Turkish Court Sentences Somali President’s Son to Prison for Negligent Driving

Published: January 16, 2024

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court today fined the son of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud $900 for causing the accidental death of a Turkish citizen in a car accident last year, local media reported.

Mohamed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was driving a car in Istanbul on November 30, 2023, when he hit a motorcycle delivery man, Yunus Emre Gocer. Gocer, a father of two, died in hospital six days later.

Turkish prosecutors initially sought a six-year prison sentence for Mohamed, but an Istanbul court on Tuesday sentenced him to two years and six months in prison. However, due to the lack of intent, the court changed the sentence to a fine of 27,300 lira ($900).

Mohamed’s departure from Turkey following the accident caused outrage in the Turkish opposition media, who accused the government of allowing him to flee in order to maintain good relations with Somalia. However, Mohamed returned to Turkey a few days ago to testify before the court.

The verdict came while Mohamed was absent from the court. His driving license in Turkey was also revoked for six months.

Turkey has had close relations with Somalia for the past 10 years, with Turkey being the largest country in economic relations with Somalia, especially in the areas of education and health. The two countries also have close military ties.