Turkey mourns 20-year old ballerina stabbed to death
Turkey has been mourning for Ceren Özdemir, a 20-year old woman who was stabbed to death by an escaped convict on Tuesday in front of her home in the Black Sea coastal province of Ordu.
Özgür Arduç, who escaped from prison on Dec. 1, confessed to Özdemir’s killing.
“I followed many women planning to kill them. But I could not do it as there were many people around. I stole a knife while passing by a shop for that reason,” Hürriyet quoted Arduç as saying during his testimony.
The convicted felon said he had seen Özdemir on the street and began following her with the intent to kill her and steal her bag. He said he had stabbed Özdemir twice after asking her a question and then ran away.
“I’m not sorry for what I did,” Hürriyet quoted Arduç as saying.
The killer said he had looked for new victims the next morning. Turkish press outlets reported that he had wounded two policemen with the knife he used to kill Özdemir as they apprehended him on Wednesday.
Arduç was sentenced to more than 23 years in prison in 2005 over several charges including murder, the Ordu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a written statement.
Özdemir, a third-year student in Ordu University’s Department of Fine Arts, was returning from a class where she taught ballet to children. Her mother was the first on the scene after Özdemir was stabbed.
CCTV footage showing Özdemir looking behind her as Arduç followed her was shared on social media late on Wednesday and led many women to recount their own stories of being followed and threatened by men on the streets.
One of Özdemir’s latest posts on Twitter was about Güleda Cankel, a 19-year old girl who was strangled to death by her boyfriend last month in the western province of Istanbul because she wanted to break up.
Some 390 women have been murdered by men in Turkey since the start of the year, including 49 who lost their lives in November, according to femicide watchdog Anti-Sayaç.