A nurse, mother of 7-month-old, commits suicide after purged by gov’t decree in Turkey

Her two daughters prayed for Sevgi Balcı as she was buried after a funeral in Bucak district of Burdur on Saturday.

Sevgi Balcı, mother of a seven-month-old baby and a nurse who was fired by a government decree in October 2016, committed suicide by hanging herself in Isparta province on Friday. She was buried after a funeral in Burdur’s Bucak district on Saturday.

According to ArtiGercek.com website, Balcı who is a mother of three, was expecting to return her profession by recent decrees issued early on Friday. After realizing that she is not reinstated to her job, Balcı died after committing suicide.

Sevgi Balcı had also attempted to commit suicide on August 15, 2017, reported local media outlets. According to the reports 37-year-old mother of three hanged herself at her home in Çünür neighborhood in Isparta. Sevci Balcı’s neighbors, failed to hear from her for a while, called the police who later broke into her house and found out that she had hanged herself.

An anonymous tip submitted on August 17 to @magdurmesajiTr, a Twitter account known for awareness postings regarding the post-coup rights violations, Sevgi Balcı and her husband Halil İbrahim Balcı were dismissed from their jobs as a nurse and a hospital worker, respectively.

“She has been psychologically depressed for some time and she tried to commit suicide earlier too. …She is now under intensive care at a hospital,” the tip said.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its report which was released on March 2017 titled “Suspicous Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths 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. SCF has compiled 89 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format.

As part of the new decrees that were published in the Official Gazette and numbered 693 and694, 922 more people, including 120 academics and 190 diplomats,were purged from public service while three more media organizations and foundations were also shut down.

The Turkish government has suspended or dismissed more than 146,000 people, including soldiers, judges, teachers, police officers and civil servants, since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of a state of emergency.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch 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.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

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