Turkish police repeat finding that 11-year-old Rabia Naz died in fall

Police investigating the death of 11-year-old Rabia Naz Vatan have said the girl’s injuries are consistent with a fall from height, contradicting her father’s long held assertion that her killing in a hit and run has been covered up.

Rabia Naz was found dying outside her home in the Black Sea town of Eynesil in April 2018. Her death was initially reported by Turkish media as a hit and run, but the police recorded her cause of death as suicide.

Rabia Naz’s father, Şaban Vatan, rejected this finding and says he has uncovered evidence that she was killed by a car driven by a relative of the local ruling party mayor. Vatan says police ruled the death a suicide to protect the perpetrators.

But the police team set up to investigate the death has stood by the finding that Rabia Naz’s injuries were caused by a fall, Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported.

This conclusion was drawn after investigating two previous coroner’s reports and taking testimony from an eyewitness, the newspaper said.

The police also took statements from 150 people, it said.

Many doubt that it was possible for Rabia Naz to throw herself off the roof of her house, since she would have had to take a running jump to clear the eaves at the first floor level of the building and land where she did.

The government’s tough line on reporting on the case has further aroused suspicions. A confidentiality order had been imposed on the case until earlier this month, and several journalists covering it have faced legal repercussions.

Police detained three activists last weekend for a demonstration in Istanbul in which they called criticised the investigation into Rabia Naz's death.