The daughter of former Bursa public prosecutor Seyfettin Yiğit, who allegedly committed suicide in a prison bathroom on Friday morning after he was put behind bars over Gülen movement ties, said on Saturday that her father was not affiliated with the Gülen movement but was with the Süleymancı movement, an Islamic movement in Turkey founded by Turkish Islamic scholar Süleyman Hilmi Tunahan in the early 20th century.
Speaking during a funeral service for her father in Bursa on Saturday, Ayça Yiğit told reporters that her father was for his entire life an opponent of the Gülen movement and that she doesn’t think he committed suicide in prison.
“We met with him on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha holiday. He was fine. He said he wrote some letters to us sent on various dates. They were not suicide letters. He even wrote [a letter] to President [Erdoğan]. We have not yet received them,” she said.
Forty-seven-year-old Yiğit had conducted an important phase of the now-famous Dec. 17, 2013 corruption investigation that implicated then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family. He was in charge of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) involvement in the corruption and after an evaluation of the documents, the TOKİ case was merged with the larger corruption investigation.
“He was not a Fethullahçı [member of the Gülen movement], he was a Süleymancı. This is not a suicide but a murder. He is not the kind of person to commit suicide,” she added.
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 on July 15.
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 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.