Turkish agricultural engineer goes missing in Rize province

An agricultural engineer, Nuh Yiğit, has disappeared in the Black Sea province of Rize where he went earlier this week to look for a job, according to his family’s Twitter account.

“Police officials are not giving any information to Nuh Yiğit’s family members about his whereabouts,” a relative tweeted Tuesday.

Social media users shared the news about the engineer’s disappearance, with many questioning whether Yiğit is being subjected to ill treatment at the Rize Police Station.

Yiğit is not the only person who has gone missing during an ongoing state of emergency in the country that was declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Hundreds of human tragedies in Turkey have been reported since then, and many individuals in Turkey and abroad with alleged ties to the movement have gone missing.

Nearly 50 people committed suicide after being subjected to post-coup rights violations, while 14 others were forced or attempted to disappear between January 1 and August 31, 2017, according to a report issued by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sept. 1, 2017.

It was recorded that 13 people were abducted in Turkey, 11 of them were kidnapped in Ankara by Turkish National Intelligence (MİT)-affiliated paramilitary forces which work with a hundred percent impunity. The mysterious kidnappings in Turkey are bringing back the fear of forced disappearances by state agencies in the mid-1990s.

While opposition politicians put the number at eight, Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD), an independent NGO, said it had documented 10 cases as of May. Another two abductions are alleged to have taken place in June. On Aug. 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a letter called on Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to investigate the abductions and possible enforced disappearances in Ankara of at least four men who have been missing since March.

In the 1990s, at the height of the state’s brutal war against terrorists of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), security forces disappeared hundreds of civilians, most of them Kurds. Often, they were tortured. Some victims’ bodies were eventually found; in many cases, their fate remains unknown to this day. Over the years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found the Turkish state responsible in numerous cases.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on March 15, 2018 that at least 402,000 people have been the subject of legal proceedings initiated by the Turkish government over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.” (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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