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Gökhan teacher tortured to death then told “sorry” 1½ years later

He was under arrest for thirteen days following the 15 July coup attempt. He was allegedly tortured to death and his burial in the traitors’ cemetery was ordered. The Directorate of Religious Affairs did not perform funeral prayers. One and a half years later, Gökhan teacher has been found innocent and reinstated in his post.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 28 Şubat 2018 Çarşamba, 16:58

A scandalous decision has been passed over teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was arrested on a tip-off following the 15 July coup attempt and allegedly tortured to death. According to a report by Bülent Ceyhan of GRİHAT, one and a half years after Gökhan Açıkkollu could take no more torture, he has been found innocent, told “sorry” and reinstated in his post.
 
Açıkkollu, a history teacher at Ümraniye Atatürk Technical and Industrial Vocational High School, from whom no statement was taken despite being held under arrest for thirteen days following the 15 July coup attempt and who was beaten and taken to hospital twice, was incapable of withstanding the treatment meted out to him at the Istanbul Police Counterterrorism Branch Directorate and lost his life. It is claimed that Gökhan Açıkkol had his head banged against the wall, had his ribs broken through kicking and was beaten to death while under arrest. Gökhan Açıkkollu’s burial was ordered at the traitors’ cemetery and imams affiliated to the Directorate of Religious Affairs neither washed his body nor performed funeral prayers because he was a “traitor”.
 
ARRESTED ON A TIP-OFF
 
Gökhan Açıkkollu (42), a history teacher at Ümraniye Atatürk Technical and Industrial Vocational High School, was one of the thousands of people to be dismissed from their posts following the 15 July military coup attempt. He was arrested on a tip off by a large number of police who raided his home on the allegation that he was a “coupist” and “terrorist organisation member”. He said during routine health controls over his time under arrest that he was constantly being beaten and had received hundreds of slaps and kicks. He was undergoing crises due to his diabetes and panic attack complaints. He went into a coma twice and was admitted to hospital. On both occasions, he was brought back to the custody suite and subjected to ill treatment. He was not permitted to take his medication, either.
 
HIS HEART WAS UNABLE TO WITHSTAND THE TORTURE
 
On his thirteenth day under arrest, unable to take any more, teacher Açıkkollu’s heart stopped. First aid was performed on the young teacher by the Chair of the Forensic Medicine Institution and doctors who were also under arrest. However, he could not be brought back to life. Turkish Human Rights Foundation Chair Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı commented in a report based on the examination documents that Açıkkollu had had a heart attack as a result of the torture he underwent and lost his life.
 
His family learnt that Açıkkollu had died on being summoned to Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution. The mistreatment given to Açıkkollu also continued here. It was said that his remains could be released on condition that they were buried at the traitors’ cemetery. However, judgment had neither been passed on Açıkkollu, nor had he spoken even a word under interrogation.
 
IMAM DID NOT PERFORM FUNERAL PRAYERS
 
His family had to disinfect the remains out of their own pocket and take him to his home city of Konya in their own vehicle. Here, thanks to the Directorate of Religious Affairs’ instruction that “traitor’s funerals will not be performed,” the mosque imam did not perform funeral prayers. Performing of the final duties once more fell to friend of the family.
 
SCANDALOUS DECISION COMES AFTER ONE AND A HALF YEARS
 
With the investigation process into Açıkkollu’s death under torture ongoing, a scandalous development took place. It was decided one and a half years later that Açıkkollu was innocent and his reinstatement in his post was decided on. It has been learnt that the Ministry of National Education’s decision number E.2561776 of 7 February 2018 to reinstate Açıkkollu in his post was served by the school headmaster on Gökhan teacher’s wife, who has also been expelled from her profession. Gökhan Açıkkollu has been rehabilitated, being told “sorry,” one and a half years after his death.

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