Court sees "no reason for punishment" for police officer who killed Kurdish youth

Court sees "no reason for punishment" for police officer who killed Kurdish youth
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A regional court in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir changed its decision in line with the appellate court's ruling that there were no grounds for punishing the police officer who killed 23-year-old Kurd Kemal Kurkut during Newroz in 2017

A Turkish court has ruled that there are "no grounds for punishment" in terms of the Court of Appeal's annulment order, which had called for a change in the acquittal verdict for a police officer, Yeni Yasam newspaper reported.

Kemal Kurkut, a 23-year-old college student, was killed by official Yakup Senocak during a Newroz celebration in Baglar district in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21, 2017.

Police said at the time that he could be a suicide bomber, but photos taken by journalist Abdurrahman Gok showed that he was not even wearing a shirt. He had a knife in his hand but was not aiming at anyone.

The trial of Senocak began in 2017 when he appeared in the photos of Gok pointing a gun at Kurkut. The trial was marked by conflicting reports about the origin of the bullet that caused Kurkut's death. The first report in December 2018 said the bullet ricocheted off the ground, while the second report in February 2019 said Kurkut was hit directly by the police officer.

On November 17, 2020, during the 11th hearing of the trial, Senocak was acquitted on the grounds that the murder weapon was not identifiable. But the appeals court later overturned that decision.