A 43-year-old Turkish man named Hasan Değirmenci has died of cerebral hemorrhage while on a charity trip for Turkish asylum claimants in Greece.
“We are going [to Greece]. My heart could not bear this agony. I could not watch this agony from afar. Today, I have gotten permission from my employer, and I am going to Athens with my son. Hundreds of victims are there. We are set to go on March 3. Some aid was collected. I would appreciate it if my friends who want to contribute would send me a message,” Degirmenci said on his Facebook account on Feb 14.
Degirmenci and his son, Ensar, hit the road from Germany’s Stuttgart to Athens along with a group of businessmen on Saturday.
A day after, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at the house of a Turkish family in Athens and was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
His wife Zehra has told journalist Erkam Tufan Aytav that Değirmenci died due to sorrow he felt over his friends’ troubles.
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) March 15, 2018
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup while the latter denies involvement.
More than 126,000 people have been detained and some 56,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since last summer.
Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others.
Earlier in February, at least three people died and four others were missing after a boat carrying a group of eight Turkish refugee seekers capsized in the Maritza river between Greece and Turkey.
Degirmenci’s last Facebook post had pictures of the three people whose bodies were recovered from the river.