Enes Kara, a medical faculty student at Fırat University in the eastern Turkish province of Elazığ, has allegedly died by suicide after being subjected to mobbing in his dormitory, which is linked to an Islamic cult, in addition to pressure from his parents, local media reported on Tuesday.
Kara, 20, was pronounced dead after an emergency services team arrived at the eight-story dormitory, in front of which the university student’s lifeless body was found by passers-by, Turkish media reports said.
An investigation was launched into the incident, and Kara’s body was taken to the morgue at Fırat University Hospital for an autopsy.
Video footage of the student, which he released on social media before allegedly throwing himself off the roof of the dormitory, shows him complaining about the oppressive methods used by the administrators of the dormitory, where he was staying due to pressure from his parents.
“My family forced me to stay here. … My father told me not to break the rules here, to perform prayers and read the books [the administrators want me to read]. … You’re at school all day long and then when you do all these things against your will, you feel like your freedom has been taken away from you,” Kara says in the video.
The university student adds that he cannot talk to his parents about his situation, as a result of which he lost all his enthusiasm for life, because he is afraid of them, not knowing what they would do in response.
Following Kara’s alleged suicide, over 4,000 tweets were posted under the hashtag # fütıpölüyor (the medical faculty of Fırat University is dying), with the hashtag becoming a top trending topic in an hour.
Opposition politicians blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is known to have close ties to Islamic cults that have been on the rise in Turkey in recent years, for Kara’s death, with some urging the government to shut down all dormitories linked to Islamic cults.
“None of us will be free until the youth of this country can act in accordance with their own ideas and beliefs, until they win intellectual and economic independence,” Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader and former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan on Tuesday said in a tweet.
“You took the soul of the bright youth of this country, stole their future!” Ali Mahir Başarır, an MP from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said, addressing the ruling AKP.
A statement released on the Twitter account of the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) on Tuesday said, “Those who darken the future of Enes and many other young people are enjoying themselves in the [presidential] palace!” vowing to shut down all dormitories in Turkey linked to Islamic cults and sects.
The AKP’s relations with religious cults have been a subject of debate in Turkey, especially after the July 15, 2016, attempted coup, for which the government blamed the Gülen movement, inspired by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the failed putsch.
The AKP government is currently being criticized for not distancing itself from Islamist groups and letting cults fill the gap in state institutions that opened after widespread dismissals of alleged members of the Gülen movement.