Appeal against acquittal

Rasim Öz, lawyer for the Türkler family, immediately filed an appeal against the decision, which was based on "lack of evidence".

In a statement outside of court, Öz said: "We have written an appeal demand immediately so that the case be taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal’s general assembly of criminal chambers. Even if there had not been an acquittal, there was no chance of a fair trial. In a case that has been continuing for thirty years, they were trying to use the statute of limitations. We will not allow this to happen."

Suspect was protected

The lawyer alleged several irregularities in the case and said that the capture of the suspect 19 years after the murder was only made possible because of his own efforts. He told bianet:

"Journalist Halil Nebiler was talking with a secret service (MİT) officer at the Eresin Hotel in Topkapı, Istanbul, when the officer said to a person passing by, ‘Come here’. When Nebiler asked who he was, he found out who Osmanağaoğlu was and that he was living in the Aegean resort of Kuşadası. Osmanağaoğlu turned to Nebiler and said, ‘You didn’t see me, and I didn’t see you. Otherwise you’ll end up like him.’ When I was told about this, I told a prosecutor I know and police officers."

DİSK dismayed

Another person who was angry at the result of the trial was today’s president of DİSK, Süleyman Çelebi. He had said before the trial that he expected the trial to shed light on the dark forces behind the defendant and the murder, and the dark designs prior to the military coup of 12 September in general.

Çelebi said, "We will proclaim 12 September to be the day when the murders of Kemal Türkler emerged, and we will follow this up."

Family will seek justice

Türkler’s daughter Nilgün Soydan reacted to the acquittal by saying, "I do not respect the decision of a judiciary that has been bought."

His widow Sebahat Türkler said that if there was no justice, they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights.

Accusation of irregularities

Lawyer Öz criticised the fact that Hüsamettin Bektaş, whose car had been stolen to carry out the murder and who had helped to create a computer-generated image that helped to identify Osmanağaoğlu, was not called to a hearing to see the defendant. Furthermore, the statements of Türkler’s daughters were ignored.

Öz further said that judge Elife Selma Sözen had joined th case for the first time, and accused her of not having read all the previous proceedings, despite her statements to the contrary.

One of the judges, Atilla Tanrıvermiş, added the annotation that "a conviction should have taken place".
(BIA, Erol ÖNDEROĞLU, 31 July 2009)