Another police chief jailed over alleged Gülen links dies in Turkish prison

Osman Tatar

Fifty-two-year-old Ahmet Tatar, a police chief who was arrested as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement in Osmaniye province, has died in prison, the TR724 website has reported.

According to the Thursday report, the administration of Osmaniye Prison said Tatar died of a heart attack after he was taken to Osmaniye State Hospital on Tuesday when he complained of pain in his chest.

Tatar retired in 2015 as chief of the Diyarbakır Police Department’s traffic division.

A total of 29 individuals, among whom are police officers, prosecutors and teachers, have been found dead in Turkish prisons since a failed coup attempt last year, causing serious concern about the fate of thousands of civilians who are being kept in jail in poor conditions across the country.

In April, Kadir Eyce, a 33-year-old police officer who was jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, died, several weeks after he was released from prison due to health problems.

Pictures posted on social media by Eyce’s family also revealed the extent of the ill-treatment against the jailed police officer.

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 Recep Tayyip 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. (turkishminute.com)

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