Turkish police officer, suspended over alleged Gülen links, commits suicide

İbrahim Eski, a police officer who was suspended from his duty in the framework of an investigation carried out as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Sakarya province on Tuesday.

According to a report by online news portal SHaber, the family members, who could not reached him, went to İbrahim Eski’s house and found his hanged corpse on Tuesday. Police officer Eski was married with two children.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its report which was released 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.

According to the report the suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure, suspensions and dismissals from duties, threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention. SCF has compiled 90 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, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic 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’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.

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