The brother of Nadira Kadirova, a young woman from Uzbekistan who was found dead in the home of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Şirin Ünal, called on Turkish authorities to effectively investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of his sister.
According to the T24 news website, Muhammed Ali Kadirov said they had appealed to the Constitutional Court 10 months ago to re-start the investigation into Kadirova’s death, which had been ruled a suicide by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Kadirov said the court had yet to make a decision.
Twenty-three-year-old Kadirova was working as a maid in Ünal’s home when she was found dead on September 23, 2019 with gunshot wounds to the chest. The gun that killed her had belonged to Ünal. Nadirova’s death was ruled a suicide and the case was closed.
Ilyas Doğan, the Kadirova family lawyer, objected to the decision, saying an effective crime scene investigation had not been conducted, but his objection was rejected.
According to a report from the Ankara Security Directorate’s forensics branch, there were no traces of gunshot residue on Kadirova’s hands, which were checked several hours after the incident, according to the lawyer.
Crime scene photographs revealed that her room looked like there had been a struggle as there was an overturned vase, lamp, coffee table and flowers scattered over the floor. The photographs also show puddles of blood in four different places in the room.
Other images show that Ünal’s daughter, Duygu Ünal was also present during the crime scene investigation. Doğan said this was completely against protocol as nobody except the investigators should have been inside the house as the investigation continued.
Women’s activists have argued that Kadirova’s death was highly suspicious and that they feared a cover-up. The We Want to Live initiative (Yaşamak İstiyoruz) released a statement and demanded that the truth behind Kadirova’s death be determined.
“This case cannot be covered up. We women are asking you, did Nadira commit suicide, or was she killed? Even if she committed suicide, what drove her to take her own life?” they asked.
The statement also asked why Kadirova’s body was quickly sent home to Uzbekistan and whether allegations by Kadirova’s friends that Ünal had sexually assaulted her were true.
Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), brought the issue to the Turkish Parliament and asked why the investigation into the death had been rushed and the case hastily closed.
Speaking to BBC Turkish service, Müjde Tozbey Erden, a lawyer and president of the Children and Women First Association (Önce Çocuklar ve Kadınlar), said she was providing pro-bono legal assistance to Kadirova’s family. She said Kadirova’s death and the fact that she had told her friends she was sexually assaulted by a lawmaker made the circumstances very suspicious.