Assistant professor investigated over alleged Gülen links commits suicide

34-year old Assistant Professor Mustafa Sadık Akdağ.

A 34-year old assistant professor at the Faculty of Dentistry at the Ordu University in Turkey’s Black Sea region, Mustafa Sadık Akdağ, has committed suicide apparently because of psychological trauma he experienced for being investigated due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Akdağ shot himself to death at the house of one of his friends in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Monday.

Leaving a suicide note behind, he wrote: “Nobody is responsible for my death. An accusation was directed at me. I am referring to those who directed this accusation to me to God.”

Turkish media reports said Akdağ was recently interrogated by prosecutors due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement and released.

Akdağ’s body was taken to the Trabzon Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy while an investigation has been launched into his death.

More than 50 people, who were imprisoned or purged over alleged ties to the Gülen movement, have committed suicide or extra-judicially killed under police detention or in prisons. Some of these suicides have been found to be suspicious.

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 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the coup “a great gift of God” and pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

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.

About 130,000 people have been purged from state bodies, 92,000 detained and 45,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and a comedian. (SCF with Feb. 28, 2017



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