Several rights activists in Istanbul held a demonstration to question the suspicious death of Kyrgyz national Yeldana Kaharman, who lost her life a day after visiting the house of an MP from the ruling party, Yeni Yasam daily reported on Thursday.
Kaharman was a student in Turkey’s Firat University when she started working for Kanal 23 TV channel, a local broadcaster based in the eastern city of Elazig. She hosted a travel show engaging with local people in the region.
She was found dead in her house on March 28, 2019, reportedly a day after visiting the home of Tolga Agar, an Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP. Agar is the son of former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, who served prison time on organized crime charges.
The initiative dubbed “We want to live,” held a demonstration in Istanbul to draw attention to Yeldana’s death. Gamze Toprak, a member of the initiative, raised the following questions over what they call a suspicious death;
“Is the rape allegation directed against AKP MP Tolga Agar true?
“Did Mehmet Agar help his son Tolga escape the scene with a helicopter?
“Did Kaharman really commit suicide? Was she driven to kill herself? Was there an attempt to silence her after the rape?”
On January 31, Sedat Sur, a pro-Kurdish reporter, directed a series of allegations on his Twitter account over the death of Yeldana Aharman, claiming there was no autopsy report and that she was raped by the AKP MP Agar, citing local sources.
In another case involving an AKP MP on September 23, 2019, Nadira Kadirova, a 23-year-old Uzbek woman, sustained a fatal gunshot wound when she was at an apartment belonging to Sirin Unal, a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a retired major general. The shot originated from Unal’s gun.
Authorities called the incident a suicide. Kadirova’s brother Muhammet Ali Kadirova, however, said his sister had “no reason” to take her own life.
Lawyer Mujde Tozbey Erden, who is also the chair of Children and Women First Association, said there were many reasons, including the lack of sufficient investigation into Kadirova’s death, that raised doubts over whether her death was in fact suicide.
Erden stated that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had done no investigation to find out whether claims of sexual assault against the AKP lawmaker are true.
In yet another incident in April 2018, 11-year-old Rabia Naz Vatan was found dead in front of her house in Eynesil, a town in the northern Turkish province of Giresun.
Although Turkish police declared her death a suicide immediately afterward, Rabia’s father believes that she was killed in a hit and run and that critical evidence related to the incident has been overlooked.
After investigating Rabia’s death himself, Vatan alleged that she was hit by a car driven by the relatives of then Eynesil mayor from the governing AKP.
She was then left in front of her house, and the accident was covered up by authorities, including Turkey’s then-deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, Vatan further claimed.
The father has shared on Twitter a report by Turkey’s Ankara Criminal Police Laboratory, which provides scientific proof for the car tire-marks on the clothes Rabia wore on the day she died.
“Officials, explain this to me now. … It is [stated in an] official [report] that they found car tire marks on the dress. …What happened to your argument that there’s no chance this incident could involve a car,” Vatan tweeted.