Feb 28 2018

Teacher who died in police custody exonerated

A history teacher who died in police custody in the wake of the July 15, 2016 failed coup has been posthumously reinstated to his job by Turkish authorities in a tacit admission of his innocence, pan-European broadcaster Euronews said.

Gökhan Açıkkollu was arrested on July 23, 2016 and accused of involvement in the coup attempt, then died of a heart attack in police custody 13 days later.

He was taken to hospital twice in that time after being beaten by police officers, and following his death Istanbul police requested for his body to be buried in a traitor’s grave.

Imams affiliated with the state refused to ritually wash Açıkkollu’s corpse or perform funerary prayers, Euronews said, while the family was not allowed access to his body.

However, on Feb. 7, 2018, Açıkkolu’s wife received an official statement returning her husband to his former position as a history teacher, indicating that the Ministry of Education at least no longer believed him to have been involved in the coup attempt.

“He was innocent,” she wrote on Twitter.

“He has been returned to his post.”