The mother of Gülistan Doku, a young Kurdish woman who went missing on January 5, 2020, once again called on Turkish authorities to find her daughter, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.
Bedriye Doku said the past four years had been an agonizing wait for some news about her daughter and urged the new justice minister, Yılmaz Tunç, to channel his efforts into finding the young woman.
“I want my daughter to be found,” she said. “I live with one eye on the phone, waiting for authorities to call us and say they are investigating what happened to her. I want to believe in justice and the rule of law.”
Doku, 21, went missing in Tunceli, where she was attending university. The recently appointed governor of Tunceli province, Bülent Tekbıyıkoğlu, and chief of police Hakan Yılmaz met with Doku’s sister Aygül Doku in early November. They promised the grieving sister they would intensify investigations and rectify the mistakes that were made in the early days after the young woman went missing.
Aygül Doku said she felt some hope that authorities would finally take the necessary steps to find her sister. “I want to thank the governor and the chief of police for taking up the case once again and for promising to review how the case was handled from day one,” she said. “This has been a big hope for [Gülistan’s family].”
Doku was last seen arguing with her boyfriend, Zaynal Abarakov, in front of a bakery. Later, images of her sitting on a bridge over a reservoir emerged, prompting authorities to believe she had died by suicide and police searching the reservoir.
However, there was no sign of Doku’s body, and the family filed a complaint against Abarakov. According to the Tunceli Public Prosecutor’s Office there was no indication that someone had jumped into the reservoir at the time Doku was said to have been seen on the bridge. Doku’s family argued that this was a clear indication that their daughter had not died by suicide and that Abarakov could be responsible for her disappearance.
Doku’s family still believes Abarakov was involved in the disappearance of their daughter and are demanding his arrest.
Justice for Gülistan Doku, a civil society organization that is monitoring her case, believes Abarakov’s stepfather, Engin Y., who is also a policeman, is involved in a coverup. Engin Y. was part of the investigation and was the first police officer to report that “an object had dropped into the lake” at the time Doku went missing. Engin Y.’s report informed the course of the investigation and the search of the lake.
Engin Y. is also currently under investigation for sharing confidential information and documents in the case with the press.
According to Doku’s sister, Aygül Doku, her sister and Abarakov had a disagreement the day before she disappeared. Abarakov tried to force Doku into a car, but she managed to get away. Doku’s family is demanding that the authorities conduct a thorough investigation and determine what happened to the young woman.