Teen takes own life over father’s imprisonment in post-coup crackdown

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A 16-year-old has died by suicide in Turkey’s eastern Diyarbakır province as a result of depression caused by actions of the Turkish government, which, following a coup attempt in 2016, embarked on a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens, the Bold Medya news website reported on Friday.

According to the report, the teenager, identified only by the initials B.O., threw himself from the 10th story of his apartment building due to depression caused by the situation of his father, a former teacher who was fired from his job by an emergency decree and arrested on terror-related charges after the attempted coup.

The teenager, whose father has been in prison for the past four years, lapsed into depression and took his own life, Bold Medya said, adding that his body was sent to a hospital for autopsy.

Following the coup attempt in 2016, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions, summarily dismissing by means of emergency decree-laws more than 130,000 public servants including academics, teachers, military personnel, diplomats and police officers, for alleged membership in or relationships with the Gülen movement.

The Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, is accused by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding the failed coup and is labeled a “terrorist organization,” although the movement denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The purge has damaged the unity of many families and left children to the care of relatives. Such separations have had a negative impact on the mental and physical well-being of the children. In cases where grandparents are responsible for the child’s care, they cannot meet every need, especially in education and schoolwork.

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