A man has disappeared into thin air after killing four people, including his wife, and wounding two others in southeastern Gaziantep province, while reports indicated he might also be responsible for the death of five other relatives who were found dead later on Feb. 5.
The murder suspect, identified as Yusuf Taş, was separated from his wife Tuba, who was living with her aunt Şenel Çakmak at Gaziantep's central Düztepe neighborhood.
Tuba Taş had already filed a request at the public prosecutor's office, demanding protection from Yusuf Taş, according to local reports.
While the details of Tuba's application remained unclear, the suspect managed to approach the Çakmaks' house around midnight on Feb. 5, carrying a shotgun and demanding to speak with his wife.
Reports indicated the suspect picked a fight with Tuba Taş and eventually started firing his weapon aimlessly towards anything within his perimeter. The attack resulted in the deaths of four and wounded two others.
Tuba Taş, Şenel Çakmak and Ahmet Çakmak lost their lives at the crime scene, while Duran Taş succumbed to his injuries after being taken to hospital. Two others, whose identities remained unclear, were also injured during the attack.
A large number of of police officers and ambulances were dispatched to the crime scene and the victims' bodies were sent to the morgue for post-mortem examinations, while the whereabouts of Yusuf Taş remained unknown.
Soon after the first incident, the murders of five other members of the same family were reported, raising suspicions that the second series of killings were also committed by Yusuf Taş.
The bodies of Mustafa Taş, his wife Gülay and their children Türkan, Furkan and Gül were found early on Feb. 5 after a nephew became concerned when his calls to the family went unanswered.
According to reports, gendarmerie teams entered the house in the Sam neighborhood of Gaziantep's Şahinbey district with the help of a locksmith and discovered the bodies of five victims with gunshot wounds.
The incident is the latest in a series of alarming femicide cases in Turkey, where at least 303 women were killed in 2015, according to data released by the We Will Stop Femicide Platform.
The data revealed that 50 of these 303 women, some 16.5 percent, were killed because they attempted to end their marriage. A total of 90 were killed by their husbands and another 20 were killed by their former husbands, raising the total percentage of women murdered by their partners to 36 percent.
The legal system in Turkey has raised eyebrows over its handing of femicide cases, as many male suspects have received lower sentences for murdering women on the grounds that they had a “positive” demeanor during their trials. Activists demanded the government change the law that says a sentence can be reduced based on a suspect's demeanor during trial.