Feminicide in Haute-Savoie: Gülçin, terrifying chronicle of an announced death

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In the middle of the street. In the middle of the day. This Sunday, January 27, 2019, just before 18 hours in Annemasse (Haute-Savoie), it is first Hocine, 50, who is stabbed in the back. This friend, whom Gülçin Kaplan had thought his presence would protect, has just enough time to turn around to be stabbed again in the stomach. He falls to the ground, trying to repel the aggressor, Müslüm Polat, 44 years old. Wasted effort. The latter now has the free field to attack his ex-companion. Gülçin, 34, will die before arriving at the hospital.

His executioner has time to go back to his building in the rue du Chablais. Just before he is arrested, a neighbor will see him replaying the scene, miming in a corridor the knife falling on his prey. A sequence that Gülçin's ex-husband had certainly repeated, as his victim was convinced that his last hour was approaching.

Gülçin had filed five complaints against her ex-husband. None had been followed up. "She had done all she could, sighs Delphine Devigny, deputy director of the women's association, in La Roche-sur-Foron (Haute-Savoie), who had accompanied her in her efforts. But at the penal level, nobody has taken the measure of the threats weighing on her. Even though what happened next was predictable … "

The violence began very early

Born in the Jura of parents of Turkish origin, Gülçin had continued his studies in this same department. "A student so sweet and so nice," said a former teacher who participated in the prize pool created online to pay tribute. Holder of a diploma of driving instructor, Gülçin had emancipated, living "Western", according to a relative. She had then settled in the Alps.

Gülçin was "a student so sweet and so nice," recalls a former teacher. DR
Gülçin was "a student so sweet and so nice," recalls a former teacher. DR

On the Internet she had met Müslüm. His future murderer was then living in Germany, after several years in Turkey. In the city of Gaziantep, not far from the Syrian border, he had already been married for the first time with Leyla. She is still imprisoned in Turkey. In 2009, she had killed her lover, a university professor, with several revolver bullets. The case had been widely reported by the Turkish press.

Müslüm had denied playing any role in the crime, but had preferred to go into exile in Germany, remaking his life with Gülçin. Married religiously in Germany, the couple then moved to Annemasse, where her four children were born. Very early, the violence had been chained, that Gülçin had decided to flee. After a first separation, she had consented to give one last chance to her couple, before throwing in the towel, in the autumn of 2018. Müslüm had then given a little more free rein to his hatred.

He promised her "a bloody ending"

The friends of Gülçin will thus raise a broken jaw, and a violent kick which will oblige it to consult. Two blows among a multitude. Not to mention the tear gas attacks, or the tires of his vehicle regularly punctured. On December 13, a family court judge granted the mother sole custody of the children, granting the father one weekend in two. At the home of the person concerned, and not in a public space, as is often the case in such cases.

However, according to our information, it was even in the judge's office that her ex-husband had threatened Gülçin, promising him "a blood end. To whoever wanted to hear him, he claimed that "the devil takes evening classes at my house. Worried, the young divorced had also contacted Women's Space. First by phone, then going to a permanence. "She was both terrified and very angry," recalls Delphine Devigny. She had the feeling that no one was listening. "

Especially as threats and physical violence redoubled. Even in public. Like this time her ex-husband had taken her one more time, one day when she was going to pick up the kids at school. The director had to put everyone under cover, and had warned the police. Which had moved, without there, again, judicial follow-up. To all those she met, Gülçin did not stop repeating that she was in danger. "She told me that she had big problems with her husband," says one of his colleagues at the driving school, where Gülçin had done a "recycle" course. "

She was asking for a protection order

"She was very nice, always taking news, remembers Céline, an old neighbor. One day, I learned that she had left her husband and gone elsewhere. In the absence of an order for the protection of justice, which she was demanding, Gülçin had chosen to take refuge in the nearby village of Vétraz-Monthoux, leaving her ex-spouse to occupy the former matrimonial apartment in Annemasse, where she continued to live. to go every other Sunday to pick up the children. "Once, as I was leaving, she asked me if I could keep her things and her phone up to her," recalls Céline. She was afraid her husband would take them. "

Two weeks before his death, Gülçin leaves a letter to the public prosecutor.
Two weeks before his death, Gülçin leaves a letter to the public prosecutor.

