Naim Çıtır, founding chairman of Konya Business Union AKTİSAD, who was jailed and whose assets were confiscated during the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, has reportedly passed away.
Brussels-based online news portal TR724 has reported on Monday that being one of the pioneers of Gülen movement in Konya province, philanthropic businessman Çıtır’s heart couldn’t bear the persecutions and stress anymore.
Naim Çıtır had been one of the victims of Turkish government’s feud policies against the activists and philanthropists who have been affiliated with the Gülen movement following December 17-25, 2013 corruption investigation.
First, Çıtır was jailed with the charge of a membership to a terrorist organization without any evidence, and then all his assets were seized. The charitable businessman got cancer during his 6 months of imprisonment. While he should have stayed in a hospital and received treatment, his health situation got worse day by day because of the poor conditions and neglect in prison.
It was reported that Çıtır was passed away yesterday due to the complications related to his illness. Deceased businessperson’s funeral prayer was held just after the Zuhr prayer at Sultan Selim Mosque, close to Uçler Cemetery on Monday. After the funeral prayer, he was entombed with prayers. His family, relatives, and those who love him attended the ceremony.
Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its studies 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 102 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format.(SCF with turkeypurge.com)
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 Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
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 civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2018. “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.”