Dismissed police officer found dead in Turkey’s Konya province

Melikşah Kültür, a 41-year-old former police officer, who was dismissed as part of an administrative investigation launched against him, was found dead at an apartment in the central Anatolian province of Konya on Friday.

Kültür reportedly told one of his friends that he was not doing well and that he needed to rest his head for some time, and then he moved to his friend’s place. However, according to Turkish media, his friends were not able to hear from Kültür for 6 days before police broke into the apartment where he was found dead. It is unknown if Kültür was dismissed as part of the government’s post-coup purge of state institutions.

More than 130,000 people have lost their jobs in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Many were found dead either after being linked to alleged coup plotters or dismissed as part of investigations into those.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in its recent study 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 81 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 9, 2017

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