In January, Gülçin is more than ever terrified. On the 16th, two weeks before her death, she tries everything for the whole and asks audience to the prosecutor of the Republic of Thonon-les-Bains. The appointment is refused. Gülçin leaves a letter to the magistrate, almost premonitory, which we have been able to read. She describes, through the menu, the harassment of this man who now follows her as a shadow, leaving him no respite. On a daily basis, he continues to wait for him when he leaves the children's school. "I can not go there anymore," writes the young woman. There are too many people, and if he attacks me, I'm afraid I can not escape. Under duress, she resolves to "go to school at home." "

"It's him or me"

She also explains that on January 14, Müslüm "jumped on me and assaulted me, after following me. When Gülçin meets Celine, she laments that "nothing is done under the pretext that nothing serious has happened to her". " She knew. She felt things, breathed Malika, former neighbor of the stairs became the best friend and confidante of Gülçin. She told me it's him or meand even wanted to buy a weapon to defend himself. I had dissuaded her. "

Friday, January 25, two days before the tragedy, Gülçin takes the children to his ex-husband. She chooses to meet him in a public place: the bakery of the small shopping center of La Panière, at the foot of the apartment occupied by Müslüm. To intimidate him, he films her. Customers are offended, and warn the police, who goes to his building. According to several witnesses, the ex-husband claims loudly that he will "go back to Turkey, find a Kalashnikov and return to kill everyone. The case remains there.

A murder 180 meters from the police station

Aware of the risks, Gülçin multiplies the precautions, the fateful Sunday. The appointment is once again set at the bakery. Arriving, Gülçin discreetly parked in the basement of his old building, waiting at Malika with his friend Hocine, called to the rescue. Just before 6 pm, the two say goodbye to Malika, and make sure to take the elevator one floor above, in case Müslüm would have expected them inside the building. But it is in the street that the predator has planned to attack them. From home, Malika will hear a few minutes later the cries of terror of her friend. The scene was played exactly 180 m from the police station, located at 42 of the same street. A proximity that was of no use.

"Are we talking about five complaints? But five times a week she went to the police, "Malika fumed. Once they did not want to receive her, she was out and her husband was waiting for her. He had chased her. She had come back to the police station, and she had been yelling to be returned … "

"There is still a lot of ignorance of this type of violence," says Delphine Devigny. It's as if Gülçin did not have the right profile. As if his anger, legitimate, had suggested to the representatives of the state that it was vindictive, and that all this was a banal conflict related to separation. A fatal lack of appreciation, as he was able to give his ex-companion a feeling of impunity. "For the police to intervene, she had to call the local residents, accuses Malika. She was constantly in awe, and no one lifted a finger for her. "

Responsibility of the State in question

At the Espace femme, Delphine Devigny always says she is "very upset" by this drama, and "angry. For his part, Gülçin's family had announced their willingness to file a complaint in order to shed light on the possible responsibility of the State services. She does not want to speak while an instruction is open.

Neither the prosecution of Thonon-les-Bains, nor that of Annecy, which controls the procedure, have also responded to our interview requests. In early February, the prosecutor of the Republic of Thonon, Philippe Toccanier, felt that he had "nothing to say about the ongoing investigation".

On the spot, the observers consider however that there was one before, and one after January 27th. That since the death of Gülçin, complaints are better taken into account, with more frequent referrals to the criminal court. This did not prevent that last week, in Douvaine (Haute-Savoie), a 34-year-old woman accompanied by her 2-year-old daughter was stabbed on public roads by her ex-spouse. In the middle of the street. In the middle of the day.

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