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Turkish prosecutors say no need to investigate disappearance of former bureaucrat

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Turkish prosecutors in the northwestern province of Kocaeli have announced that there is no reason to investigate the disappearance of Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit, a former public servant who went missing on Dec. 29, according to his daughter.

Küçüközyiğit was one of some 130,000 people purged from the civil service after an abortive military coup in July 2016 for their purported ties to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of having orchestrated the failed putsch.

The decision by the Kocaeli Public Prosecutor’s Office came as prominent rights group Amnesty International on Monday called on Turkey to investigate the suspected enforced disappearance of Küçüközyiğit.

In a model letter provided for use by the public, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office is asked to ensure a prompt, impartial and independent investigation to determine the whereabouts of Küçüközyiğit and the circumstances of his suspected enforced disappearance.

“Any information relating to his location and wellbeing must urgently be shared with his family. I also urge you to ensure that all those suspected of criminal responsibility are brought to justice in fair trials,” said the model letter posted by Amnesty, which asked people to write an appeal letter in their own words or to use the model letter to help find the missing bureaucrat.

Küçüközyiğit’s daughter Nursena, who has been campaigning on social media to raise awareness about the case of her father, tweeted on Tuesday: “It has been 36 days. When I went to meet with the prosecutor in Kocaeli yesterday, I learned that the prosecutors had decided there was no need for an investigation.”

Nursena said her father’s case would be followed by prosecutors in Ankara but that there had been no developments regarding the disappearance of her father.

Küçüközyiğit’s family also filed a petition with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office requesting that Küçüközyiğit’s disappearance or abduction be investigated.

Nursena said she fears the investigation in Ankara into her father’s disappearance will also be dropped.

Küçüközyiğit last spoke by phone to Nursena on Dec. 29 at around 3:30 p.m. about their new year’s plans. His coworkers were the last people to have seen him. About 4 p.m. he left his colleagues to visit a friend in Ankara’s Gölbaşı district, taking off from an office facing the Maltepe Mosque. His cell phone stopped receiving signals at 4:23 pm.

Nursena says her father was unemployed for a long time after being expelled from public service and was held in detention for six months for his alleged Gülen links. After he was released, he set up a business to offer legal advice to other purged public sector workers, which Nursena believes might have been the reason her father was abducted.

Dozens of enforced disappearances have been reported in Turkey since the failed coup in 2016.

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