Teacher dies after allegedly falling from balcony as police raid home to detain

Gültekin Payat, a 41-year-old teacher with an outstanding arrest warrant issued against him as part of a post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the Gülen movement, died after allegedly falling 10 meters from a balcony, as he was attempting to escape from police officers looking for him.

Denizli police raided a home on Sunday where Payat had been in hiding for some time. He is accused of having been involved with an association that was closed over alleged affiliation with Gülen movement under one of the post-coup emergency decrees.

Payat allegedly jumped into the balcony of the next apartment after he saw police knocking at his door. When he attempted to leap to a third balcony, the iron bar he was holding was bent down and he fell straight to the ground from the third floor.

The father of two was taken to the Denizli State Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

In a similar incident, A.A., a 2nd degree police officer until he was dismissed under a post-coup government decree, was shot in his leg and detained by his former colleagues in Ankara. A notary public on Turan Güneş Boulvard in Ankara’s Çankaya district reported to police that A.A. who had had an arrest warrant issued against him stopped by its office for his legal transactions.

A.A. attempted to escape when police dispatched to the notary for him. The former police chief was shot in left leg after his former colleagues fired their guns to stop him. He was sent to Numune Training and Research Hospital with police in company. According to Turkish media, his arrest warrant was issued as part of a post-coup witch hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

According to a striking report released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) on March 22, 2017 with the title of “Suspicious Deaths And Suicides In Turkey” there has been an increase in the number of suicides and suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most of the 54 cases mentioned in the report, (which was later updated with the list of 60 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.

Turkey survived a failed 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

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.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) May 4, 2017

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