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Turkish police briefly detain father of Rabia Naz, whose death allegedly covered up by ruling party deputy

Father Şaban Vatan holding his daughter Rabia Naz's photograph. PHOTO: Birgün

Turkish police on Thursday briefly detained Şaban Vatan, the father of 11-year-old Rabia Naz Vatan, whose death was reportedly covered up by a ruling party deputy and local politicians, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

A lawyer who sent a statement to Turkish journalist Metin Cihan said a complaint was filed by Şaban Vatan’s brother Muhammet Vatan and that his client could be sent to a facility for the mentally ill.

Muhammet Vatan testified to a public prosecutor that his brother threatened him and claimed was mentally ill.

The prosecutor’s office denied the detention, although admitting that it had received complaints from Şaban Vatan’s relatives.

The court had ruled to put Vatan in a mental facility to determine the extent of any psychological problems, but after the objection of his lawyer he was released pending trial.

Little Rabia Naz was found injured in front of her apartment in Giresun province last April and died immediately after she was taken to a hospital.

Although the preliminary autopsy report did not rule out the possibility that she was hit by a car, the doctor told her father she must have fallen from a higher elevation or committed suicide.

Şaban Vatan later claimed that the killing of his daughter – probably by a car – was covered up by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Nurettin Canikli and local politicians.

For weeks, the Turkish journalists and social media users have been trying to keep the issue on the agenda of the authorities.

On Wednesday the Giresun Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that an investigation into the death of Rabia Naz has been ongoing.

Şaban Vatan’s wife on Thursday morning posted a video on Twitter saying the authorities had refused to allow her husband to speak with her.

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