Turkish prisoner’s death is suspicious, family says

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Tumay family is seen standing next to Serkan Tumay's grave.

Serkan Tumay, who passed away in Kirikkale F Type Prison on Saturday, died due to injuries inflicted by continuous assault and torture by prison guards, his family claims, according to the Turkish media.

Hakan Tumay, the brother of Serkan Tumay, who had been in prison for around six years, had complained six times to the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office about the assaults and torture in the prison.

“We filed complaints after my brother told us he was being tortured and assaulted, but no action was taken, nothing was done,” said Hakan Tumay.

Ten days ago Hakan Ecevit, a ward mate of Serkan, called his mother and said both of them had been subjected to torture. Ecevit’s mother informed the Tumay family and said her son didn’t have any injuries but that Serkan had bruises on his arms and legs.

Hakan Tumay added that “Serkan was separated from his ward friend and put in an isolation cell as Hakan Ecevit leaked details of the torture to the outside world.”

Hakan Tumay filed a complaint about the torture. One week later, Serkan was taken to a hospital for a checkup.

The Tumay family was told by the prison authorities to retrieve Serkan’s remains from the Ankara Council of Forensic Medicine on Sunday. The family noted there were traces of stitches and injuries on various parts of his body.

According to the the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), Serkan Tumay was beaten by the guards about a month ago. His arm and head were apparently fractured. Another brother, Gökhan Tumay, told MA, “I think my brother was killed due to the previous assault and torture we complained about.” They applied to the Kırıkkale Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for his transfer to another prison. Tumay’s family was informed that he died in prison on October 18 after receiving no response to their petition.

Hakan Tumay has asked the authorities for help and is waiting for a response. “People who do this kind of thing should not go unpunished,” he said.

According to updates by the Evrensel news website,  Serkan Tumay’s death in prison was brought to parliament’s agenda by Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Gülizar Biçer Karaca and Sezgin Tanrıkulu. Karaca directed questions to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, asking: “Is it true that Serkan Tumay died in Kırıkkale F-Type Prison? Has an investigation been launched into the prison administration about death?”

Karaca also asked if an investigation had been initiated into staff members and guards concerning allegations that Tumay had died as a result of assaults in prison; if any complaints had been made by his family regarding the unsafe conditions in the prison; if there were any reports that Tumay had been tortured in prison; and if his forensic report would be shared with the public.

Tanrikulu also asked: “Why was Tumay’s body sent to the forensic medicine council without a report from the prison on his death? What is the reason for the autopsy being performed on the weekend and the family’s request for a second autopsy being rejected despite the presence of torture marks on the body?”

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