Suspicious signs of violence were discovered on the body of Duygu Koral, an inmate who reportedly died by suicide in Kandıra 1st High-Security Closed Prison in 2022, according to her lawyer, Eren Keskin.
In an interview with JinNews, Keskin, who is also the chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD), disclosed that Koral had spoken about experiencing violence during her prison phone conversations with her family.
Turkish prisons have gained notoriety due to reports of isolation, exile, and arbitrary practices that have resulted in the loss of many prisoners’ lives. Some deaths are attributed to the harsh conditions within prisons, while others occur under suspicious circumstances.
The first suspicious death in Kandıra Prison took place on 9 December 2021. Garibe Gezer, who was detained and arrested in the Kurdish-majority Mardin province in 2016, was transferred to Kandıra, where she was reported to have died by suicide. However, JinNews released footage showing her being subjected to torture by prison guards.
Subsequently, another inmate, Duygu Koral, reportedly died by suicide under suspicious circumstances on 20 March 2022, according to the prison administration.
Koral frequently spoke to her mother about the severe violence inflicted by prison guards. An autopsy revealed numerous bruises and signs of physical abuse.
The investigation into Koral’s suspicious death included testimonies from guards who claimed that Koral, weighing only 40 kilograms, had attacked and injured them. However, there has been little progress, pending the autopsy report.
Eren Keskin highlighted the suspicious circumstances surrounding the case, asserting that Koral was a lively woman who feared death and could never have contemplated suicide. Keskin also pointed out that both Gezer and Koral resisted and challenged arbitrary impositions by the prison administration.
The lawyer emphasised the lack of credibility in the guards’ claims, such as Koral locking herself in the bathroom, stating that inmates in prisons do not have locks to secure doors from the inside, rendering such claims baseless. According to Keskin, the guards allegedly found Koral hanged in the shower area but failed to provide details about the object used for hanging.
Keskin questioned the prison authorities’ failure to transfer Koral to a hospital despite her emotional distress, regardless of whether her suicide was true. She expressed concerns about the suspicious circumstances and disclosed that Koral frequently communicated with her mother about the violence she endured in prison.