Göktepe, a columnist for the left-leaning daily Evrensel, was beaten to death by police. He had been covering the funeral in Istanbul of two leftist inmates killed during a prison riot. His death prompted a public outcry among journalists.
After several trials, retrials, and appeals, in January 2000, an appeals court upheld seven-and-a-half-year prison sentences for five police officers involved in the killing. A sixth officer's sentence was reduced to three and a half years.