Mar 29 2018

Young doctor’s suicide influenced by faulty evidence

Crucial evidence against a young doctor who committed suicide after he was charged with being a member of an outlawed religious group has been disproved, Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday.

Doctor Hasan Orhan Ç threw himself from the tenth floor of the hospital he worked at, after being accused of being a member of what the Turkish government calls the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,” the network of followers of Fethullah Gülen, the Islamist preacher alleged to have masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt.

The evidence against the 28-year-old doctor included the presence on his mobile phone of ByLock, an app that was used by Gülenists to send and receive secret communications.

However, of the over 100,000 ByLock users detected by the government, at least 11,480 were directed to use the app without their knowledge through “trap programs” designed by ByLocks creators to mislead investigators.

The chief prosecutor’s office in Izmir, the western Turkish city where the doctor lived, has announced that his name has been removed from the updated list of ByLock users – meaning that he did not, in fact, use the app.

A representative from the Izmir medical workers’ union criticised the hospital’s decision to suspend Hasan Orhan Ç from his duties when allegations emerged, and called on the courts to reconsider their earlier verdict that the suspension had not contributed to his suicide.