Police officer Ö.Y. caused the deaths of Muhammed Yıldırım (7) and Furkan Yıldırım (6) after crashing into their home with a panzer in Silopi district in the mostly Kurdish-populated southeastern province of Şırnak.
Announcing its verdict today (June 19), the court sentenced Ö.Y. two years and one month in prison for “causing death by negligence,” then turned the sentence into a fine of 19 thousand liras (~3,250 US dollars), Nuşirevan Elçi, the chairperson of the Şırnak Bar Association and the attorney of the Yıldırım family told bianet. Ö.Y.’s chief who assigned him for duty was acquitted.
Saying that they will appeal against the decision, Elçi noted, “Unfortunately, the sentence is in accordance with the recent situation of impunity regarding public officials.”
The final hearing
The 10th hearing of the case was held at the Cizre 2nd Heavy Penal Court in Şırnak today, with both two defendants being present.
Ö.Y. said, “I did what I could do. The accident happened because the vehicle didn’t work,” the Mezopotamya Agency reported.
Mesut Yıldırım, the father of the two children, said, “No sentence can bring our children back. For the prevention of incidents like this, we request a fair verdict that can ease our suffering.”
The Prosecutor’s Office requested prison sentences for both defendants from two years to 15 years and complaints shall be filed against the officials who are responsible for the incident.
Attorney Elçi requested the defendants to be charged with “blatant negligence,” citing that the driver does not have a license to drive a panzer.
“Impunity is one of the foremost reasons that corrupt society. If there is a disproportionate sentence, then we will all have responsibility for the accidents that will happen,” Elçi said.
Rojhat Dilsiz, another attorney for Yıldırım family, said that she agrees with the prosecutor regarding the request of a criminal complaint against the responsible officials.
Former District Director of Security Selçuk Erdoğan, whom the witness police officers said was responsible for the incident, and police chief Tuncay Taşdemir should also be tried, Dilsiz said.
Announcing its verdict, the court sentenced Ö.Y. Ö.Y. two years and one month in prison for “causing death by negligence,” then turned the sentence into a fine of 19 thousand liras.
A police officer hitting a house while maneuvering with an armored vehicle caused the death of Muhammed Yıldırım (7) and Furkan Yıldırım (6) as they were sleeping inside the house on May 3, 2017. The vehicle was supposed to protect the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) building.
The Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the incident. The driver of the armored vehicle Ö.Y. was arrested and a lawsuit was filed against Ö.Y. and his superior M.M. for “causing deaths of more than one person”. Facing up to 15 years in prison, Ö.Y. was released in his first hearing.