Duvar English 

An investigation into an attack on a 74-year-old man in the province of Çanakkale has been dropped after the provincial government and prosecutor determined that he was not attacked due to speaking Kurdish, contrary to the man’s statement, according to a report in the daily Evrensel newspaper. 

While accompanying his wife at the hospital after she underwent eye surgery earlier this month, Ekrem Yaşlı was attacked by the companion of another patient with a soda bottle. Despite multiple statements and comments to journalists in which Yaşlı insisted that he was attacked because he was speaking Kurdish to his wife, authorities opted not to investigate the matter. 

Before establishing an official investigation file, the hospital, the Çanakkale governorate and the provincial head prosecutor’s office issued statements indicating that there was no evidence to prove that the man was attacked because he was speaking Kurdish. 

According to a statement from the Çanakkale branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), the statements of Yaşlı and his 71-year-old wife Bedriye Yaşlı were consistent and emphatic, stating that the alleged assailant initially verbally taunted them before physically attacking Yaşlı. 

In its statement, the IHD said that lawyers were denied access to the case based on the reason that it had not yet been completed, though it was closed on the same day by the prosecutor’s office on the grounds that the alleged attacker had not yet reached the age of criminal responsibility.