‘We are Arabs . . . look how a man is beheaded’
A MAN from Hatay in Turkey allegedly killed a man in Girne by cutting his throat and stabbing him in the back after shouting: “We are Arabs . . . look how a man is beheaded.”
Murder suspect Fevzi Şanverdi was said to have uttered the words and carried out the attack in a seafront children’s play area where the victım, Hasan Polat Sepetçioğlu, had been lying on a bench.
Şanverdi appeared before Girne District Court to face a preliminary hearing on charges including premeditated murder, carrying an illegal knife and drunkenness.
A friend of both the defendant and the deceased, Alpaslan Kuşçu, who had been present when the incident took place, described to the court what happened on September 1 last year.
Kuşçu, who is himself now on remand for charges of usurpation, robbery, assault, damage and carrying an illegal knife in connection with an alleged offence in October, told the court, headed by judge Meltem Dündar: “Sepetçioğlu and I were hanging around in Girne’s old harbour at midnight and were drinking alcohol. Later we went to an internet café in the Beycanlar area. I went into the café and spent time there. Fevzi Şanverdi and Hasan Polat Sepetçioğlu were having a chat and drinking in front of the door.
“Then I saw them talking to two girls, offering to buy them drinks and spend time together.”
Kuşçu told how the other men had begun arguing and started pushing each other, and that he had “tried to solve the problem telling them, ‘you are brothers, don’t break each other’s hearts’ and calmed them down”.
After that, he and Mr Sepetçioğlu had bought more alcohol and returned to the internet café, where the pair again argued.
“Later Hasan and Fevzi wanted to go to the harbour and carry on drinking there. I said I was going to go work the next morning but Hasan insisted I join them. We went to the play area opposite Liman Casino and I had two beers, but they were totally drunk.
“While Hasan Sepetçioğlu was lying on a bench, Fevzi Şanverdi finished his beer angrily and suddenly drew out his knife and told him, ‘We are Arabs. We are from Hatay. See how a man is beheaded’, before slitting Sepetçioğlu’s throat and stabbing him in the back.”
Kuşçi said Şanverdi had then walked off towards the Atatürk monument, carrying the bloody knife, and he had been too afraid to try to stop him.
“People who had seen [the killing] started running away. I alerted the Liman Casino guards and they told me, ‘you go, we will report it to police’.”
Şanverdi was remanded in custody and the hearing adjourned to an unspecified date.
Murder suspect Fevzi Şanverdi (right) is led away by an officer