Özgecan Aslan, the university student murdered by a minibus driver, was taken to her final resting place on the shoulders of women. Women across Turkey took to the streets to commemorate her, and to protest against male violence.
The funeral of Özgecan Aslan (20), the Mersin Çağ University Department of Psychology student whose murdered and burned body was found after she was declared missing was held at Mersin Cemevi, and she was laid to rest in the Akbelen Cemetery.
Her mother Songül and father Mehmet Aslan embraced her coffin as they shed tears. Her mother mourned after her daughter with the words, “My darling daughter. May her murderes suffer their punishment. My angel-faced daughter, my baby. I cared so much for her.”
An argument flared up when women wanted to take the front row during funeral prayers, which is against Islamic custom. The imam intervened, and funeral prayers were held with women and men both holding the front row. Aslan’s coffin was shouldered by women to be taken to her resting place. “This is a weight too heavy for men to shoulder,” said the women.
Three men were detained in Mersin in connection with the murder.
Protests against Aslan’s murder continue across Turkey. Women in Istanbul marched along İstiklal Street with a banner proclaiming, ‘We will call the murderers to account’. Marches were held in other cities as well.
The Mersin Metropolitan Municipality announced it had cancelled its events for February 14 Valentines Day due to Özgecan Aslan’s funeral.
HDP Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş, speaking at his party’s congress in Ağrı, said that they would show no tolerance to male violence and rape, adding, “Three creatures carried out this heinous act on this young girl, and they did in the name of manhood. I call on all to condemn this rapist, brutal, barbarian act. We will make sure this kind of act is sent to the dustbin of history.”
Protests continued against the rape and murder on social media as well with the hash tags #ÖzgecanAslan #TecavüzeSessizKalma [Do Not Remain Silent Against Rape] and #KadınCinayetlerineDurDe [Say Stop to the Murders of Women].