“They are threatening me”, Private Osman Özçalımlı told his father by phone on the first day of Eid al-Adha. Stationed at İzmir Aliağa High Security Prison, doing his short-term military service, he was found dead the next day after this conversation.
His father spoke to Yeni Yaşam Newsletter: “My son told me that he is in trouble. I talked to his commander, but he said my son is okay. The commander is responsible for the death of my son”.
“They killed my son”
Özçalımlı was from Digor district of Kars province. He was Kurdish and he had been stationed in İzmir Aliağa Prison for four days. A high school graduate, Özçalımlı had only been in the military since the end of June 2020.
His father Ahmet Özçalımlı says: “He didn’t know anyone there and told me on the phone that they kept insulting him and calling him a traitor. I told him to come back home but he answered: ‘How can I return?”
Father Özçalımlı called the prison repeatedly after he spoke to his son but he could not reach to anyone. After a couple of hours, the commander called and said:
“I am Specialized Sergeant Abdullah, the Company Commander. There is nothing to worry about, your son is ok, do not be scared”.
“I do not believe the autopsy report”
It was around midnight that the father spoke to Sergeant Abdullah. “He tried to convince me that my son was alright”, says father Özçalımlı. However, the next morning, he received notification that his son was in the hospital, only to find out later that his son was dead.
Authorities gave contradictory statements regarding the cause of death for Private Osman Özçalımlı. Digor District Governor, the Chief of Police and the head of the District Military Police Command first told the father that his son had a heart attack. However, the father said that he does not believe them. Ten minutes later, they told him that he committed suicide.
“I do not believe in the autopsy report or any of the authorities”, said the father. “They killed my son, I saw his dead body, he was kicked and attacked. They killed my son and that sergeant Abdullah is responsible for that”.
The family denied the customary military ceremony in their village and buried their child without the Turkish flag on his coffin.