A man attempted on Thursday to set himself alight outside Turkey’s parliament after shouting, “My kids are hungry,” the Evrensel news portal reported.
The unidentified man, in his 30s, according to Evrensel, doused himself in petrol and tried to set himself ablaze in front of the Turkish parliament. However, the parliament’s security guards rushed to the man and stopped him before he could ignite himself.
Security guards detained the man before handing him over to the police for investigation, the Birgün news portal reported.
A lawmaker from the main opposition Republican’s People Party (CHP) Ali Basarir announced the incident on Twitter, saying: “Hunger-led suicides arrived at the door of the Turkish parliament. A man, around 35, poured petrol on himself and made a suicide attempt as shouting I am hungry, my kids are hungry (sic)”.
The attempt outside the parliament is the latest in a string of suicide attempts triggered by poverty.
A similar incident took place on February 8 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, where a jobless father lit himself on fire saying, “My kids are hungry. I want a job”. The man was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved despite medical efforts.
Although Turkey has experienced unprecedented public discontent over the ruling Justice and Development Party government’s economic administration, the government claims the Turkish economy has started recovering from the economic downturn.
However, many see the increasing reports of suicide attempts as a sign that Turkey’s economic woes are worsening.
Another unusual protest that happened on February 12 during the ruling AKP’s group meeting while President Erdogan was addressing party members was that a man among the attendees unexpectedly interrupted Erdogan’s speech and asked for help, Evrensel news reported.
He said, “My kids are hungry. I was fired for participating in the July 15 (coup attempt). Help me” before being silenced, according to Evrensel. However, Erdogan moved on with his speech and did not say a word about the protest.