Details emerge after Turkish researcher kills four at university campus
Details are emerging after a research assistant shot and killed four staff members at Osmangazi University in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir on April 5, with colleagues saying the incident was expected but no measures were taken against the attacker.
The rector of the university, Prof. Hasan Gönen, said an investigation into the attacker’s verbal attacks on the academic and administrative staff at the university had been ongoing.
The attacker, identified as Volkan Bayar, killed Deputy Dean Mikail Yalçın, secretary Fatih Özmutlu and two teaching staff, Serdar Çağlar and Yasir Armağan, at the university’s faculty of education, and was apprehended by police while leaving the scene, Gönen said.
Meanwhile, the dean of the education faculty, Prof. Dr. Cemil Yücel, said the suspect was mentally unstable and constantly accusing a number of staff members of being followers of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), a group widely believed to have been behind Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt.
“He was a frightening person,” Yücel said.
The main target was reported to be the education faculty’s dean, who was not in his office when the gunman arrived.
Former deputy dean of the education faculty, Prof. Dr Engin Karadağ, said Bayar constantly lodged complaints claiming his colleagues were linked to FETÖ.
“When I was the deputy dean, we tried to talk to our rector and warned them that Bayar was threatening people with murder. The Police Department and the Directorate of Intelligence also knew about his situation. We warned them,” Karadağ said.
Assistant Professor Yalçın Bay, a former member of staff dismissed from his job upon Bayar’s complaint, accused Bayar of being linked to FETÖ.
“He accused me of being linked to FETÖ. I was dismissed from the university. He lodged complaints about 102 academics across Turkey although he himself was himself linked to FETÖ,” Bay said.
Bay applied to a court for false accusation by Bayar, but the prosecutor did not find Bayar guilty as he “was performing his civic duty.”
Ayşe Aypay, a professor at the university, also described the attacker as an alleged FETÖ supporter, who made false accusations against his colleagues.
Aypay accused the university of “protecting” Bayar and not taking any action against him for more than a year.
Meanwhile, Eskişehir Governor Özdemir Çakacak said three prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the case.
Bayar’s wife has also been detained as part of the investigation.
A funeral ceremony was held at the university’s campus, which was surrounded by relatives of the victims and students.
People protested the rector for being irresponsive to the situation and demanded his resignation.