Former police officer dies of brain hemorrhage suffered in detention

Mehmet Harun Yılmaz, 39, a former deputy police chief who suffered a brain hemorrhage two years ago while in police custody, died yesterday after being in a coma for two years, Turkish media reported.

Yılmaz was fired from his job in 2016 by an emergency law decree in the aftermath of a failed coup on July 15, 2016. He was detained on July 1, 2019 in Turkey’s southern Adana province and fainted at the police station. Yilmaz was immediately hospitalized and was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage.

Yılmaz is one of the latest victim of Turkey’s post-coup purge.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions against its political opponents under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. In addition to firing more than 130,000 civil servants as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces, the government also shut down 164 media organizations, 1,058 educational institutions and 1,769 NGOs with emergency decree-laws without any due process. The victims were not allowed to contest the decisions in court.

Many dissidents who were detained and arrested became critically ill and have lost their lives in the recent years. Emine Yürükçü, a former teacher who was also fired by a government decree, died of cancer only a day after Yilmaz.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) in January published its yearly report listing purge victims who died of cancer and various other diseases last year.

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