The Sentence of Azra’s Murderer Upheld: Aggravated Life Imprisonment

The Supreme Court of Appeals upholds the life sentence of Hamdi Ayri, who killed Esra Yaşar, Ayşe Selen Ayla, and Azra Has on consecutive days five years ago in Izmir.

Source: “Azra’nın Katilinin Cezası Onandı; Ağırlaştırılmış Ömür Boyu Hapis”, (“The Sentence of Azra’s Murderer Upheld: Aggravated Life Imprisonment”),, 28 July 2015,

The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the 7th District Criminal Court’s decision to sentence Hamdi Ayri to three “aggravated” life sentences, 45 years for armed robbery, three years for possession of unregistered arms, and 2,000 TL (approx. 710 USD) in administrative fines.

Hamdi Ayri first murdered 27 year-old bank employee Esra Yaşar on 24 April 2010. The following day and the day after, Ayri murdered 22 year-old Izmir University of Economics freshman Ayşe Selen Ayla and trans woman Azra Has. Caught in a guesthouse in Bodrum with the victims’ belongings and the firearm used in the murders, Hamdi Ayri invoked his right to remain silent upon his arrest and in court.

Lawyers withdrew from the lawsuit

Both lawyers assigned to Hamdi Ayri by the Bar Association withdrew from the lawsuit. The Bar assigned Mert Çelik Demiri to Ayri’s case.

In the final trial at the 7th District Criminal Court in 2013, Hamdi Ayri was sentenced to three “aggravated” life sentences for murdering three people, 45 years in prison for armed looting, three years for possession of unregistered firearms, and 2,000 TL (approx. 710 USD) in administrative fines. During the appeal, the Supreme Court of Appeals corrected and upheld the sentence. Ayri will stay in prison until the end of his life.

Azra Has Street was forgotten

Esra Yaşar and Ayşe Selen Ayla’s names were given to streets in Izmir’s Balçova district after the murders, while a street was not named after Azra Has until 2014.

Azra Has was commemorated in street protests organized by the Izmir LGBTI Initiative and Siyah Pembe Üçgen (Black Pink Triangle) Association, and supported by Ege University’s LeGeBit Student Organization, DSIP (Revolutionary Socialist Workers’ Party), SDP (Socialist Democracy Party), and various anarchists. The protesters chanted, “We’re not quitting the nights, streets, and the squares,” “We’re all Azra, you can’t kill us all,” and “Confront hate; take to streets.”

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