Police investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Turkish presidential guard killed playing Russian roulette
ISTANBULPolice have launched an investigation into the “suspicious death” of a 24-year-old presidential guard, who held a gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, in what his girlfriend said was an attempt to play Russian roulette, daily Habertürk reported on June 7.
The death reportedly occurred on the morning of June 5 in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district at the house of the girlfriend of the killed Ramazan Özçelik.
The girlfriend, who is of Uzbek origin and named Feride Bayramova, reportedly made Özçelik watch Russian roulette videos, after which the 24-year-old put the gun to his head, saying: “[The game] is not played that way; it is played this way.” After he pulled the trigger, Özçelik was killed instantly, according to Bayramova’s reported testimony.
The detained Bayramova told police that she met with Özçelik through the internet nine months ago.
“Ramazan went to bed. I put his gun in the wardrobe and went to sleep. I woke up at around 10 a.m. but Ramazan was still sleeping. At around 2 p.m. he woke up. He was going to go out to get something to eat and was dressing. At that point, when he saw that his gun was on the wardrobe, he told me, ‘why did you point it at us?’ He then placed the gun at his waist,” Bayramova is reported to have told the police.
“Then I showed him a Russian roulette video. Ramazan then pulled out the gun from his waist, and held it to his head. I tried to grab his hand to stop him but then the gun fired,” she added.
The police found her testimony “contradictory” and view the ongoing case as “suspicious,” according to Habertürk’s report. The department of public order crime then transferred the case to the anti-terror branch.
Police reportedly could not find the Russian roulette videos that Bayramova claimed to have made Özçelik watch. What’s more, Bayramova reportedly claimed that Özçelik was staying at her home for two or three days per week, while Özçelik had told his mother that he was staying at his friends for only one day of the week.
The police have also discovered four separate mobile lines in Bayramova’s bag, who justified this by saying she was often going on trips abroad.
Another aspect raising the police’s suspicions was the existence of a one-dollar bill with a F serial number in Bayramova’s bag, indicated to have been used by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen in order to show their allegiance with his movement. Gülen is the prime suspect behind Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt, and Ankara has demanded his extradition from the U.S.