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‘Man burned feminist girlfriend’s body’ saying it was ‘meat from fridge’

A feminist girlfriend has been killed by her boyfriend by dousing her dead body in petrol and set her ablaze, saying it was ‘meat from fridge’.

Cemal Metin Avci, 32, is accused of beating and strangling his 27-year-old partner Pinar Gultekin to death.

In a case that has shocked Turkey, politicians and celebrities have condemned the violent nature of the alleged crime.

A campaign has also started on Instagram, dubbed ChallengeAccepted, to empower women following Gultekin’s death.

As protests have grown detectives have stepped up the investigation and have arrested Mertcan Avci, the accused’s brother.

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He was reportedly linked to the case through mobile phone evidence.

The brother recalled smelling a “disgusting” odour when he arrived at the scene in Mentese, Turkey.

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He claims his brother told him he was ridding himself of spoiled meat after his fridge broke at the bar he ran nearby.

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During a three-month probe, homicide police tracked signals from the brother’s phone to the scene in the wake of Pinar’s disappearance on July 16.

Mertcan Avci allegedly phoned family members on the night and is accused of going to the scene with his older brother to cover up evidence.

He denies the charge of destroying evidence.

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According to reports the accused insisted he had no reason to doubt his brother when he told him he was “burning spoiled kokoretsi” (lamb or goat offal) because the fridge at the Cuece bar was not working.

However, Gultekin’s lawyer, Rezan Epozdemir, has argued there are contradictions in his statements to police. Epozdemir also believes other perpetrators were involved.

Mertcan Avci is now also in preventive detention, awaiting a trial, alongside his brother.

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Pinar Gultekin was a prominent campaigner to stop violence against women in a country where last month 27 women were killed by men, and another 23 died in what were described as “suspicious circumstances”.

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The figures were calculated by the We Will Stop Femicide Platform (KCDP) by collecting media reports.

Campaigners say the numbers are increasing with the case of Pinar Gultekin quickly becoming the public face of their campaign.

Speaking to Newsflash, KCDP general secretary Fidan Ataselim said: “Pinar was brutally tortured and murdered. The cowardly killer then tried to hide the murder. It is no coincidence that she was killed in such a violent way given the increase in the numbers of murders of women.

“While all the evidence shows that more steps need to be taken to tackle femicide, the opposite was done. Instead of tackling deficiencies in the way of protecting women, they started discussing taking protections away by challenging the Istanbul convention. Whenever women’s rights are weakened, women die.”

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Married father-of-one Cemal Metin Avci was arrested on July 21. He is being held in solitary confinement at a high-security prison.

His wife, Eda Avci, filed for divorce in August and he has agreed to pay her the equivalent of £497,900 in compensation.

Eda Avci told local media: “I don’t want to be associated with this event anymore. I’m trying to divorce that criminal. I will start a quiet life with my daughter.”

Cemal Metin Avci has not yet been sentenced.

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