Young man dies in Turkish prison under suspicious circumstances after beating by guards

A young man who was found dead in a solitary prison cell was allegedly beaten by prison guards two weeks prior and was not taken to a hospital, the Mesopotamia News Agency (MA) reported.

Serkan Tumay (25) was sentenced to two years in prison for theft. He was serving his sentence in Manisa Prison but was transferred to several other prisons due to disciplinary problems.

He had been in Kırıkkale maximum security prison for six years when he died. According to his family, Tumay called several times and told them he was beaten by prison guards on different occasions. They had filed a complaint with the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office about the beatings and requested his transfer, all to no avail.

The family spoke to MA and said Tumay was put in a solitary cell because his cellmate had informed the family about the beating. The family said they believed he died under physical torture.

They added that they were informed about the death a day after it occurred, and when they went to collect the body they saw excessive bruising.

His family has filed another complaint with the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for an investigation into the death.

His mother, Hasibe Tumay, said her son pleaded with her for them to “rescue him.” She claimed there was no reason for him to die alone in a prison cell and said the authorities need to thoroughly investigate the case.

His brother Hakan claimed Serkan had said on the phone that he feared for his life. “He suffered from fractures and bruises but was not taken to the hospital. He was not allowed to call us after the incident. We found out about the details from his cellmate, who told his own family what had happened.”

There has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most of them occurring in prisons and detention centers, where torture and ill-treatment are routinely practiced. In the majority of cases, authorities classified these deaths as suicides without any effective, independent investigation. Suspicious deaths have also taken place beyond prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before their detention.

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