One of the owners of Uğur Cooling, Ünal Takmaklı, 77, who was jailed on July 28 as part of an ongoing crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement, died of a heart attack in prison on Tuesday.
Takmaklı was detained in the western province of Aydın and subsequently arrested.
He was incarcerated in Menemen Prison in İzmir. As part of the same investigation, Takmaklı’s two brothers were also arrested.
Although the businessman was taken to a hospital, doctors were unable to save his life.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
The movement denies any involvement.
More than 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.
Takmaklı’s death came amid allegations of torture that have become widespread in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt. A tip submitted to Turkey Purge in late August claimed that Cahit Nakıboğlu, the 68-year-old chairman of Turkey’s Naksan Holding who had been arrested over alleged ties to the Gülen Movement had his arm broken by detention officers in late August.
The Amnesty International said on July 24 that it gathered credible evidence that some detainees are beaten, tortured and raped, in official and unofficial detention centres across Turkey.
In a 43-page report, “A Blank Check: Turkey’s Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards Against Torture,” in later October, Human Rights Watch also documented 13 specific abuse incidents concerning Turkey’s post-coup detainees. The alleged abuse cases ranged from use of stress positions and sleep deprivation to severe beatings, sexual abuse and the threat of rape.