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US court rules on detention of Turkish author’s son in Istanbul hit-and-run case

US court rules on detention of Turkish author's son in Istanbul hit-and-run case A bronze statue titled "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied" depicting a figure of Justice is seen on the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., September 1, 2020. (Reuters)
By Newsroom
Jun 22, 2024 11:38 AM

The U.S. court has decided to continue the detention of the Turkish author Eylem Tok’s son Timur Cihantimur, who fled to the United States with his mother after being involved in a hit-and-run case in Istanbul.

Cihantimur’s lawyers argue that he endured harsh conditions, while the prosecutor stated, “It may come as a shock for someone who lives in multi-million dollar homes, drives his mother’s Porsche, and has never had any problems before.”

Following Türkiye’s efforts, the mother and son were apprehended and appeared before the Boston Federal Court. Timur Cihantimur faces charges of “involuntary manslaughter and injury,” while Tok is charged with “helping a criminal.”

Request for release denied

On June 14, Tok and her son Cihantimur were detained by U.S. authorities upon the Türkiye’s request. They appeared in a court in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Cihantimur appeared before a judge for the second time in Boston the day before yesterday. Despite Türkiye’s extradition request, the court decided to maintain his detention.

Cihantimur’s lawyer claimed that prison conditions were dire, revealing that the young man had attempted suicide and had been forcibly stripped to prevent further self-harm.

“I implore you to release this young man,” the lawyer pleaded.

Stinging remarks from prosecutor’s

Massachusetts Prosecutor Kristin Kearney responded to the defense’s claims by asserting that the conditions at the facility where Cihantimur is held are adequate.

According to a report by Turkish local news centers, Kearney said: “There are classrooms, a gym, a library, a chapel, a mental health support unit, and medical facilities. In my opinion, Cihantimur is not in solitary confinement. This place is quite suitable for individuals of this nature. It may come as a shock for someone who lives in multi-million dollar homes, drives his mother’s Porsche, and has never had any problems before.”

What happened?

On March 1, three all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were traveling in Istanbul’s Eyupsultan district when one of them broke down. Cihantimur, who was driving his parents’ SUV without a license, crashed into the three ATVs, injuring five people. One of them, Oguz Murat Aci, later succumbed to his injuries.

Cihantimur fled the accident scene with his mother in her vehicle and traveled to Egypt and then to the US.

Türkiye’s Justice Ministry has forwarded temporary arrest request documents to U.S. authorities for their extradition.

Last Updated:  Jun 28, 2024 12:41 PM