A 47-year-old public prosecutor who was put behind bars following a foiled coup on July 15 in the western province of Bursa as part of an ongoing witch-hunt against the Gülen movement was found hanging in the prison bathroom on Friday morning.
The prosecutor, who was claimed to have committed suicide, had conducted an important phase of the Dec. 17, 2013 now-famous corruption investigation that implicated then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family. Mehmet Yüzgeç, the last prosecutor on the case before the file was covered up by the government, said on Twitter that the prosecutor who was found dead in prison was in charge of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) involvement in the corruption and that after an evaluation of the documents, the TOKİ case was merged with the larger corruption investigation.
The body of the prosecutor, identified as Seyfettin Yiğit, was taken to the Bursa Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.
An investigation has been launched into the incident amid a Human Rights Watch report on the existence of torture in Turkish prisons following the failed coup.
A teacher of 25 years, Mustafa Güneyler, who was fired from his post over alleged links to the Gülen movement, also committed suicide last month.
Turkey survived 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 Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation and calling for an international investigation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched 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 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 43,000 detained and 23,500 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.