A brigadier general’s silent death
The article titled “arrested FETÖ member found dead at hospital” in the daily Hürriyet drew my attention. It was written in two columns with a photo of the brigadier general giving a salute.
He is Brigadier General Yavuz Ekrem Arslan.
He was First Infantry Training Brigade Commander in the western province of Manisa during the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
He was promoted to Brigadier General in 2012 by the Supreme Military Board (YAŞ).
He was on vacation with his family in the western province of İzmir’s Gümüldür neighborhood during the coup attempt.
When the incident broke out, he went to Manisa in his son-in-law’s automobile and entered the barrack at around 01:20 a.m.
I have not come across any information that says there was activity related with a coup facility in the barrack in Manisa.
However, Arslan was named as the “Manisa Martial Law Deputy Commander” on an assignment list drafted by the coup plotters.
Arslan was detained on the morning of July 16, 2016 in Manisa.
Expressing that his appointment to the list prepared for the “Peace at Home Council” had been made in absentia, he refuted claims that he was a Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)/Parallel State Structure (PDY) member and that he had participated in the coup in the testimony he gave to the Manisa court.
But he was arrested on July 19 and sent to an F-type prison in İzmir’s Buca district.
After a short period, he started to have a series of health problems.
After his gallbladder operation in 2011, some of his former problems relapsed.
On Nov. 28, 2016 he was sent to the İzmir Katip Çelebi University’s Atatürk Research and Training Hospital and was put in a detention ward where the doctors were checked by the gendarmerie at the entrance.
After his hospitalization, his body began to reject nourishment. He had severe weight loss and his weight became less than 50 kilos. He had embolus.
When Arslan’s situation became severe, the doctors prepared a report on Feb. 24 stating the patient was at “risk of death.”
In the report, doctors also referred to the psychological problems of the patient.
It took longer than a month for Arslan to be released based on the doctor’s report.
The Manisa Court of Peace decided to release Arslan on March 31 due to his health problems.
Although he was released, he could not leave the hospital because his health conditions did not allow him. But because he was released, they took him to a normal service in the hospital and he stayed here until May.
He became better but his health went bad again in June and this time, he was hospitalized at Ankara’s Gülhane Research and Training Hospital.
After he was released from the hospital, they went as a family to the Aegean province of Muğla’s Bodrum district for vacation.
At the end of the summer season, his health started to go bad and his sudden weight loss started again. He had to be hospitalized in order to receive nourishment. On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 2, he was taken to the Gülhane Hospital. He died on Saturday at around 11:45 p.m.
“He had become very small. His arms were equal to a six to seven-year-old child,” said one of his relatives concerning his situation before his death.
I read Arslan’s death report prepared by the hospital on Nov. 8.
They wrote “acidosis” and “hypovolemic shock” as the cause of death.
Acidosis states an abnormality created by the excessive gathering of acid making elements in the blood.
Hypovolemic shock happens in high levels of dehydration caused by excessive diarrhea, long lasting and excessive vomiting and excessive sweating.
This shock creates a deadly situation by dropping the blood pressure and ruining kidney functions.
Arslan was buried silently in Istanbul’s Karşıyaka Cemetry on Nov. 6. His family was very sad they could not wrap his coffin with the Turkish flag because he was a general who had lost his status.
He was expelled from the Turkish army on July 27 with a decree law. He had lost his rank and all of his social rights.
When he was buried, exactly 476 days had passed since his decision for arrest and his indictment had still not been written.
Arslan is buried with the accusation pointed at him. He passed away without even finding the opportunity to defend himself.