Turkish police arrest suspect in killing of female academic

People express shock and anger over the killing of academic in Istanbul amid rising violence against women in the country.

Aylin Sözer's killing has sparked anger and calls for justice [Aylin Sozer/Twitter]

Police in Turkey have arrested a suspect in the killing of a female academic in the country’s largest city, Istanbul, as people expressed shock and anger over the latest case of femicide in the country.

Aylin Sözer, 48, – head of Istanbul Aydın University’s Preschool Education Department – was killed at her residence in the Maltepe district of Istanbul. The country has seen nearly 400 cases of femicides this year, according to a women’s rights group.

Police sources told local media the suspect attempted to burn Sozer’s body “after slitting her throat”.

The suspect, 32-year-old Kemal A, was found in Sozer’s residence and detained by police after they were notified by her neighbours of smoke that had filled the building. The motive behind the killing is not yet clear.

Sozer’s killing has sparked angry reactions and calls for justice, including from Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan.

“Every femicide opens new wounds in our hearts. We expect the criminals who murdered our women to receive the heaviest punishment,” she said in a Twitter post.

Mourning her loss

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said the “murderer will get what he deserves from Turkish justice” in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Sozer worked at the Istanbul Aydin University since 2013, the university said in a statement adding that the institute is mourning her loss and is in deep shock.

In July, the brutal murder of university student Pinar Gultekin, 27, triggered widespread outrage in the country, with many taking to the streets and social media to express their anger.

According to autopsy results, Gultekin was strangled and her body placed in a barrel, which was then burned and had concrete poured on it.

Her former partner Cemal Metin Avci, a bar manager in the resort town of Akyaka, was arrested for the murder. Police said he confessed to the killing during questioning, according to local media.

More than 382 women have been killed in cases reported as femicide in 2020, according to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, a rights group that monitors violence against women.

The group reported 29 femicides and 10 suspicious deaths of women in November alone.

At least 474 women were murdered in 2019, most of them by current or former partners, family members, or unrelated males who wanted a relationship with them, the rights group reported.

Source: Al Jazeera