Mohamed Hassan Sheik Mohamud, a son of the president of Somalia who was involved in a traffic accident resulting in the death of a motorcycle courier in İstanbul, fled Turkey days after the incident, according to the Sözcü daily.
The incident took place on Nov. 30 in İstanbul’s Fatih district. Yunus Emre Göçer, aged 38, was trying to come to a halt on Kennedy Avenue when he was struck from behind by President Hasan Sheikh Mohamud’s son, who was driving a vehicle registered to the Somali Consulate. The collision resulted in severe injuries to Göçer, ultimately leading to his passing six days later at İstanbul Teaching and Research Hospital.
Mohamud’s release after giving a police statement received significant backlash, following which a travel ban was imposed on him.
According to Sözcü, Mohamud, for whom the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office requested an arrest warrant as part of its investigation, was revealed to have fled Turkey. The information note from the prosecutor indicated that the suspect left the country on Dec. 2, prior to the imposition of the travel ban.
It was stated in an expert report regarding the accident that Göçer did not violate any laws, while Mahmud failed to maintain the required following distance stipulated by law and collided with the motorcycle from behind.
İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Mohamud’s flight from Turkey further intensified the pain of the victim’s family.
“Those who tolerate and enable this escape, unfortunately, find themselves at a level of helplessness where they cannot defend the rights of their citizens within their own country,” the mayor added.
Moto-kurye Yunus Emre Göçer, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti vatandaşıydı. Somali Cumhurbaşkanı’nın oğlunun yaptığı kazayla bu hayattan koparıldı. Biz, hukuki sürecin takipçisi olacağız dedik ama zanlı elini kolunu sallayarak Türkiye’den ayrıldı. Kurbanın ailesinin acısı daha da katlandı. Bu… pic.twitter.com/zLhzX7JiSa
— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) December 8, 2023
Somalia and Turkey are longstanding partners, engaging in multi-tiered development cooperation, including military, social, economic and infrastructural partnerships.
While expressing his pleasure in hosting the Somali president and his delegation in Ankara in a July 2022 tweet, Erdoğan addressed the president as “my dear brother.”
Bugün Somali Cumhurbaşkanı, aziz kardeşim Hasan Şeyh Mahmud ve heyetini Ankara’da ağırlamaktan memnuniyet duydum.
Türkiye Somalili kardeşlerinin yanında yer almaya devam edecektir. 🇹🇷🇸🇴 pic.twitter.com/1iIOrIBBIQ
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) July 6, 2022
In the same tweet thread, the Turkish president also said that the aid extended to Somalia in the past 10 years had exceeded $1 billion.