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Yet another Turkish family dies by cyanide poisoning

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A family of three, including a child, has been found dead in their apartment in the Bakırköy district of İstanbul in an apparent murder-suicide, the Turkish media outlets reported.

An examination of the apartment on Friday by teams from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) confirmed that the odor in the apartment was that of cyanide. The building was evacuated and placed under quarantine.

The father, identified as Bahattin D., ingested cyanide while the others in the apartment were poisoned by inhaling the lethal substance, according to a statement from the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor’s office also said Bahattin D. was working in the gold trade and incurred a large amount of debt due to unregistered gold sales on some websites.

“It is assumed that due to depression, he [Bahattin D.] first ensured poisoning of his wife and child and then committed suicide,” said the prosecutor’s office.

Bakırköy Mayor Bülent Kerimoğlu, who spoke to reporters following an examination of the crime scene, said according to initial findings the father poisoned himself by ingesting cyanide while the others in the house died as a result of poisoning through inhalation.

This was the third suicide or murder-suicide involving cyanide to have taken place in Turkey recently.

On Nov. 6 four siblings were found dead in an apartment building in İstanbul’s Fatih district due to cyanide ingestion.

The siblings, two women and two men, aged from 48 to 60, were reportedly heavily indebted and faced with increasing financial troubles, especially since they inherited a significant amount of debt from their late parents.

They left a noted on the door that said “Attention: cyanide. Call the police. Do not come in.”

Three days later a family in Antalya was found dead at home, also due to cyanide poisoning. The children, who were 5 and 9 years old, were found dead in the living room still holding hands. The father had been unemployed for an extended period and left a note explaining the difficulties he had been going through.

“I apologize to everyone, but there is nothing left I can do,” the father, Selim Şimşek, wrote in the note.

In the meantime, the Turkish Ministry for Family and Social Policy released a statement on Friday, announcing the establishment of a commission to investigate cyanide-related suicides. The ministry said the results of a report to be drafted by the commission would be shared with the public.

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