Turkey charges ex-boyfriend of shot singer with attempted murder

Friday 15/05/2015
Doctors remain tight-lipped about Kaya\'s condition

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court on Wednesday charged with attempted murder the ex-boyfriend of a teenage talent show hopeful who was shot in the head in an attack that has highlighted concerns over violence against women.

Police on Tuesday arrested three men over the assault in the Kurdish-majority southeastern Diyarbakir region on 19-year-old Mutlu Kaya, who had been competing in a national televised song contest.

Two were released under judicial supervision but her former boyfriend, named as Veysel Ercan, 26, was remanded in custody and charged with attempted murder, Turkish media including the website of the Milliyet daily reported.

Kaya had been appearing on the show "Sesi Cok Guzel", similar to "Britain's Got Talent", on the Turkish private channel Fox.

The attack has attracted huge attention in Turkey, where anger has been growing over the last months over the horrifying frequency of crimes against women.

Turkish media reported that Ercan had admitted to police that he did not want Kaya to take part in the competition but denied firing the shot into her head.

"Her family wanted her all the time to take part in the competition and I did not want it. But I did not shoot her."

Doctors have been tight-lipped about Kaya's condition. But the doctor treating her, Ulas Aktas, was quoted as saying by the Dogan news agency she would gradually by woken from an induced coma from Thursday.

She had been mentored by Sibel Can, one of Turkey's best known folk pop singers who has been a household name for decades.

Can visited her in hospital in Diyarbakir on Wednesday and was seen consoling Kaya's mother.

"All Turkey is crying for Mutlu. I am hoping everything will be fine. Let us pray for Mutlu."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also telephoned Mutlu's father Tuesday to express his concern and sadness over the attack, reports said.

The Kurdish majority southeast of Turkey is known for its strongly conservative values, with women expected to perform a traditional role.

The main pro-Kurdish party, the People's Democratic Party (HDP) prides itself on progressive attitudes towards women, even to the extent of jointly sharing its chairmanship between a man and a woman.

But this is not always consistent with attitudes in society in the region which is still bedevilled by regular violence against women, often from their husbands.