Police officer purged by Turkish government commits suicide in İstanbul house

Durmuş Ali Çetin

Durmuş Ali Çetin, a former police officer who was dismissed from his job by government decree 10 months ago, was found dead at his home in İstanbul on Saturday, apparently having committed suicide. It was reported that Çetin fell into a depression after he had difficulty repaying a loan he secured to buy the house in İstanbul.

He moved to Kahramanmaraş’s Afşin district, where his family has been living since he was fired. Çetin recently went to İstanbul to sell the house, but his family hadn’t heard from him in a while. Police entered the house on Saturday and found Çetin dead after the family reported him missing.

He was buried in Afşin following a religious ceremony.

He had previously disappeared on May 17 and could not been reached for days and his family had been concerned about the security of his life.  The father of three moved to Afşin district of Turkey’s eastern province Kahramanmaraş after he was dismissed from his post in İstanbul by a an arbitrary government decree under the rule over emergency over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

However, on May 30, 2017, Durmuş Ali Çetin was found in Hatay province and reported to have suffered psychological problems.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in its study on March 2017 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 87 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 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch AKP government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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