Suspicious death of a student in Bitlis

Officials of a student accommodation in Bitlis said that a young boy called Habip Sivi committed suicide, but the family of the Kurdish student does not believe in the suicide hypothesis, and said that their second request for an autopsy was refused.

A 3rd year student of the Department of English Language and Literature at Bitlis Eren University, originally from the village of Xanik (Böğrüpek), in Van, Habip Sivi allegedly committed suicide in the male dormitory of Bitlis Eren University KYK. Dormitory officials notified Sivi's family 12 hours after the alleged suicide. When the family arrived in Bitlis, they learned that the autopsy had been carried out without the family or their lawyer being informed.

Sivi's relatives met with the prosecutor, dormitory officials and the police. The dormitory manager said he learned of the suicide when the students who stayed in their rooms broke the news in the morning. The prosecutor and medical examiner claimed the incident was a suicide, that he first shoved a plastic bag down his throat and then choked on the bag he put on his head. The family, who found the death of their child suspicious, requested a new autopsy, which was refused.

The late notification of his family and the fact that the autopsy was carried out without informing his family and lawyers raises suspicions about claims that Sivi committed suicide.

The victim's uncle, Salih Biçer, said they were informed 12 hours after the suicide and the autopsy was done secretly. "They informed us 12 hours after the suicide. When we went there, the prosecutor, the medical examiner, the rector, the head of the dormitory were in the hospital, they had done an autopsy (…). It is said that he committed suicide by putting a bag over his head. He has two roommates. They never heard anything? They said that "when [his roommates] called him for breakfast, they saw that he had committed suicide". The prosecutor, the director of the dormitory, the rector make contradictory statements. Now they say, ‘the roommates were away that day.’ All of this raises serious questions for us. Habip was talking with his family that evening. He had no worries or problems. We suspect he was killed. Something happened to this kid, but they're hiding it from us. We demand a second autopsy. The Bitlis public prosecutor's office refused this request and we are going to seize that of Van. We want it to be fully investigated, even if it is a suicide."

Education Union: We have serious doubts
Eğitim Sen, the education union branch co-chair in Van, Murat Atabay, said: "The fact that the family was informed late [about the suicide], the autopsy was carried out without informing the family and their lawyer, and the claims of suicide are not reasonable and logical, and raise serious suspicions about this death. The expectation of his family and the public is to investigate the incident fully and to accept requests in order to eliminate contradictions and concerns related to the incident."