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20 February, 2020
 
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Senturk attempts suicide in Turkish prison

Not clear whether he will be handed over to Turkish Cypriots

Newsroom

Erdinc Senturk, the man who admitted to killing Solon Apostolides in self defence, tried to end his life but fellow cell mates intervened and his plan was foiled.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to a report in the Turkish Cypriot press, Senturk tried to commit suicide in a Turkish prison where he is being held after admitting to killing 65-year-old Greek Cypriot Solon Apostolides in self defence just outside Kyrenia.

Senturk maintains that Apostolides sexually harassed him, prompting the young man to react.

Senturk maintains that Apostolides sexually harassed him, prompting the young man to react.

The young man, who is a Turkish national, received medical treatment and was taken back to prison, according to reports. It is not clear if he will be handed over to Turkish Cypriot authorities.

The body of Apostolides was found last week in a forested area in the north just outside Kyrenia, in a state of decomposition. He had been missing for over a week, after his two children in the south contacted police on both sides of the divided island to report they couldn't reach their father by phone.

The two men had left a casino just after midnight on March 28, according to security camera footage and drove away in the same car, owned by Apostolides. Senturk, a 22-year-old Turkish national, said they were going to borrow money from a friend of the victim in the north.

According to Turkish press, Senturk said the 65-year-old man drove him in a secluded area under false pretenses and made unwanted sexual advances with the young man reacting by striking Apostolides in the head. He then fled to Turkey the following day but quickly surrendered to Turkish police when he learned he was a wanted man in Cyprus, saying he had killed the victim in self defence and had feelings of guilt.

Senturk also told authorities he didn’t realise he had killed Apostolides, with media reports saying he fled the scene in a panic. But questions were being raised in the media as to whether he knew he had killed the man, following reports that the head had been crushed severely. A third individual, a friend of Senturk where the young man went to get a change of clean clothes, was also named a person of interest in the case during the early stages of the investigation, but it is not clear if he had any role in the aftermath.

The body of Apostolides showed signs of knife wounds and blows to the head and some facial burns, while an autopsy by a Turkish Cypriot forensic examiner determined the cause of death was severe blows to the head. An autopsy in the Republic of Cyprus, prior to the funeral in the south, concurred with the finding that severe blows to the head had killed the man.

It was reported previously by some media outlets that Senturk was expected to be handed over to Turkish Cypriot authorities. But as extradition criteria are very hard to be met in Turkey, a transfer might not not take place.

Senturk could still face justice in Turkey unless he files a motion to be tried in a Turkish Cypriot court.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Apostolides  |  Senturk  |  Kyrenia  |  Turkish  |  Greek  |  Cypriot  |  casino  |  sexual  |  harassment  |  police  |  missing

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