Mysterious Death of a Turkish Student in Germany: Father Says Murder

Bekir Cokluk was working on his farm located in fertile lands between Istanbul and Bursa when the village head arrived to tell him German consulate in Istanbul was trying to reach him. “Do you have a kid studying in Germany?” the 56 years old Cokluk was asked. By the time he mumbled the answer, he was already running towards home knowing something terrible was about to happen.

Bekir Cokluk’s son, Mert, graduated from Turkey’s prestigious ODTU at the top of his class. While many students struggle to complete one major, Mert had a degree in both Mathematics and Electronic Engineering. He went to Germany from there for his masters degree and he had a long promising career ahead as several universities offered scholarship. However, he was found dead at a train station near the German city Nurnberg on October 5th.

German authorities only notified the parents about Mert’s death 6 days later. And the father was told that if the they do not want an autopsy, the body could be sent to them right away. The grieved father refused the autopsy and asked for his son’s body. When Mert’s body arrived, however, Bekir Cokluk realized it was not an ordinary loss of life.

“He has been tortured. There were broken bones on his body. His toe nail was pulled. His skull was fractured in the back,” said Mert’s father to Turkish media. He said he was perplexed and grieved that is why he denied autopsy.

Turkey’s mission in Nurnberg released a statement saying it has been closely following the case to shed light on the incident. However, the father says German authorities have not been sharing any information about his son’s death.

An image from Mert Cokluk’s funeral in Turkey

“It could be about his dissertation. He was supposed to have his presentation on the 9th. Someone may get ahold of his dissertation,” said the father without explaining what was the subject of his son’s dissertation and how it could cause his son’s death.

A deputy of Turkey’s main opposition party, CHP, submitted a motion to the Turkish Parliament to be answered by the Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu. The motion pointed out that Mert’s body had severe damages and traces of torture so it was proven that he was murdered.

Mert’s personal lap top and mobile phone are also missing which only makes one be more suspicious that he could be murdered. When the father was first reached via phone by German authorities, he was told that a letter was found on Mert written for the father. It made the father think that he committed a suicide. But when the letter arrived with the body, the father found out that it was written by Mert when he was a kid to his sister. “It confused me. That is why I did not ask for an autopsy,” the father said.

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