Turkish court blocks access to news reports on student who committed suicide in cult-run dormitory
A Turkish court has ruled to block access to news reports on the death of medical school student Enes Kara, who ended his life in a cult-run dormitory. Meanwhile, journalist Faik Akgün, who initially reported on Kara's suicide, has been dismissed as the managing editor of his local newspaper.
A court in the southern province of Hatay has imposed a publication ban on news reports about medical school student Enes Kara, who ended his life after describing the oppression he experienced in a cult-run dormitory. The court's move came upon the request of Kara's father, Mehmet Kara.
Mehmet Kara said that he requests the ban because “these publications attack personal rights, violate the privacy of private life, the news and videos in question increase their suffering, he is exposed to social pressure, and that these publications made by some websites just to support their ideological approach increase the victimization of the family.”
Kara committed suicide on Jan. 10 in the eastern province of Elazığ after he described in a video that the religious sect was forcing him to pray, to attend religious lessons, and to read religious books.
The Hatay court accepted Mehmet Kara's request, saying that “even though it is newsworthy, broadcasts were made to hold his family responsible for his death." "The pain experienced by the applicant and his family, who are already in sorrow and suffering due to the death of their son, increased due to the publications made. Because of the publications released on the internet, the users accessing the content may increase the victimization of the applicant with the comments they make and/or they will make,” the court said in its ruling.
Previously, Mehmet Kara had said he was the one who advised Enes to stay at the relevant dormitory and that he was a member of the cult for the last 25 years. “I have been in this cult for 25 years, I haven’t seen any harm. I thought he would get used to it after a few months. We won’t file a complaint against anyone,” he said in an interview.
Journalist who reported on Kara's suicide dismissed as managing editor
After Enes Kara's suicide, journalists and students have been put under pressure in Elazığ.
Journalist Faik Akgün, who initially reported on Kara's suicide, was dismissed as the managing editor, and the relevant news report was removed from the webpage of the local newspaper Günışığı.
According to reporting by journalist Fırat Fıstık from Gerçek Gündem, Akgün received dozens of threatening phone calls in the aftermath of the relevant news report. A person introducing himself as a member of the cult even told Akgün on the phone: “Unbelievers like you will perish. We will destroy you all.”