35 purge victims committed suicide during Turkey’s emergency rule, CHP report reveals

A total of 35 people who have been affected by a purge carried by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15 have committed suicide during the emergency rule declared shortly after the failed coup, according to a report from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The CHP’s report, titled “Suicides that Took Place During Emergency Rule,” showed that 35 people who or whose relatives have been affected by the post-coup purge, either by losing their jobs or by being arrested, due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, have committed suicide.

The CHP’s report was prepared by CHP Deputy Chairman Veli Ağbaba.

Out of the 35 people who committed suicide during emergency rule, which was first declared on July 21 and is still in effect, 13 victims committed suicide at home, seven in prison, one in a detention center, one in a dormitory, eight at their workplaces and five in the street.

Seventeen of the people who committed suicide during emergency rule were police officers, four of them were soldiers, four of them teachers, two of them prison guards, one was a counselor, one district governor, one an imam, one a public prosecutor, one an engineer, one a student, one a doctor and one was a dentist, according to the CHP’s report.

In the report it is claimed that the lack of judicial means that will help purge victims to prove their innocence and allegations of torture in Turkey’s prisons have led to a significant increase in the number of suicides.

According to a striking report released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) on March 22, 2017 with the title of “Suspicious Deaths And Suicides In Turkey” there has been an increase in the number of suicides and suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most of the 54 cases mentioned in the report, (which was later updated with the list of 60 cases) authorities concluded these as suicides without any effective, independent investigation. The suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. (SCF with turkishminute.com) April 29, 2017

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