60-year-old Turkish woman commits suicide as husband under arrest for 10 months

A 60-year-old woman, identified with initials H.G., hanged herself in her house in Söke district of Aydın province, according to local media on Sunday. H.G. committed suicide by hanging herself late on Sunday, media reported adding that she was the wife of V.G., a small business owner under arrest over his alleged links to the Gülen movement since July 27, 2016.

Aktif Haber online news portal has stated that V.G. was running a stationery store before he was arrested and that H.G. took over the business along with their children after V.G.’s imprisonment. H.G. suffered a physiological collapse due to her husband’s arrest and ensuing difficulties at work, Aktif Haber added.

In a separate incident on June 9, 21-year-old university student Tuğçe Ölçer died after jumping off a balcony as she was depressed in the face of her father’s imprisonment over similar charges.

More than 120,000 people including teachers, state workers, academics, judges, prosecutors, businessmen, lawyers and many others from different backgrounds have been detained over alleged links to the Gülen movement since last summer. The movement denies both involvement in the coup attempt and the terror accusations.

A total of 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 movement, have committed suicide, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said in a report in late April, this year.

An updated version of a report released by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) in March 2017 has documented 78 cases of suspicious deaths & suicides in Turkey during detention or under arrest or following heavy oppresions apllied by Turkish government since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

There has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most 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.

A military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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 report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 12, 2017

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