Police officer targeted in post-coup crackdown commits suicide


A police officer in the Black Sea province of Karabük who had previously been suspended from his job due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, part of a crackdown in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, committed suicide with his service revolver on Monday.

Zeki Cezayirlioğlu, a police officer of 23 years,was initially suspended but was later returned to his post by the Interior Ministry.

Cezayirlioğlu, who was apparently unable to overcome the trauma caused by his suspension, attempted to commit suicide last week by ingesting agricultural chemicals. He was immediately taken to a hospital after his family members became aware of the situation and survived.

The police officer attempted to commit suicide for a second time on Monday when he used his service revolver to end his own life.His wife and two children were home at the time.

He was taken to Karabük Teaching and Research Hospital but did not survive.

Turkey’s National Police Department has suspended thousands of police officers due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt on July 15.

More than 30 people have reportedly committed suicide either after they were imprisoned over ties to the movement or after being linked to the movement outside prison. Some of these suicides have been found to be suspicious.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.

More than 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies and 41,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.



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