Mehmet Bal (58) travelled to Istanbul from Batman in Turkey to visit his son in prison. After his visit, he met with his relatives in Bağcılar district. Bal has been missing since 24 January.
His family applied to the Gayrettepe Police Centre and Bakırköy Prosecutor’s Office to seek further information regarding his whereabouts. During the investigation that was launched to find Bal, footage was revealed that indicated that he took the Kadıköy ferry from Eminönü Port in İstanbul. Police claimed that they could not obtain any other footage of Bal after he took the ferry. His family claim that Bal’s phone signals and calls relating to that day are also missing.
After being ‘missing’ for one month, Rüstem Yılmaz called the family to state that he had met with Bal.
The family informed the police about this. However, the police did not question Rüstem Yılmaz.
Also, the family’s demand to examine a historical traffic search (HTS) report was rejected.
The prosecutor’s office ruled to not prosecute on the grounds that there was no proof indicating that he had been kidnapped.
Lawyers acting for the family objected to the verdict of non-prosecution on 20 March. However, their appeal was rejected as well.
‘The investigation file has turned into a file of unidentified murder’
Lawyer Ahmet Baran Çelik has stated that the investigation file has turned into a file of unidentified murder and added that they made an individual application to the Constitutional Court regarding this matter.
Stating that Bal was still missing, Çelik stated that neither phone signals nor footage was examined and he added that the case should be reopened and re-investigated.
Noting that there were thousands of unidentified murders in Turkey, Çelik said: “We cannot accept that this file is closed. What happened to Mehmet Bal? We all seek the answer to this question. When people talk about this kind of case, they are referring to the period of the 1990s. We know that people were taken from their homes and disappeared. There are people who were disappeared by the security forces. Some those people were found in police centres later”.
He demanded that the case be filed again.