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Kurdish man dies under suspicious circumstances at Turkish police station

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Turkish police claimed on Friday that 24-year-old M.A., who was detained at a checkpoint in Antalya’s Gazipaşa district, committed suicide by jumping from a third floor window of the local police station.

According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency, a unit under the Gazipaşa District Gendarmerie Command stopped a passenger bus coming from the mostly Kurdish-populated Southeast at a checkpoint and detained M.A. after an ID check.

M.A. was referred to court after processing by the gendarmerie and then was deposed at the prosecutor’s office. Later, he was turned over to the Alanya Police Department counterterrorism unit. M.A. was taken to the Gazipaşa Police Station from the courthouse, and police claim he jumped out of a window on the third floor at 6 p.m. yesterday. M.A.’s body has been taken to the Antalya Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.

“Investigations into the incident are ongoing, and an assessment will be made after the investigations are completed,” Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in Parliament on Saturday when Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Filiz Kerestecioğlu brought the issue to the agenda.

The Turkish state has a long history of executions in police stations, and there is a suspicion that M.A. was also executed and the death made to look like a suicide.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicious Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in jails and detention centers where torture and ill treatment are practiced. In a majority of cases authorities ruled them as suicides without any effective, independent investigation.

Suspicious deaths have also taken place beyond prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before their detention.

SCF compiled 97 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey as of Dec. 14, 2017 in a searchable database format.

(Stockholm Center for Freedom [SCF] with Turkish Minute)

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