Turkish family files criminal complaint on ‘Blue Whale’ online game after son’s death
Nurettin Kurt - Ankara
A family in Ankara filed a criminal complaint against an online game titled “Blue Whale,” indicating it was responsible for the suicide of their 24-year-old son.
Evrim Mertin, a university student at Ankara’s Gazi University, committed suicide on Aug. 5. Mertin’s family told the officials their son had been playing the “game” all the time prior to his suicide and hence, his behaviors had changed noticeably.
The family then filed an application to the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office, claiming that Blue Whale was responsible for their son’s death and demanded for an investigation to be undertaken regarding the incident.
“The ‘Blue Whale’ game that has been banned abroad is a game that leads its players to suicide. Following Mertin’s suicide, an analysis conducted by the clients showed Mertin’s recent behaviors and actions had been formed as a result of this game. This is a game that lasts for a 50-day period. The game asks that its players cut their arms and legs, but not in a deep way, asks that the players not speak with anyone during a specified period, asks that players damage their body and lastly, asks that they commit suicide. The moderator of the game asks the player to prove these tasks have been undertaken, and for this reason, a computer camera is used. There are cuts on Evrim Mertin’s legs that had been done with razor blades. There were red marks on his neck, as if it had been tightened by a rope,” said the family’s lawyer Mehtap Demirhan in the letter of application.
Upon the family’s complaint, the prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the incident.
Blue Whale is believed to be a social media group, encouraging people to kill themselves.
It is thought a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete over 50 days, but the tasks gradually get more extreme, such as being asked to carve a whale into their arm.
On the 50th day, the moderators behind the game reportedly instruct vulnerable youngsters to commit suicide.