and said, “Family members attacked us. Hate is everywhere. Law enforcement officers say that they cannot secure our safety outside of the courthouse even though we were attacked. Our request to join the pending case as joint plaintiffs was rejected. Apparently, you need to be killed to be hurt by a crime.”

“LGBTI rights must be protected in the Constitution”

The CHP’s Vice President Sezgin Tanrıkulu made a written statement today and stated that the Roşin Çiçek case is a hate crime case:

“It is necessary to include laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people in hate crimes legislation and the Constitution. It is mandatory that the government does not ignore these demands anymore. The rights violations people experience because of their sexual orientations are absolutely unacceptable and a significant transformation in society is necessary to prevent the pressure, attacks, and murders committed against these individuals. To ensure that other murders like Roşin Çiçek’s do not happen, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and all political institutions, non-governmental organizations, and public opinion leaders must fulfil their responsibilities. Otherwise, they are partners in hate crimes.”

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