The 21-year-old murder suspect in the north appeared at a court in Trikomo on Thursday where he was remanded for one day, reports from the north said.
Sefer Bugra Altundag, who is suspected of brutally beating to death a 16-year-old girl, Zehie Helin Reessur, will remain in custody until a post-mortem is completed. He is due back in court on tomorrow.
Speaking in court on Thursday, Turkish Cypriot police said that the murder took place sometime between 1.59am and 2.12am on Wednesday.
The inspector said the suspect took the victim to the construction site in Trikomo where, after an argument, he hit her in the head five times with a hammer.
He then reportedly dragged her body 100 metres and hit her on the head twice more with an iron bar, which proved fatal.
Meanwhile, following the death of the 16-year-old there was a public outcry in the media for how it was covered by some outlets in the north and from youth groups, who expressed their dismay at the death of the minor, whose funeral will be held later in the day.
The newspaper Kibris ran a title calling the act a ‘crime of passion,’ which drew the condemnation of the Turkish Cypriot journalists union (KTGB).
“The brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl by another 21-year-old has hurt the hearts of us journalists, as well as all members of the society,” the unions said.
They added that Kibris’ decision to publish the aforementioned title and pictures of the girls body necessitates them to file a complaint with the media ethics committee in the north.
Main opposition CTP youth group also decried the murder.
“Violence cases, which are increasing day by day in our country, particularly threaten the lives of women and children. We young people watch this uncontrolled environment with anxiety every day, and we do not want any young person to live in such an environment of fear,” the group said.
They called on the ‘government’ in the north to act and protect the values of Turkish Cypriot society.
In a statement on Wednesday, CTP women’s leader and ‘MP’ Dogus Derya likewise condemned the murder.
Commenting on the young girl’s murder, she said that it was “a painful indication that violence against women in the country has reached horrific proportions.”
She added that the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s party UBP and its ‘government’ failed at making institutional arrangements to prevent violence against women
Altundag surrendered himself to the Greek Cypriot police later on Wednesday. He had fled to the south of the island through the Dherynia crossing point.
Around 5pm, he presented himself to a police station in the south, making some allegations in connection with the murder case.
The bicommunal technical committee on crime was notified.
Turkish Cypriot media confirmed the arrest saying the necessary steps were taken to return the suspect.
According to Yeni Duzen, after bludgeoning the girl near the Trikomo Long Beach region, the suspect, who police identified as her boyfriend, attempted to set fire to the vehicle they had driven in, and then abandoned it at Dherynia crossing point.
The newspaper also reported that the vehicle was found at the Dherynia crossing later with traces of blood and burn marks.
Reessur was a musician, and her death caused an outcry from women in the north. A fellow musician that played with her and member of the CTP Women’s assembly and party, Gaye Astan Choban said on social media that she was so sorry to hear the news.
In her post on social media, Reessur’s teacher at the vocational school in Famagusta, Aylin Gargi said that she will never forget her student.
She said her “youth, future, and hopes were all taken away from her.”
Gargi said that although her place is empty in the class, Reessur will always be present in her heart.