An imam in the Turkish province of Mersin whose teacher son was arrested in a massive post-coup purge for alleged Gülen links committed suicide on Monday night.
The 53-year-old imam reportedly hung himself after leading the night prayer at Zeytinli Bahçe Mosque in Toroslar’s Turgut Türkalp neighborhood.
His congregation said the imam had been suffering from depression after his son M.T., who was a teacher in Hakkari, was arrested as part of an investigation into “FETÖ.” The imam’s dead body was found at his home.
The imam is not the first to have committed suicide since the start of a witch-hunt launched by the government after July 15 against people who were believed to be sympathizers of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic scholar who lives in the US.
A police officer identified only by the initials E.O. committed suicide on Oct. 5 in the courtyard of the Bayburt Police Station after he was suspended over alleged links to the Gülen movement.
Also, a Mersin police officer known by the initials A.T. committed suicide in a park a day after he was suspended over alleged links to the Gülen movement the same month.
“FETÖ” is an acronym that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government coined to label the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization despite the lack of any court verdict to that effect. The government has accused the movement of plotting an attempted coup in Turkey on July 15. As part of the massive witch-hunt, tens of thousands of teachers have been dismissed, their licenses revoked and some arrested on alleged terror links.