Non-prosecution ruling on the killing of cadet cites controversial emergency decree

A public prosecutor of Istanbul issued a non-prosecution decision in the case of an Air Force Academy student, Murat Tekin, beaten and suffocated to death on Istanbul’s Bosporus bridge in the morning of the aborted coup on 16 July 2016.

Citing an emergency decree implemented in 2017, the prosecution gave the ruling in November 2018, however, nobody informed the deceased student’s family and their lawyer, until a few days ago they went to ask the prosecutor and were verbally informed on the decision, according to a report by news portal Diken.

On 15 July 2016, the closure of the suspension bridge across the Bosporus strait by troops was the first sign of the putsch underway, in which 250 people were killed, 145 of them were civilians, according to government figures.

People took the streets following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to the citizens via video call aired on CNN Turk, and rebel soldiers on the bridge surrendered by the morning of 16 July.

Seeking retribution, the furious crowd gathered near the bridge lynched a few dozen soldiers stationed on the bridge, some of them were military academy students who were transferred by their officers who told them a military drill is underway.

Tekin, 21, an air force academy student was also killed there, with his autopsy report laid out by Ismail Saymaz from Hurriyet Daily, identifying his cause of death as an extensive battery, injuries caused by sharp objects and suffocation caused by blocking of mouth and nostrils.

In 2017, Erdogan issued a controversial emergency decree, granting impunity to the civilians who actively participated in the quelling of the putsch and its aftermath.

With many critics labeling the decree as “a civil war” regulation, Republican People’s Party, CHP’s deputy chairman Ozgur Ozel said that it is granting anybody who claims to be fighting against terrorism, permission to strangle others.

The article in the infamous decree states that regardless of the person’s official title, the ones who act “within the context of quashing the 15 July coup attempt, terrorist acts and acts transpiring as a follow-up of these, do not hold any legal, administrative or penal responsibility.”

Citing this decree, the public prosecutor ruled that there is no room for the prosecution of Tekin’s killing, and it can be counted as an act of quashing the coup.

Tekin’s lawyer, Kubra Aydin, claimed that the case has nothing to do with the cited emergency decree, for he was lynched following the surrender, therefore his killing had nothing to do with “quashing the putschists.” She asserted that the family will appeal the decision but they do not expect justice to be done to them so they will seek it in the European Court of Human Rights, Cumhuriyet Daily reported.

Thousands of victims still suffer the wrong, alleged consequences of the State of Emergency

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