Azize Araç, mother of Murat Araç, who have allegedly committed suicide by jumping out of a police headquarters’ window while under police custody in Antalya’s Gazipaşa district, spoke about the battery marks on her son’s body and said that “My son was killed by the police.”
According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency, claiming that her son was murdered by police Araç said that “The first thing I did was to turn his head to the side. There was a large wound on the left side of his neck, and it was deep. My fingers could go into the wound. His right eye was black and swollen. Two of his teeth were broken, there was a bruise on his cheek and there was blood coming out of his ears. I kissed his hand, and told the policemen there that my son didn’t commit suicide, you killed him, the state killed him.”
Araç stressed that she will fight for the rest of her life to bring the truth to light and spoke about what happened after she received the body of her son “We asked for a hearse, they refused. We wanted to take him to the mosque for the washing, they didn’t let us. The municipality here also refused to provide a hearse or let us use the house of mourning. We even had to dig the grave ourselves.”
Azize Araç said they put up a tent for condolence visitors in their yard, but were called by the district police and told they would come and tear it down if the family doesn’t take it down themselves. “So we took down the tent. This executioner system doesn’t respect our dead or our pain. We will continue to experience this pain as long as we are not united,” said Araç.
The Turkish state has a long history of executions in police stations, and there is suspicion that M.A. was also executed and the death was made to look like a suicide. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicious 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 98 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list as of December 14, 2017 in a searchable database format.