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Apr 12 2019

Turkish legal body to launch investigation into suspicious death of 11-year-old Rabia Naz

Turkey’s legal disciplinary body will investigate the suspicious death of an 11-year-old girl after months of campaigning by her father, Turkish news site Gazete Karınca reported on Friday.

Rabia Naz Vatan died after she was found fatally injured outside her family home in Eynesil, northern Turkey, in April 2018. The police ruled her death a suicide, but her father, Şaban Vatan, has spent months campaigning for an investigation after finding evidence that contradicted the initial ruling.

The Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has responded to Şaban Vatan’s appeal and launched an investigation, Gazete Karınca said.

Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül tweeted that he had ordered Vatan’s application to be discussed as a priority, and said the HSK aimed to complete its investigation with full transparency and answer all questions in the case.

Vatan fought for months to bring public attention to his case after uncovering evidence he said suggested police may have covered up the involvement of the local mayor’s relative in her death.

Local media has suggested the public outcry over Rabia Naz’s death may have led to the ruling a Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayor’s defeat in the local elections on March 31.

A court ordered Vatan’s detention on mental health grounds on Wednesday, a decision condemned by Vatan and which sparked condemnation on social media.