A mother and her lover who had sold her five-year-old son to different men for abuse and later killed him and buried his bound body in a pit have been jailed for life.
Twisted mum Mine Durak, 28, was sought by police in Turkey after she was accused of violent behaviour towards her young son, Eymen Sadik Durak, in 2019.
The police were unable to locate her at first, but they eventually found her with relatives but without her son.
Suspicions were raised when she gave contradictory statements regarding her son’s whereabouts during questioning.
She later claimed the youngster had been beaten to death by her boyfriend, Serkan Elcetin, 39.
The mother gave the police a location, where officers found a bag inside a hole sealed with bricks, in September 2019.
Inside the bag was the lifeless boy with his hands and feet bound.
His body was taken to the Izmir Forensic Medicine Institute for an autopsy and a DNA test.
Officers arrested the mother, her boyfriend, and the latter’s brother, identified only by his initials, E. E..
At a hearing at the Izmir 9th High Criminal Court in July, 2021, Durak was given an aggravated life sentence for ‘aggravated murder’ and seven years in prison for ‘torment’.
Elcetin, meanwhile, was given an aggravated life sentence for ‘aggravated murder’ and six years in prison for ‘torment’.
Those sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment in Turkey are only eligible for parole after they have served at least 30 years, or 36 years if given more than one ‘aggravated murder’ sentence.
The court, at the time, acquitted the defendants of the charge of sexual abuse, as no such evidence could be found on the boy’s body due to its state of decomposition, as his death had taken place on 30th August.
But after lawyers from the Ministry of Family and Social Services protested that the sentences were too light, the higher court overturned the local court’s decision.
The 1st Penal Chamber of the Izmir Regional Court of Justice ordered that the boyfriend’s mobile phone be sent to the Criminal Division of the Gendarmerie Command for examination.
It was later revealed that images found on the mobile phone provide evidence that young Eymen was sexually abused.
It was also revealed that he was sold to different men for this purpose.
The 4th Specialisation Board of the Forensic Medicine Institute found that the victim’s mother was of sound mind and therefore criminally liable.
Both then received another 30 years for ‘child sexual abuse’. Their sentences for the crime of ‘torture’ were increased to eight years each.
Durak and Elcetin later appealed the court’s decision, complaining it was too high.
Legal representatives for the Saadet Teacher Association Against Child Abuse (UCİM) and the Ministry of Family and Social Services also appealed the verdict, demanding that the two be given an even harsher punishment.
The case finally made it to Turkey’s Supreme Court where it was reviewed by a panel of judges with the 1st Criminal Chamber.
After a careful consideration, the Supreme Court has now concluded that there were no grounds for appeals and upheld the sentences without either increasing or decreasing them as prosecution and defence had requested.
The defendants are also still expected to be tried for the crime of ‘using children in the production of obscene publications,’ though it is not yet clear when the next hearing will take place.
If convicted, prosecutors said Durak and Elcetin could be looking at an additional 10-year sentence.