Mehmet Fatih Traş, a research assistant at Çukurova University, committed suicide on Friday evening in his home after he was fired from his job. Traş was one of the signatories of a Peace Declaration, which called on the government to halt operations by security forces in southeastern Turkey, restore peace to the nation and return to the negotiating table to restart shelved talks with the Kurds to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.
The Adana branch of the Education Personnel Union (Eğitim Sen) released a statement concerning Traş’s death on Saturday February 25 ,2017 and attributing his suicide to the psychological trauma he experienced after losing his position.
On February 28, 2017, Mustafa Sadık Akdağ, 34, an assistant professor in the faculty of dentistry at Ordu University in Turkey’s Black Sea region, committed suicide, also apparently because of the psychological trauma he experienced from being investigated for alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Akdağ shot himself to death at the house of one of his friends in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Monday. He left a suicide note in which he wrote “Nobody is responsible for my death. An accusation was directed at me. I am referring those who directed this accusation at me to God.” Turkish media report that Akdağ was recently interrogated by prosecutors due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement and released.
More than 30 people have committed suicide either after they were imprisoned over ties to the movement.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the harsh measures the Turkish government has taken against universities and other institutions of higher education, and its systematic targeting of the country’s scholars and professors, since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.