Gökhan Açıkkollu, un profesor de historia que fue torturado hasta la muerte bajo custodia policial tras un intento de golpe de estado en Turquía el 15 de julio de 2016 por su presunta pertenencia al grupo Gülen, fue declarado inocente uno año y medio después, y por ende fue “reincorporado” a su trabajo.

La decisión de reinstalación, numerada E.2561776, fue hecha por el Ministerio de Educación el 7 de febrero de 2018. El documento oficial para la readmisión de Açıkkollu fue entregado por el director de su escuela anterior a la esposa de Açıkkollu, que también había sido despedida de su trabajo como maestra por un decreto del gobierno emitido bajo el estado de emergencia declarado después del golpe fallido.

Era un profesor de historia de 42 años en una escuela secundaria en el distrito Umraniye de Estambul cuando se vio involucrado en la purga posterior al intento de golpe al gobierno.

Açıkkollu fue detenido el 24 de julio de 2016 por cargos de conspiración para el golpe de estado y terrorismo y permaneció bajo custodia policial durante 13 días, tiempo durante el cual fue sometido a tortura física y psicológica.

El Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, presidente de la Fundación de Derechos Humanos de Turquía (TİHV), dijo en un informe que Açıkkollu había muerto de un ataque al corazón debido a la tortura a la que fue sometido.

La familia de Açıkkollu se enteró de su muerte cuando fueron llamados al Instituto de Medicina Forense de Estambul, donde el maltrato a Açıkkollu continuó incluso estando ya muerto.

Nunca fue interrogado oficialmente, y la policía ni siquiera tomó una declaración de él. En su  lugar ç, lo sacaron de su celda todos los días para enfrentar la tortura y lo llevaron al hospital cuando su condición se deterioró, solo para ser enviado nuevamente a detención.

Les contó a los médicos sobre el abuso y la tortura; sin embargo, en algunos casos sus declaraciones ni siquiera fueron registradas en informes médicos, y la evidencia de abuso físico fue encubierta bajo la presión de la policía.

Açıkkollu fue golpeado, abofeteado, pateado en la caja torácica, rodillas en la espalda y golpeado en la cabeza contra la pared. Su chequeo médico antes de ser detenido no mostró signos de problemas cardíacos; sin embargo, fue declarado muerto debido a una falla cardíaca. Cuando colapsó en su celda, los servicios de emergencia fueron llamados tardíamente y murió en detención, aunque los registros oficiales fueron modificados para indicar que había fallecido en el hospital.

Gökhan Açıkkollu, a history teacher who was tortured to death while in police custody in the wake of a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 over alleged membership in the Gülen group, was found innocent one-and-a-half years later and “reinstated” to his job.

The reinstatement decision, numbered E.2561776, was made by the Education Ministry on Feb. 7, 2018. The official document for Açıkkollu’s reinstatement was delivered by the principal of his former school to Açıkkollu’s wife, who had also been dismissed from her job as a teacher by a government decree issued under the state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the failed coup.

He was a 42-year-old history teacher at a high school in Istanbul’s Umraniye district when he was caught up in the government’s post-coup purge.

Açıkkollu was detained on July 24, 2016 on charges of coup plotting and terrorism and remained in police custody for 13 days, during which time he was subjected to both physical and psychological torture.

Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), said in a report that Açıkkollu had died from a heart attack stemming from the torture to which he was subjected.

He was never officially interrogated, and the police did not even take a statement from him. Instead, he was taken from his cell every day to face torture and rushed to the hospital when his condition deteriorated, only to be shipped back to detention.

He told doctors about the abuse and torture; yet, in some cases his statements were not even registered in medical reports, and evidence of physical abuse was covered up under pressure from the police.

Açıkkollu was beaten, slapped in the face, kicked in the rib cage, kneed in the back and his head banged against a wall. His medical check-up before he was put in detention showed no signs of any heart troubles; yet, he was pronounced dead due to heart failure. When he collapsed in his cell, emergency services were belatedly called and he died in detention, although official records were doctored to indicate that he expired at the hospital.

Açıkkollu’s family learned of his death when they were called to the İstanbul Institute of Forensic Medicine, where Açıkkollu’s ill treatment continued even in death. They were told the funeral could be held on condition that he would be buried in a graveyard set aside by the Greater İstanbul Municipality for alleged “traitors,” despite the fact he had not been tried, nor even interrogated. Imams assigned by the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) had refused to conduct the funeral prayer for Açıkkollu.

His family had to embalm the body themselves and took him to his hometown in Konya province in their own car. Here, too, the imam of the local mosque would not officiate at the funeral because of instructions issued by the Religious Affairs Directorate that “the funeral prayer will not be performed for traitors.” As a result, his last rites were said by his close relatives.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since the putsch. Turkey’s interior minister announced on Dec. 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. The Justice Ministry announced a day later that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen group, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2018.

“The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”