Turkish man dies after setting himself on fire
A Turkish man identified with his initials, A.Y., set himself on fire in front of the governorate in Turkey’s southern Hatay province on Friday.
A.Y. shouted out that his children were hungry and that he had been unemployed for a long time, before dousing himself with gas and setting himself on fire, daily BirGün reported.
The man lost his life in the hospital he was taken to.
A.Y. had been divorced, and his ex-wife had filed for a restraining order against him, the Hatay Governorate said in a statement released later in the day. Official records showed that A.Y. was on benefits for his two children.
According to the governorate statement, A.Y. had attempted self-immolation before due to issues with his mental health.
Turkey has seen an increase in suicides throughout last year, with many victims citing poverty and unemployment as their reason for taking their own lives.
Unemployment in the country has reached 14 percent, while the Lira depreciated by 30 percent against the dollar in the aftermath of Turkey’s 2018 recession.
“When will the Palace take action?” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Lawmaker Mehmet Güzelmansur asked, pointing to the increased suicide rates.
Former CHP lawmaker and journalist Barış Yarkadaş on Twitter criticised a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for calling A.Y.’s suicide a “political manoeuvre,” a statement that sparked outrage among Turkish social media users.
Other users who support the government asked why Hatay’s municipality, under a CHP mayor, failed to support the troubled man.